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By Rachel Preen
Military Spouse Guest Writer and founder of bootbandbudget.com

Love it or hate it all of us in the Milspouse world have our own opinions about the commissary. I LOVE the commissary!

 

For me, the "make or break" issue - what deems a commissary good or bad - is their attitude towards coupons; from providing coupons in store to the cashiers knowing their coupon policy and enforcing it correctly. Do not get discouraged if you have had a bad experience with one commissary. I have gone from being treated awfully (I was a HUGE inconvenience and doing something dishonest by using coupons) to being treated wonderfully (I was being congratulated on my use of coupons). After extensive price comparisons with superstores and grocery stores the commissary has worked out, for my family, as the cheapest at all three duty stations.

 

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) has an active Facebook page on which you can find their full coupon policy. I have a copy printed off and in my coupon binder for quick reference or to pull out in the commissary if I get a cashier who is not well versed in the policy. The commissary coupon policy is standard across all commissaries. That's right, each commissary has to follow the same coupon policy - no exceptions. A coupon that is good at MCAS Miramar is good at Fort Bragg and RAF Lakehurst as well.

 

Quick Overview of the Commissary Coupon Policy

 

  • Internet Printable (IP) Coupons Accepted - Yes
  • Double or Triple coupons - No
  • Accept Competitor Coupons - No
  • Price Match - No
  • Free Coupons without Purchase Accepted - Yes (except internet printed coupons)
  • Stacking - No (only one coupon per item)
  • Overage - Yes (you have a coupon for $1 and the item is only $.90 you will still get $1 off)
  • For more information and details be sure to check the commissary full coupon policy.
  • If you are stationed overseas you are able to use coupons up to 6 months past their expiration date.

Things to Remember

 

  • If you want to buy in bulk - say more than 6 - 10 of something - it will be your best bet to call ahead and pre-order it. That way YOU can get as many as you need and will not be wiping the shelf in the process.
  • You can see what is on sale at the commissary by visiting commissaries.com and logging in. Match your coupons to the sales to get LOTS of savings!
  • Put any "FREE" coupons on top of your other coupons when going through check out. Be super helpful and make a note on your shopping list of what the "free" item cost is, that way you can just tell the cashier.
  • Play coupon fairy by leaving coupons that you are not going to use on the product when you can or send them to a family overseas.
  • Follow commissary/military specific blogs like mine at bootbandbudget.com for more hints, tips and the heads up on the best deals!

 

I encourage all of you to take advantage of shopping at the Commissary, as I find it a beneficial in stretching our dollar a little further.

 

About BootbandBudget.com

Rachel Preen is a USMC Wife of 6 years who has been the full throttle career woman & gave it up to be a stay at home mom. Started Living on a Bootband Budget in to help military families save money using coupons, discounts and programs as well as all sorts of other milspouse related topics. Living on a Bootband Budget has a community on facebook with over 1100 members from all over the world.

 

1 Comment
New Member
I miss the commisary so much. In different ways... 1, I am a couponer... So being able to get access to certain coupons especially since the values sometimes is different than what the paper has. Also, sometimes there are different coupons in general. 2, I was a bagger at a local one in this area. I loved working there and meeting all different people who had served or were serving our countries. I myself am a military brat but sadly dont have access anymore. Oh word of advice to all you DECA shoppers your bagger doesnt get hourly wages... they work on tips... So its always nice when people appreciate the job they do. If they just bag your groceries and you walk it out suggested $1 for tip. Now for those who bag and walk you out and help you put it in your car: 4 or less bags $1, 8 or less $2, so basically use the idea a quarter a bag idea is always good.