I braved the commissary!
How funny is that?! We have been a part of the Army family since 2003 and I’m just now making my way into the commissary! It’s not exactly the first time though. I went with a friend not too long after we first moved here. It was on payday. Now those of you who have been to the commissary on pay day will understand this well.
The place was packed. And I don’t mean just a little crowded. It was like a 5am sale on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). I could not believe the amount of people. The aisles are narrow so we were constantly bumping into people or in someone’s way. And then the line to check out? Um, wow. Unbelievable! So after leaving there with her that day, I vowed never to go back and promised my loyalty to the Kroger within walking distance of my house!
But on Tuesday, I decided to give it another shot. It was April 3. So quite a few days after pay day and I went around 1 in the afternoon. What a difference. It was still fairly busy but nowhere near what it was like on my first (and last) trip. I didn’t have to wait at all to checkout and some of the deals were great!
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not one to pay that much attention to prices. There’s a few items that I intentionally paid attention to price on the last time I was in Kroger so I could compare.
I got both Special K and Frosted Mini Wheats cereals (my breakfast of choice!) for $1.50 a box. They are both usually close to $4/box at Kroger. And SeaPak shrimp scampi is $7.99 at Kroger. I love it so I grudgingly buy it and pay the price. Well, at the commissary, imagine my delight to find it was $4.49 and that was regular price! DiGiorno frozen pizzas were also quite a bit cheaper.
Overall, I was a happy camper! While its not worth it (to me) to drive all the way to post just to get a few items, for the bigger trips, it is well worth the drive. Just check the calendar before you go so you don’t get lost in the mass of people with freshly deposited paychecks.
2 thoughts on “My Army Commissary Experience”
I’m finding that most of the commissaries I’ve been to- while the prices are great, they’re not worth it, due to attitudes of workers. I was told one time (in Norfolk, VA) when I asked if they had a certain item, to get off my butt and look for it myself, they weren’t required to help me find it.
There was another time (in Great Lakes, IL) where a bottle of dish soap fell on me because it was piled on the shelf and too close to the edge, busted and bleached my jeans. The store manager told me that if I was “more careful, things like that wouldn’t happen to you”. my fault for your employees not doing their job correctly.
Yes, the commissary does make things much better in the price department, especially when there are coupons, however if the attitude is a trade-off, I’m better off at the walmart. prices are about the same anyway.
I am stationed in Germany and the commissary here has been a great aspect of our post. Luckily our post commissary offers several thousand items that normally would only be offered in the states. Off post they do offer some really great foods but its nice to be able to find the familiar foods.
As for savings the commissaries accept coupons up to 6 months past the expiration date! For those who like to save money this is a great way to to it. I usually do one big trip a month and only buy things I have coupons for and do meals from those items. It saves us a ton of money. Once I spent about $300 on groceries but had saved nearly a $100 using coupons! This isn’t including the things that were also on sale that week.