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Put more in your pocket

Commissaries, Military Saves Week help stretch finances

FORT LEE, Va. (Feb. 16, 2017) – Commissary shoppers tend to be savvy shoppers – they know the best grocery deals in town are found on their commissary store's shelves. That's been true for almost 150 years, since commissaries began offering groceries to all service members in July of 1867.

Today, the Defense Commissary Agency is tasked with safeguarding that tradition of savings for the military – active duty, guard and reserve, military retirees, and their families. It's no surprise then that DeCA supports "Military Saves Week," held this year Feb. 27 – March 4.

Military Saves is one part of the nonprofit America Saves, and a partner in the Department of Defense's Financial Readiness Campaign. According to their website, the organization "seeks to motivate, support, and encourage military families to save money, reduce debt and build wealth."

The organization's website offers financial planning tools, encouragement and advice for both military consumers and their DOD civilian counterparts. The site offers advice on everything from basic financial planning, to taxes, avoiding scams, and even investment tips.

The commissary benefit is fundamental to many service members' budgetary planning. Best in town everyday savings throughout the store means not having to make multiple stops to ensure you're saving all you can. And by adding the Commissary Rewards Card digital coupon program to their savings strategy, commissary shoppers stretch their grocery dollars even further.

Patrons use a mobile device app to select and "save" coupons to the card, redeeming them automatically at the register. The app is available for both Android and Apple devices and also offers store location information for patrons, as well as highlighting promotions and contests tied to the Rewards Cards. Authorized shoppers who prefer to load coupons to their cards from a computer can go to the Rewards Card page where they can also find program information and register their cards.

"The Commissary Rewards Card goes that extra step and saves patrons even more on top of their commissary benefit," said Marye Dobson, manager of DeCA's Commissary Rewards Card program. "We work with our industry partners to provide our patrons with the type of digital coupons they want most.

Here are just a few of the ways shopping at commissaries helps balance your budget:

  • Commissaries provide a one-stop-shopping experience, with pricing that is consistently best-in-town, across their entire line of goods.
  • Commissaries offer better-for-you food choices, at easy on your budget prices, including organics and a growing number of specialty items, such as gluten-free alternatives, low sodium, sugar-free and reduced-calorie products.
  • Commissaries strongly support use of coupons for additional savings, and the Commissary Rewards Card banks electronic coupons for automatic savings at checkout. Rewards Card users are now approaching 1.5 million, who've saved an additional $11.5 million on their grocery bills.

"Military Saves is a great source for financial planning tools, ideas and encouragement, not only during Military Saves Week, but year-round," said Tracie Russ, DeCA's director of sales. "Military members and their families can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, through their website and their newsletter. And be sure to take advantage of your commissary benefit when planning your budget. As we like to say, 'it's worth the trip!'"

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons save thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to commercial prices when shopping regularly at a commissary. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

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