Patron Savings

How does DeCA measure savings?

DeCA monitors and calculates savings on a regional basis, in different geographic areas, at different levels of specificity. The savings figures specific to each geographic area indicate how much, on average, a patron could expect to save on grocery purchases in comparison with local grocers in that area. DeCA measures savings for a region so it can better monitor how much customers actually save in the geographic area where they shop. DeCA also periodically checks local prices near the installation at major retailers to ensure our pricing compares favorably and our customers are getting a good deal when they shop their commissary. 

Although market forces will always cause prices to fluctuate, Congress has mandated that DeCA protect overall levels of savings. These savings vary since cost-of-living factors, inclusive of groceries, are influenced by geographic economic factors. When all customer savings computations are complete, the savings baselines per each commissary savings region are as follows:

  • Area: number of commissaries, savings percentage*
  • New England: 36, 21.4%
  • South Atlantic: 30, 19.9%
  • South Central: 33, 18.1%
  • Pacific, 31, 20.9%
  • Mountain: 20, 17.6%
  • North Central: 18, 20.2%
  • Alaska / Hawaii: 9, 32.6%
  • US Average: 177, 20.2%
  • Overseas: 61, 44.2%
  • Global Average: 237, 23.7%

*Calculation includes applicable taxes in commercial grocery store prices and surcharge in commissary prices; without these, savings would be US (22.3%); Overseas (45.6%); Global (25.7%). Thirty-five States (70%) do not have sales tax on food items.

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