Commissaries mark 151st anniversary of benefit on July 1
FORT LEE, Va. – As the Defense Commissary Agency observes the 151st anniversary of the commissary benefit, it reminds service members and their families that the passage of time has not diminished the commissary as their gateway to significant savings.
“Commissaries are the oldest military resale benefit,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA’s sales director. “Although much has changed since 1867, the benefit still exists to help our service members and their families improve their quality of life by delivering significant savings on groceries.”
The July 1 anniversary ties back to the official beginning of the commissary benefit on July 1, 1867, when enlisted men received the same privileges that had been available to officers since 1825 – the right to buy food at cost from their post’s subsistence department warehouses. At that time, sales took place wherever the local commander deemed them necessary, regardless of the location.
More than a century and a half later, commissaries are still supporting military communities, and patrons are reminded of the following opportunities to save money by using their benefit:
- Commissary brands. Starting July 23, commissaries will begin a two-week event featuring some of the following commissary brand promotions in front-end displays and the Wall of Value areas: trash bags of various sizes, disposable bowls, canned vegetables, pie crust, bottled waters, shredded cheeses, vegetable shortening and more. Commissaries will also promote several TopCare items on aisle endcaps including allergy tablets, vitamins, cold and flu products, heartburn relief and antacids.
- Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival – ‘Live Healthy and Save Big!’ Through early July, Healthy Lifestyle Festivals are offering discounted prices at commissary produce sidewalk sales; savings on workout equipment and apparel at exchanges; health screenings at local clinics, and fitness events hosted by the installation’s morale, welfare and recreation activities. Veterinarians will return for a second year offering health information for family pets as well as food safety tips. See the event schedule for locations and dates.
- Your Everyday Savings! Commissary prices on hundreds of popular items are even lower and easier to spot with start of the “YES!” program, an initiative to help make stateside commissaries more competitive with grocers outside the gate by dropping prices on attractive “image” items that consumers tend to buy the most. YES! items include popular brands of flavored iced teas, pasta, macaroni and cheese, Spam, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, baby food, nutritional shakes, potato chips and other selected snack foods, apple juice, vegetable juice, coffee creamer, coffee, energy drinks, soup, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, avocadoes, paper towels, toilet tissue, bottled water, dish soap, clothes detergent, fabric softener and pet food.
- Commissaries.com. Patrons who want to maximize their benefit are just a click away from a wealth of online information on www.commissaries.com. There, they can register their Commissary Rewards Cards for access to digital coupons; checkout the biweekly sales flyer for discounted products; find recipes by dish type, main ingredient or category, such as a “Holiday” recipe, “20-Minute Meal,” “Dietitian Approved” or “Thinking Outside the Box” recipes for quick, healthy and economical meal solutions; find their store based on location; order commissary gift cards; and learn more about the agency’s Nutrition Guide Program.
“As an authorized user of the commissary benefit, I can tell you from experience that it’s always been there for me throughout my career,” said Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Stuart M. Allison, DeCA’s senior enlisted advisor to the agency director. “And as I prepare for the Fourth of July holiday, you can best believe I’m going to my commissary to look for special savings on meats, melons, corn on the cob and other items to enjoy for my family barbecue.”
To see photographs on DeCA’s Flickr site related to the 151-year history of military commissaries, go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/commissary/sets/72157698226768155.