I find myself at the commissary or off-post grocery store at least twice a week. I try to write a weekly grocery list for a one-stop shopping experience, but inevitably I forget something, like an ingredient or toilet paper, or I need to replace something, like spoiled milk, and I find myself back at the store. Since at least one trip per week is unplanned, I arrive at the store a willing victim to brand name products, individually packaged items, and impulse buys. To avoid the most common mistakes of grocery shopping, I put together this list of 12 ways to save money on groceries. Continue reading
Everyone has surely noticed that generic brands are cheaper than name brands. This applies to groceries, pharmaceuticals and even gasoline. We see the generic or store brand cereal or ibuprofen next to the name brand and we consider the savings that the store brand offers, but we opt to purchase the recognized name brand because we think it is more effective, delicious, healthy or safer. But, experts argue that we could not be more mistaken. You can save money on groceries, medications and many other frequently purchased goods if you buy generic. Continue reading
The rollout of commissary ID scanning was scheduled to begin at the Schofield Barracks commissary December 02, 2013; however it has been indefinitely postponed due to system difficulties. Once it is rolled out, this process will be similar to what you’re already used to at the door to verify your eligibility to shop at the commissary. Except now, at check-out your ID card will be scanned at the register, in addition to your photo being confirmed with your identity. If you do self check-out the attendant will have to verify your photo matches your identity.
The information collected and managed by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) includes card ID number, rank, military status, branch of service, age, household size, and ZIP codes of residence and duty station, in addition to a record of what products/items were purchased. Your name, address and phone number are not collected. This information will be used to generate demographic and sales data across a broad field (not on an individual basis) to better understand what items and in what quantities are in demand at the commissary. For more information, refer to the blog on Military ID Scanning at Commissaries to Commence.
Instead of getting irritated every time my mail box is stuffed with a coupon circular that I did not request to receive, and instead of stubbornly calling all of them to demand to be removed from their mailing list, I decided to figure out what kind of savings could really be had by coupon-clipping.
Groceries, home goods, construction goods, baby stuff, vehicle items – they ALL have coupon options! I had not realized how useful coupons could be. I’ve glanced through those coupon papers before and it seemed like the coupons were mostly for things I did not shop for in any case. I was wrong; think about the savings on doubling, or even tripling, coupons for everyday use items like toilet paper, toothpaste and deodorant. So, what’s my suggestion? Clear a storage shelf in your house or garage, clip and sort your coupons, and plan your shopping trips accordingly! Read on for a how-to on Couponing for Beginners.
Keep your Military ID handy after showing it to the door-minder if you shop at the commissary, because as of 22 October 2013 an agency-wide rollout of Military ID scanning at commissaries during checkout has begun. The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) initiated the program at the Fort Lee, VA commissary and it should be activated in all commissaries worldwide by mid-January 2014. The rollout date will vary by commissary so you will need to ask at your commissary when the scanning will begin. Most commissaries will post signs 1-2 weeks prior to the system going into effect.