I have found a couple of people that do not think that you save money by shopping at the commissary. Now, I am a commissary believer. I have 3 growing kids including one teenage boy, and I feel like I need the commissary.
Yes, it is true that sometimes I can find a product cheaper on the outside. Those loss leaders can be very good deals, and sometimes I will take the time to pick them up. But, overall, I still think I save money at the commissary.
Then I add my coupons. I know that many don’t use coupons because a lot of the time the generic is cheaper. Well, the commissary doesn’t really have a generic brand, so my coupons go farther. The commissary also has its own coupons which only adds to my savings.
Granted I do have to pay a 5% surchage and tip the bagger. I usually save my surcharge and my tip with the coupons, (Last shopping trip I saved $30 in coupons.) so I don’t really count it.
The downside of the commissary is the selection. My commissary is small and has a limited selection. Sometimes I get frustrated because they don’t carry blue jello or some such thing, but for the most part, I can find everything I need there. I don’t feel the need to drive a greater distance for a better selection. The produce is also on the pathetic side. A lot of times I will hit the Fred Meyer sales for the produce. But, most of the time I walk around Fred Meyer and think “how do people pay these prices and still afford to pay the water bill?”
As for Costco, I don’t shop there. Ever. I am not even a member. I don’t have a problem with Costco, but I do have a problem with discipline. If I went into Costco I would spend too much money on books and other junk. My sister is a huge Costco shopper and they do have great food, but I just wouldn’t be able to stop at the food. I also find that I eat more when I buy in bulk. I have so much, why not stuff my face, right? That is my Costco reasoning.
I know that I have some military moms that stop by here. What do you guys think? Does it pay to shop at the commissary? Or do you shop only out in town?