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Find that perfect gift or stocking stuffer at commissary

  • Published
  • Defense Commissary Agency Corporate Communications

FORT LEE, Va. – Holiday shopping can take quite a bit of time. However, by thinking outside the grocery bag and using your commissary benefit, you can pick up some holiday gifts right from your local store.

“You might be surprised by the unique and thoughtful gifts you can find in your commissary,” said Bonita Moffett, Defense Commissary Agency sales director. “There is something perfect for everyone just waiting on your store shelves. If you spend a little extra time and thought during your regular shopping trips, you could have your gift shopping wrapped up in no time at all.”

Patrons can download a mobile app to access DECA’s website programs such as Commissary CLICK2GO online payment and curbside pickup, digital coupons, the sales flyer, dietitian-approved recipes and much more. The app is free for download via the Google Play and IOS app stores for Android and Apple devices, respectively.

Whether you’re shopping for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts or the perfect present, consider these ideas:

  • For a military member or family: Giving commissary gift cards is a thoughtful, easy way to share the holiday spirit with a military family. Anyone can purchase these gift cards for eligible patrons at www.commissaries.com and all stores worldwide.
  • For the baker: Vanilla extract, bakeware, basket of ingredients like cake flour, almond flour, parchment paper or butter
  • For the cook: Spices, kitchen gadgets or a dinner-themed basket such as an “Italian pasta night” filled with Italian sausage, pasta and sauce, wedge of specialty cheese, fresh bread and box of biscotti.
  • For the home: Candles or flowers
  • For the romantic: Fresh strawberries and chocolate or sparkling juice and glasses
  • For the family: Movie pack with popcorn, seasonings, flavored oils, 2-liter bottle of soda, candy and a movie rental certificate or caramel apple basket filled with fresh apples, caramel candy, sticks and wax paper.
  • For the entertainer: Charcuterie board basket filled with deli meats, cheeses and breads or, for a dessert board, assorted treats from the bakery or your commissary cookie and candy aisle.
  • For the traveler: International snack basket filled with German chocolates or other international snacks
  • For students: A snack basket filled with granola bars, fruit, fish crackers, single-serve cookies, dried fruits, juice boxes and more. They will love having an assortment of goodies to choose from during their school break or when they head back to classes.
  • For the coffee or tea lover: K-cups, specialty coffee, flavored teas, creamer, coffee syrups or biscotti
  • For sitting around the fire: Hot chocolate and the fixings – marshmallows, chocolate bar for shavings, caramel syrup and candy canes – or try a smores basket filled with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars.
  • For those who prefer sugar-free or ketogenic foods: The commissary is full of sugar-free options, from fresh fruit and dressings to cake mixes and even icing. For those who prefer low-carb foods, pack a box full of almond flour, cheeses and snack meats.
  • For those who like quick meal prep: Choose a dietitian-approved “Thinking outside the box” recipe from www.commissaries.com and prepare a basket with all the ingredients needed to make the dish, including a recipe printout.
  • For the animal parent: Visit the pet aisle for pet toys and treats.
  • For a family meal night: Put together a basket with a pre-made pizza crust, sauce, pepperoni, cheese and any other preferred toppings for a family to prepare and enjoy together.
  • For a flash from the past: Bring back some great childhood memories by filling a basket with a selection of candies, cookies, snacks or even cereals.

“You are only limited by your imagination,” Moffett said. “You can find a gift everyone on your list will love right there on your commissary shelves. Not only will you save time on your shopping, you will also save big at the register.”

New lower prices – worldwide

Just in time for the holidays, commissary customers worldwide are now seeing new lower prices on popular items across store inventories to help them achieve at least 25 percent savings compared to off-post grocers.

The price reductions also include an updated version of the “Your Everyday Savings” (YES!) program. DECA is broadening price reductions thanks to the Department of Defense’s recent “Taking Care of Service Members and Families” initiative.

DOD’s commissary funding increase allows the agency to reduce prices across its product assortment, especially on food staples such as milk, eggs, butter, ground beef and baby products, DECA Director and CEO Bill Moore said.

“We’re slashing prices on the items that families need every day and increasing their overall commissary savings across the enterprise to at least 25 percent against commercial stores outside the gate,” he said. “With these savings, we’re improving the economic security of our customers; for example, they can save at least $50 on a $200 grocery bill if, and only if, they shop their commissary.”

Blue signage points the way to lower prices throughout the store, while orange signs highlight specific savings on core items that commercial retailers often reduce through periodic sales promotions. The price on YES! items in the commissary are on sale over the course of the year.

As commissaries lower their prices, it’s vital that all eligible patrons are aware of their benefit and its gateway to savings and healthy options, said Marine Sgt. Maj. Michael Saucedo, senior enlisted adviser to the DECA director.

“A lot of people don’t really understand that the commissary benefit is congressionally mandated and regulated by the National Defense Authorization Act,” Saucedo said. “I run into people every day – disabled veterans and active-duty service members alike – who just don’t know that they have earned these savings.

“My job as the director’s senior enlisted adviser is to help promote benefit awareness, and that’s critical, especially now for our younger service members and their families. They’re experiencing the challenges of inflation, and commissary savings are a great way to help these families out.”

With the approaching holidays, DECA continues to execute a transformation game plan to lower prices on the items that matter most, while improving customer service and a supply chain still beset with tremendous labor challenges.

“It’s a vitally important benefit, probably more important now than ever in these days of unprecedented inflation,” Moore said. “Getting this benefit as good as we can get it, enabling as much savings as resources allow, is vitally important for our patrons as they deal with food and economic insecurities.”

For more information on commissary savings programs, go to www.commissaries.com.