Commissary features low prices for holiday meals

  • Published
  • By Defense Commissary Agency

FORT LEE, Va. – The Defense Commissary Agency’s sales flyer for Dec. 5-18 offers customers even greater ways to save on fresh produce, meat and holiday treats as they prepare for festive gatherings.

Commissaries continue to promote significant holiday savings on whole frozen turkeys for just 68 cents per pound on select brands through Dec. 31. Availability and brands vary by location.

Continue the holiday cheer with commissary gift cards for loved ones in denominations of $5 to $300. To learn more, go to

Further your commissary savings through the new and improved Your Everyday Savings program. YES! offers extra savings and value on the products customers buy the most. Look for the orange YES! label in the flyer or on store shelves.

Customers can also add savings beyond already low commissary prices by becoming a “savvy shopper.” For details, see the sales flyer at

“Thinking outside the box” quick and pleasing spring rolls can help customers add variety to their meal planning. TOTB recipes are dietitian-approved, offering quick and economical solutions for home-cooked meals. Patrons can save even more on the items listed in these recipes.

Shoppers can also continue their journey to savings with Pathway to Savings “instant savings and buy one, get one free” deals and Commissary Rewards Card digital coupons. Customers can save over $60 through these deals. Many more digital coupons are available at

Customers are reminded they can now download a mobile app to access DECA’s website programs such as Commissary CLICK2GO online payment and curbside pickup, digital coupons, the sales flyer and dietitian-approved recipes. The app is free for download through the Google Play and IOS app stores.

Other savings opportunities include the following promotions:

  • “Back to School/Box Tops for Education.” General Mills is offering an opportunity to save money while supporting local schools through the “Box Tops for Education” promotion. See store displays and high-value coupons for participating General Mills brands.
  • “Purina PCS with Pets.” “PCS with Pets” is a communication and information portal committed to educating and assisting active-duty military family pet owners navigating the complex logistic and financial challenges of the permanent-change-of-station process. Sign up today and join this community forum to talk to others about their PCS at Also, enter the monthly sweepstakes for a chance to win $500 toward your pet-travel fees; in addition, 10 patrons have the opportunity to win a travel pet bag at
  • “Purina Pro Plan Military Pet Club.” If you have a dog or cat, join up at In December, patrons can win a pet toy storage basket. Two winners will be chosen. To enter, go to
  • Purina Military Cat Club. Cat owners can sign up at Throughout December, six patrons have the chance to win a calming cat bed and treats.  

What’s the story behind PB&J?

Mention PB&J to an American Soldier, and many can recall making that “perfect” peanut butter and jelly sandwich to hit the spot when their stomachs needed a quick, tasty snack.

No one knows who invented the PB&J, but for service members, that sandwich goes back to at least World War I when enterprising troops combined elements of their rations to create a culinary masterpiece.

“Troops in the field have always been quite imaginative when it comes to making a tasty treat out of an otherwise bland ration,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Michael Saucedo, senior enlisted adviser to the DECA director. “Back in garrison, service members and their families need only visit their commissary to find the peanut butter, jelly and bread they require for their pièce de résistance – at savings of at least 25 percent compared to commercial stores.”

So what’s the story behind peanut butter, jelly and bread in the military? Well, let’s take the ingredients one at a time, starting with bread.

Regardless of what kind of sandwich you like, the foremost ingredient is good bread. Throughout history, bread was one of the most common items given to troops in their daily ration. They could expect a pound of flour or loaf of baked bread. In fact, bread was such a common item in rations that military branches would eventually open their own baking schools and bakeries.

During the American Revolution, when baked bread wasn’t available, troops made fire or ash cakes by mixing flour from their rations, water and a pinch of salt. They would then lay the dough over the warm ashes to bake.

Sailors at sea were served biscuits, also known as hardtack. The weevils and maggots that often infested them were just an added source of “protein.”

During the Civil War, hardtack was still standard fare for Soldiers. However, the Union Army had bakeries where thousands of fresh bread loaves were baked each day, often shipped by train and arriving while it was still fresh and warm.

When America entered World War I, bakeries were providing fresh, hot bread to troops in the trenches each day. By World War II, bread was included in C rations and served in mess halls.

During the Korean War, Soldiers were receiving ration cans with various types of bread and crackers. The B ration was known as the bread ration, and it held a slice of bread, some crackers, and usually a cookie or slice of cake.

Now, let’s talk about peanut butter. Every American eats more than 6 pounds of peanut butter every year.

One peanut butter sandwich contains at least 6 grams of protein and over 3 grams of dietary fiber. It’s also rich in vitamin E and magnesium. Add jelly to the sandwich and you have about 15 grams of carbohydrates, giving you plenty of energy.

Soldiers in both world wars, the Korean War and Vietnam War were issued a 1.5-ounce can of creamy peanut butter in their rations. Most cans were issued in B-ration kits along with crackers and the dessert entrée.

The trio of peanut butter, jelly and bread seems to have collided for Soldiers during World War I. Many began taking the bread ration, peanut butter spread, and Concord grape jelly and adding them together to stretch their rations.

Throughout World War II, Soldiers continued to create PB&J sandwiches from the ingredients in their B-ration kits. Meat shortages during the wars made the sandwiches an important protein source.

Saucedo encourages patrons to use DECA’s new mobile app to go online to order their peanut butter, jelly, bread and more through the Commissary CLICK2GO online payment and curbside pickup program.

“If your family loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like mine does, then head to your local commissary, where you’ll find a wide selection of peanut butter and jelly, as well as several varieties of fresh bread,” he said. “We even have our own commissary store brands, such as Freedom’s Choice, to save you even more money.”