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You may already know that shopping for groceries at the commissary or for electronics, clothing and other goods at the exchange can amount to significant savings. But you may not know that some of these stores also offer perks such as career opportunities, sweepstakes, scholarships and family employment opportunities, all while supporting service members overseas. Check out our listings below for benefits you may not have heard about.
The commissary and exchange system was born when the government mandated retail sales of only high-quality goods for a fair price to military personnel and their families. Here’s what makes the commissary a huge perk of military life:
- High-quality name brand food at low prices
- Wide selection of fresh produce
- Dietician-approved labels and recipes
- Convenient hours including early bird and normal hours (in-store) and 24/7 (online Click2Go)
- Friendly faces — employees are part of the community (veterans, military spouses and family members)
- Smaller crowds than civilian stores
No matter where you are in the world, you’ll find products at your installation’s post exchange (department store) and commissary (grocery store) you recognize at prices you can afford. Under this system, your commissary arrived at even more benefits for you to:
- Save your time: Shop online with Commissary Click2Go. Place your order up to six days before your pickup date. They will carefully select and bag your groceries for your selected pickup time.
- Get free money: Get your rewards card at your local store. Load your Commissary Rewards Card with coupons, promotions and discount savings.
- Reduce your effort: Create an online shopping list on your phone from your Click2Go account. Buy gift cards to hold your grocery budget or as gifts for eligible loved ones.
- Win great prizes: Try your luck and enter to win one of many commissary contests, sweepstakes or shopping sprees.
- Earn scholarship money: Your shopping helps the Defense Commissary Agency and the Fisher House Foundation provide a $2,000 scholarship per commissary location.
- Improve your diet: Visit the Healthy Living section for healthy tips and dietician-approved recipes. You can also access to the nutrition program guide.
Each military branch and the United States Coast Guard has its own exchange. But whether you’re a soldier, Marine, sailor, airman, guardian or guardsman, any military service member can shop at any branch exchange and take advantage of their awesome savings and benefits:
- Shop and win great prizes. Consider entering the contests or sweepstakes to win thousands in prizes.
- Reward military kids with good grades. Give military youngsters a monetary incentive to work hard on their grades. Check out the “You Made the Grade,” “Superstar Student” and “A-OK Student Reward” drawings that award kids $5,500 quarterly.
- Increase your family income. Military family members can find great employment through any of the exchanges and spouses have an advantage in the hiring process through the services’ spouse preference programs.
- Save while you support. Expect to save an average of 30% when you shop at your exchange. Plus, about 70% of what you spend funds military programs like the MWR and other services.
- Meet others who serve. Exchange employees go where you go. Our retail workers overseas serve deployed service members and provide products for service members.
- Pay it forward. You can pay it forward by donating a calling card or gift card to an unknown service member at any exchange.
It matters where you shop. By shopping at your commissary and exchange, you keep more of your hard-earned cash. Plus, you put your dollars to work supporting your military community. The next time you need to do some shopping, visit the commissary and/or exchange on your installation for benefits beyond savings.