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I run into civilians all the time who think, as a military retiree, I can buy a suit at the Base Exchange for $20.00, or can buy a carton of cigarettes at the Commissary for $2.00 per carton.

While the Commissary and Base Exchange can save you money, they certainly do not produce the gigantic savings that many civilians think they do. You can't buy a $2,000 stereo for $500. You won't find T-Bone Steak for $.49 per pound.

August 15, 2007 at 12:26 am
(1) Pat says:

If you shop at a large grocery or discount store like Super Walmart or Super K-mart or even Costco/Sams… then you are already getting a better deal than MOST items at a military exchange!!

August 15, 2007 at 8:21 am
(2) gary Haynes says:

Commissaries average about a 30% discount, even more when the commissary thru it’s vendors offers special discounts. Also you can use coupons. I know how much the savings are because since i retired I am now a meatcutter(butcher) for one of the nations largest grocery chains, Sometimes our mark up is 40% above our cost. On many items in civilian grocery stores the markup on canned goods is higher than 40%. Whereas the commissary sales to you at the cost their supplier charges plus a 6% surcharge to keep the store running. As for Kmart and walmart being cheaper, I’ve done cost comparisons, the PX beats them 90% of the time, plus no tax, I’ve saved hundreds on TV’s and stereos over the years by shopping at the PX, and the PX will match any price their competitor has, plus no TAX. SWhortfalls of the PX are limited brand selection, and they tend to have the wrong people choosing what items they carry especially in clothes. But don’t believe that garbage about walmart or any other competitor bring cheaper, they’re in business to make aprofit, the PX IS NOT, plus PX will maatch any price.

August 17, 2007 at 2:12 pm
(3) Brian Hardaway says:

After spending 8 years in the Army, reaching the rank of SGT. and then serving and surviving the GULF FARCE. I stayed in Germany with my German wife. I have since realizied that the US military “KICK ME TO THE CURB” In “91″ we didn’t have the internet to help us get jobs,we didn’t have any couselling as to what to do,working opportunities, or anything to help us with the transition to civ.life.I risked my life with 150,000 others not for my country but to assist another country that was paying the bill,and I still can’t go to the commissary,or any military establishment, but a non- AMERICAN,that has a daughter in the military CAN!! That is really *****!! I can’t even get hired by AAFEEs,or other US employment services but I can become a supervisor of 8 Germans in a German company after learning the language and taking Supervisory courses.DAME SHAME!!Doesn’t the Army have a responsability to it’s EX- VETS? I believe the whole system is corrupt and if you don’t believe it wait until you get out and realize all the money you paid in the SGLI,including the 100,000 policy for the GULFWAR,doesn’t insure you anymore because nobody told you at out processing what to do.Back in “91″ the Army was so much in a hurry to get rid of soldiers after the war,”cause nobody could mess with AMERICA”, got rid of good,expericenced soldiers,stopped those that were outprocessing and took them to WAR, and after the WAR didn’t want anything to do with them.SHAME on you!! Now look at the mess THEY’VE DONE IN IRAQ.

December 26, 2008 at 9:23 am
(4) Jay Mahn says:

Sounds bitter because you failed to plan your future and are now mad at the Army? Wow!!!!
Thanks for your service…But there are plenty of opportunities overseas and elsewhere to gain employment. A person can do anything they want if they try.

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