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Commissary helps shoppers save money

Posted 4/22/2008   Updated 4/22/2008 Email story   Print story


by Nancy O'Nell
Edwards Commissary

4/22/2008 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Edwards Commissary helps people shopping there save money by providing items that are priced lower than off-base stores.

On average, a single person can save about $1,000 a year, while a couple can save about $2,000 by shopping at the Commissary, said Andrew Brookes, Edwards Commissary store director.

"A family of four can save about $3,000 a year shopping in their Commissary," Mr. Brookes said. "That's enough savings to buy a 50-inch flat-screen television, a surround sound system and some DVDs. Or, for the more disciplined saver, it could be a healthy start in a college savings plan." 

One of the military's most valued benefits is that the Commissary sell groceries at cost plus a five-percent surcharge, Mr. Brookes said. The surcharge is used to help build new commissaries and modernize existing ones. Commissaries are more than just a place to save money, they offer almost everything offered in a commercial grocery store, including many specialty items. 

"We have organic products, (Department of Agriculture)-choice beef, fresh and flavorful produce and a 'Grab 'N Go' section at the front of the store," Mr. Brookes said. "Free coffee is brewed and piping hot until 1 p.m. each day. Last fall, we added sushi. The chef prepares orders while you wait or you can pick-up one of the many freshly prepared selections directly from the case." 

The Commissary's full-service deli offers meat, cheese trays and hot rotisserie chicken, said Roy Gaskin, general manager. For special occasions, the bakery can also prepare custom cakes. 

About once a month, the Commissary holds a special sale including seafood and meat specials, Mr. Gaskin said. Twice a year, the Edwards Commissary joins with commissaries worldwide in holding a massive case-lot sale. Savings of up to 50 percent can be found during these sales held in May and September. 

"One of the best places in the Commissary to rack up additional savings is the club packs on aisle one," Mr. Brookes said. "Club packs are a top choice with Edwards' shoppers because they recognize the additional savings from buying in bulk. The cost per single package is considerably lower -- something even our single shoppers take advantage of." 

Additional club packs and promotional items can be found in a value center located in the stores warehouse, Mr. Gaskin said. Because of popularity, the commissary plans to expand the value center this summer to make room for more club packs, beverages and promotional items. 

Commissary shoppers who want to make smart choices with their health as well as their finances are getting help from the Edwards Health and Wellness Center. The HAWC has identified foods that support a healthy lifestyle and has placed "Food Fit for Life" shelf tags next to these products. 

For more information about the Edwards commissary, call 277-4902 or go online to http://www.commissaries.com.

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