Every few weeks I post commissary sales and coupon match-ups. It is important to understand the commissary coupon policy before you head to the store with your coupons because many cashiers do not know the policy and enforce it incorrectly.
Below is a summary of their coupon policy. For more information you can visit the Defense Commissary Agency’s Facebook page.
The Commissary Coupon Policy is a Global Policy
Commissaries are not allowed to set their own policies. A commissary that tells you differently is wrong. To file a complaint fill out a customer action form. If DeCA makes a policy it applies to everyone. Store managers cannot make the rules.
The Commissary Accepts Coupons
Commissaries in the United States (all 50) accept current coupons. They also accept internet printed coupons (see below for details). Commissaries overseas accept current coupons as well as coupons 6 months past their expiration date.
The Commissary Does Not Accept Competitor’s Coupons
The commissary accepts manufacturer coupons as well as commissary coupons. You cannot use a Food Lion, Publix, CVS, Target, etc coupon at the commissary.
The Commissary Does Not Double Coupons
Did you know it is actually against the law for the commissary to double coupons? Occasionally the commissary will run a special where they will allow customers to use two coupons for one product, but an actual coupon cannot be doubled.
You Can Make Money on a Purchase with a Coupon
If the value of the coupon exceeds the value of the product you will receive the difference. You do not need to buy another item and apply the difference. Occasionally the commissary will require the customer to purchase additional items when large numbers of coupons for the same products are being used.
Only One Coupon is Allowed with a BOGO
If the commissary is running their own buy one get one free sale you can only use one coupon for the two products. Since the second item is free, the commissary doesn’t allow a coupon for the second item.
The Internet Coupon Policy
“The coupons must have a typical barcode and Product Identification Number (PIN) or GS1 DataBar. A Dot Scan Barcode may appear below the expiration date, but is only required if stated on the coupon, e.g., “Do not accept without a Dot Scan Barcode below the expiration date.” Internet coupons cannot be accepted for free products, however, “Buy One Get One Free” coupons are acceptable if they meet all other requirements.”
Fraudulent Coupon Policy
Occasionally a coupon is deemed fraudulent by the commissary. This is not one person’s particular coupon, it is a batch of coupons that has made it across the internet. When a coupon is fraudulent the commissary will issue a counterfeit notice for this coupon. This is a commissary wide policy. If a cashier tells you the coupon is a fraudulent coupon ask to see the counterfeit notice. If they cannot show you the notice they are supposed to accept the coupon.
My Personal Thoughts on Commissary Shopping and Coupons
It’s no secret I love shopping at the commissary. It has been my experience, shopping at over a dozen commissaries, that customer service is not one of their higher priorities. I shop at the commissary because it is cheaper. If I want friendly service I shop at Publix. At the commissary you will find cashiers who are not familiar with the coupon policy. There are store managers who are not familiar with the coupon policy, or try and create their own rules.
Shopping at the commissary is a privilege you have earned because of your military status. Do not allow the ignorance of cashiers or store managers to keep you from the savings you deserve based on their coupon policies. Familiarize yourself with the policy and don’t be afraid to speak with a manager if there is a problem.