Commissary Coupon Policy

cuttingcoupons1 Commissary Coupon Policy

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.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Comments

  1. Jen says:

    I agree that shopping at the commissary is a privilege but the customer service is definitely lacking. When I am checking out, I purposely avoid some checkers because they are so difficult. I go only because it is so much cheaper for some items. I try to go twice a month because by the time you add in the 5% surcharge and the tip for the bagger you have eliminated some of the savings. Thanks for posting the sales and match ups. It is really helpful.

  2. Jessica says:

    My husband retired 2 years ago and it took over a year to educate my Commissary on their coupon policy. I found DeCA to be very cooperative, but it was frustrating to get that down into practice with the cashiers. I don’t think I would have bothered if I didn’t know that we could be here for the rest of our lives! Eventually the store director asked me to come in and for us to meet. She apologized all over the place and introduced me to various managers and supervisors. Things got better slowly, but surely. Now I feel like there’s someone watching for me on the security camera and all the cashiers are alerted!!! ;) The change has been that dramatic. RR’s from Walgreens still throw them for a loop sometimes, but I always carry my emails from DeCA with me. There is one cashier that I avoid. The director told me that if she gave me trouble again she’d be fired. I’d really just like to avoid that situation all together. Remember that the store director’s email address is right on the Commissary website, so you can email them directly if you want to.

    • Monica says:

      We can use our RR from walgreens at the commissary?! That makes me want to dance!

      • TheHappyHousewife says:

        Monica-
        I’m not sure that information is correct. According to the commissary they only accept manufacturers coupons and commissary coupons. RR isn’t in either of those categories. You probably need to talk to a commissary manager.

        • Tamra says:

          I would definitly talk with a store manager or even better someone at the corporate level! But RRs are Manufacturer Coupons. Says it on them. They have numbers like MF coupons and everything so its quite possible!! I heard they accept Catalinas as well from Kroger. These also are MF coupons. Definitly something I am going to ask about!! I have never tryed so i could just avoid the hassle LOL

      • kewana coley says:

        What are RR’s?

        • Tamra says:

          RR’s are register rewards from walgreens. Kinda like ExtraCare Bucks from CVS. Basically they run promos in there flyers if you by a certain item you get $_ amount of RR’s back with your reciept.

    • April says:

      Yes, you can use your RR at the commissary. I have done so several times if there was nothing i was wanting to purchase at walgreens and they were getting ready to expire. Happy shopping everyone! :)

      • Dedet says:

        Wow! Really?? That’s great news! I usually shop at the Fort Myer commissary. I’ll bring my RRs this weekend. Hopefully the transaction will go smoothly. By the way w/c commissary do you go to?

    • Shannon says:

      In regards to RR use at commissary i was told they arent accepted with the new wording that is popping up on them ‘for use only at walgreens’…and it seems like within the past few weeks this has been on all the rr i have received at wags :(

  3. TiJa says:

    Thanks so much for posting this info. I stopped using internet coupons at the commissary because they rarely worked when the checker scanned them, and the checkers would look at me like I was crazy whenever I suggested they enter the coupon codes manually. I’ll be armed and ready if they try to pull this on me again!

    • CutnSave says:

      Please try again. I started using internet coupons from coupons.com and smartsource.com and another website called printablecouponsanddeals.com and they all have worked. I know others are using them because if I am slow to get there, the shelf is cleared out. Making a dollar stretch has become a high priority due to the pay freezes. I am not willing to give up commissary privileges by paying higher prices somewhere else. Just the other day, I was at the commissary and the checker told me that a lady had come in and bought over $600 and had $400 in coupons. Good for her!

  4. Sheena Gossett says:

    How do you get coupons to families to be used in commissaries overseas? I have friends who have coupons that could be passed on if we knew how to do it.

    Thanks

  5. teresa pierce says:

    hello I want to know if there is limit on how many coupons can be used at the comminsary??

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      There isn’t a limit, as far as I know.

      Toni

      • kewana coley says:

        I am not sure, but these other stores are tripping on coupon shoppers since that coupon extreme show started coming on. They have new policies only ten of the same item. How can they limit you on how many itemsto buy it isreally getting crazy. I even had the manager to call the cops on me a few weeks ago because he refused to take my coupons because i would have been getting the stuff all for free with them owing me, so he refused to sell me anything out his store.

  6. divahethr says:

    They really hate the couponers at my commissary Ft Eustis. I was told today they no longer accept internet printed buy one get one free coupons. Which I j–ust found out is wrong. Each one of my coupons was embarrassingly scrutinized. I only had 14 coupons. And I only had one of each item except for like the 6 cans of cat food I purchased . Those Wednesdays at Farm Fresh are looking better. How awful for those that serve and their families.

  7. missblueeyes says:

    Recently I decided to try to learn how to take advantage of coupons. I went to my commissary (we’re overseas), and about half of my manufacturer coupons (gotten online) wouldn’t scan. As far as I could tell the images weren’t distorted and met the requirements. Than the cashier told me it was part of their policy to not manually put in coupons that won’t scan. It was my fault for not knowing the policy, but now that I fully read it I don’t see it suggesting anything quite so absurd. The closest thing I can find is that the policy says that they won’t manually enter coupons without barcodes. My coupons did meet ALL of the requirements, they just weren’t all scanning correctly. Should I question this, or should I just continue on knowing that many won’t work?

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      I would definitely question it. I wouldn’t deal with a cashier though, I would go straight to the manager.

  8. Tabitha says:

    I was wondering-no one has stopped me yet from doing it,but I don’t really see it on their policy page. What about combining a manufacturers coupon with a military store only coupon? I have been doing that the last several times,but I’d rather know the rules in case someone does stop me.

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      According to the Commissary coupon policy you cannot stack coupons.

      • Christina says:

        I just ran into this problem at our commissary too. The cashier said they had gotten a stack of coupons back recently which they take a loss for because they unknowingly accepted stacked coupons. My couponing savvy military wife friends figure that even though it says “Military Store Coupon” on it, it’s still technically a manufacturers coupon and that’s why you can’t stack it. Makes sense to me!

  9. Kate says:

    Can you use a $$$ off coupon & a buy one get one free coupon (two coupons, two items?)

    • Mandy says:

      I’ve done that and it was fine. The cashier had to call someone over to make sure, but it worked. I had one bogo coupon and a $1 off coupon for cereal. So, you use the bogo first, then the $1 off on the item you paid for. But you can’t use a coupon for the free item.

  10. Cathy says:

    I realize this is an old post but thought I’d ask my question here anyway. Do you know if it is true that we cannot use internet printed coupons for a free item? I was told “no” at our commissary when attempting to use the YoBaby one a while back. They allow internet printed coupons but not if they are for a free item.

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      I think you can use them for a free coupon as long as the coupon does not specifically say it cannot be used for a free item. But I’ll check to be sure.

  11. susana says:

    Hello Cathy
    I shop at the Ft Riley commisary in Kansas. They told me the same thing.
    I have used the ones that come in the mail for free but not the ones that I print out.
    I go to target or walmart to get my free items.
    I have another question for whoever can answer it.
    Is it true that when you print out coupons you can not
    use 3 or 4 of the same coupons at the same time?
    It was scanning giving me the the discount and the cashier stopped me and
    told me that it couldn’t be done.
    She told me that they were fraudalent coupons. I was very humiliated. Can someone tell me if
    we can use 3 or 4 coupons of the same one please.
    Because I think that it is the same thing when you take them from
    the shelves, they scan and they have the same ending numbers. I am really confused and I need to know where I can go to complaint.

    Thanks in advance!

  12. LaToya says:

    I’m in Texas. I’m just getting into the coupon thing so I’m very new to all of this, but thanks for all of the info. I will definitely go to the commissary ready — armed with my coupons (and the commissary coupon policy)! : )

  13. Kelly Angelo says:

    Generally Internet printable coupons limit the number you can use to 2. Printing or copying more than that is considered coupon fraud. If you google coupon fraud you can learn more.

  14. ashley says:

    I shop at ft riley commi and some cashiers allow manufactur coupons and commi coupons. If they wont ans its non food, I go to px where it is allowed without question.

  15. Jo says:

    I’ve heard that we can use expired coupons at the commissary here in Hawaii since we are OCONUS. But, at times I get cashiers that won’t except it. Any one have the answer??

  16. Joannie says:

    I have coupons that have expired that I would like to send to someone who uses the commissary. I know you can use them for 6 months past expiration date. Do you know of anyone I can send them to?

  17. Faith says:

    I had two questions but one was jjust asnwered about stacking coupons. However, do comissaries accept coupons for free items that ARE NOT internet prints? I have several coupons for Organic Valley and Seventh Gen free products that are not internet prints. Should these be accepted there?

  18. Lora says:

    Can I find commissary fliers online? And where do I get “military coupons”?

  19. Karen says:

    Thank you for this info. I have a group of friend & myself from our church who want to start a couponing group & part of that would be collecting coupons to send to military famlies. If you could/would like to help us what we need is names & addresses to send them to. You can message me directly on facebook @ Karen Moreno. Thank you for your service from grateful Marine wife.

  20. dianne says:

    Has anyone had a problem with the smartsource coupons? EVERYTIME I have tried to use them there they say they cannot accept them. I’m in San Diego and this started happening in Pax River also, but they said because they don’t have 2 bar codes they will not take them!

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      I occasionally have a problem with Smart Source coupons, but I usually ask for a manager and they take them.

  21. Cherry says:

    I’m new to shopping at the commissary… My question is, can I use three coupons for one item if I am purchasing three of the same item?

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      One coupon per item. So if you have three items and three coupons you can use them, even if they are the same.

  22. miichele says:

    Does anyone know if the commissary allow for multiple transactions?

  23. Ashly says:

    Do you know of somewhere I can send my current and outdated coupons for the use of military families?

  24. myra says:

    i was just curious.. does the commissary except coupons on travel size items even though it says on the coupons excludes travel sizes? just heard a few of them did and thought I was crazy but figured i’d ask. thanks

  25. Heather says:

    For decades I have used coupons published by other vendors (i.e. Target, grocery stores) at the commissary – until this week when a checker informed me they would not be accepted. (My father was military – my husband is military). I have never heard they will not accept “competitor” coupons, because really – how is any non military store an actual competitor? Ridiculous policy and I agree with whomever above that wrote some of the checkers are sorely lacking in customer service. While I love the prices, I loathe dealing with some of the employees…

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