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It Can't Be Just Me

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It can't be just me thats wondering why the commissaries and exchanges are charging full price for their goods. I seem to remember back in 1967 and 1968 that we bought things at substantially lower cost than what the general public paid. In particular electronics and tobacco.

I don't really care if I as a 100% disabled vet get a discount at the px's, commissaries or exchanges but the active duty men and women should be.

Knocking the tax plus 25% off or being charged 2% over cost should be a step in the right direction. This would be better than a raise and wouldn't cost the taxpayer any money. With so few people doing the protecting of this country, it's the least that could be done to help out the service men and women and their families.

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It is not just you. Being an Army Brat, I grew up utilizing the commissary system. At one assignment we would shop for a month at a time, had weekly milk and bread runs, so we never used the stores in the local community. Now that I am retired military, I have found it just as easy to shop at WalMart. With the commissary prices being high and the 25 per cent surcharge, it is just not the value that it once used to be.

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x2. I too am retired Army and live within about 40 miles of Ft. Hood with all the facilities there. However, I get better choice of meats and produce at a HEB and WalMart two miles from my house than I would at Ft. Hood. Forget that what you pay at PX's and commissaries are no better than what you get "on the economy", the choices just aren't as good. It seems that many, if not most, of the "bennies" that were promised to me when I entered service in 1959 are gone or disappearing. Now that we are going to have to pay for TFL, that's close to the last straw. If I were I young person thinking of entering the service, I'd think again.

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I was bored and looking through some old threads and found this one...which has a number of incorrect comments. The commissary sells at cost (no tax) plus a 5% surcharge. As for the exchange, if you look around you can find some bargains. Men's high quality clothing is discounted a great deal over what it would be at Dillards, Macy's, etc. Other items savings can be on tax only. Liquor cannot be discounted more that 10% of the amount for which it sells off post/base. Some in congress, and other politicians, want to close both facilities. Profits from the exchange goes to supporting morale and welfare activities.

We shop the commissary when able, not so much the PX/BX.

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FIVE. You bored? Never would have thought it... :P

I'm waiting for the laundry to get done! :) Your right, some very misleading comments! Last year I was looking at a Driver (golf), but could not justify the price at Golfsmith or the PGA Store. A friend found and bought it at Ft Hood. :) I was no where near a base! When I'm camping for more than a couple days and within 40+/- miles of a base, I'll drive in and look around....

As for politicians, the poor folks don't get paid much and don't think their getting their fair share! So they want to close down anything that they can't get a kick back from! :angry::lol:

Carl

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You are correct, normally I am never ever bored. However, we are in a CG with a weak wifi...and it is (and was) raining. Couldn't get on line so I started wondering around my computer between attempts.

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It is true that commissary sells at cost plus the surcharge (which pays for running, building, maintaing) the commissary. Stores like Walmart and the warehouse stores (Costco, SAMs etc) are the reasons the savings have dwindled in both the commissary and BX/PX etc--it is all about buying power. Only 1% of the US population serves in the military. Add the number of retires and others authorized to shop in base stores maybe means 4 or 5% of the population. Walmart and the other stores are open to everyone including us. How do you compete with that. There are still very good deals and exchange store profits go back into the bases for recreational activities as well--that is a good reason for me to try and shop on base. I want to do what I can for the young men and women who have come after me doing the job now.

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I ddon't know all I need to know. But until 2008 or so commissaries were cheaper.

 Ft Campbell they had a real bakery. Now they have prepack from Pa that is dry, shipped frozen and thawed and so on. The chief activity seems to be counting the inventory. Aleady stale before it hits the shelve, and higher priced. Their little nook or eating a snack and a drink, only operates at noon.

The meat market  doesn't have quite the selection it had. In response to needing to stock the cases more, they aren't hiring more butchers but bringing in prepack which is from who knows where and of course several days of shelf lie is already gone, and it is higher.

 No local fruit and vegetables any more. All from Tx outfit or was. Inferior quality, unripe sometimes and small, this in the middle of farm country and orchards to the north and around. Use to get very good local corn, green beans, melons and all kinds of produce in season. Lots and lots of CocaCola product in stacks in the floors and shelves.

Use to get quite a bit of German and other products in a section. Section gone and just few, scattered ,insignifigant items. Less variety and stocked like Wal mart now with what the Companies want to sell in the best slots not what we used to find.

apparently is to kill off the Commissaries and PXs, if not directly by making them no better than Wal Mart and higher priced.

Fact that Wal Mart and others and Congressmen representing these groups for years argued that  the commissaries and  Pxs were cutting into their bottom line now that they have located near thee bases.

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As an update......now they are in the planning stages of combining the AAFES PX and the commissary.

DoD claims they are not being utilized by soldiers and retirees.

Not sure what or who has been behind all this but think how cheap cigarettes were in the commissary versus the PX. Then they removed cigs from  the commissary. 

Class VI was always the cheap place for adult refreshments - now they are closed and you have to go to the PX.

To me - it's all about the $$. As more non-vets get into the decision stream - our benefits shrink and a profit must be shown. It is a shame to say, Walmart and Costco are the the PX/Commissary as they are both often cheaper.

But "they" have no memories of getting paid once per month, in cash from the pay master, then making tracks to the commissary for your monthy stash of smokes , then the Class VI for beverages.

Glad I do.....it was a right of passage!

g

 

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Wayne.

In the early 60's, it all depended upon when the pay master found you! :(

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In 1961 as a young LCpl (E-3) I got in line to get paid. When it was my turn the pay master said, "No Pay Due."  They had overpaid me somewhere down the line by about $350. If it had not been for my folks and Earlene's folks and the Navy Relief Society we would have starved to death.  Spaghetti with catchup and pinto beans were the daily meals.  We had enough fuel for 3 weeks to heat the place. The other week we stayed in bed to keep warm. Of course that was fun. Earlene had to stay home, not working so she put up with it more than I did.

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I got an email re the joining of the PX/BX and Commissary systems.  It makes sense to me, but apparently there is a lot of in fighting and turf wars, so I can't see that happening soon.  BTW, the Class VI is part of the PX/BX system, and, as of January, has not been closed.  If you shop in there when they have sales you can really get some bargains.  Every time we go in the commissary, there are way more retirees than active duty.  Many years ago, I used to fuss about all the retirees in there....now I are one!!:(

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We are traveling and once we leave visiting Disney World we head up the Eastern Seaboard. From Mayport Naval Station to Fort Belvoir, VA, we will stop and will include 4 other military RV parks. We will visit the PX's and Commissaries along the way. Not a great savings in the PX's as they all have premium quality items but no tax helps.

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Be glad you still got something!  The way benefits for the Military has been cut ....I'm surprised they still have Famcamps! :P:angry:

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They are trying to put them out of business. The BX at Arnold is nothing but a Liquor Store now with a few items they must be required to carry.

The PX in Chattanooga, Tn is also just a liquor Store now.

The Commissaries are now carrying private label stuff such as butter that nobody wants and few buy.

At Campbell the PX is a shadow of what it once was up until about 12 or so wife spent typically $3-400.00for various things like dog food, and detergent and a myrid of other things. You cannot buy a an Army service ring there anymore..and the cost is more than Wal Mart.

The Commissary has a bakery in name only now. Baked Goods or concotions are shipped in dry and cold from Pa. etc. The biggest activity is inventory in the bakery. ales are a shadow of before.

The rest of the store features very large displays of Coca Cola products from drinks to waters and so on.

The International section is gone supposedly integrated with other products on the regular shelves. They just are not there and if they are they are impossible to find.

Produce is now Grade B and in a sea of corn and other foods it is all imported from Texas it seems and ready to feed the chickens almost.

We use to find products not available at most other stores instead it is more of less.

They still get a lot of traffic at the Commissary but not as much is bought by anyone.

The Butcher is till there but when stocks are down someone calls Virginia and they are told to hire another Butcher . Instead they bring in more and more prepack already old when it hits the case and of undetermined quality.

It is no mis judgement to say they are trying the Walmartizationization of the Commissary and Bxs and PXs with  the intention of closing them once sales get below a certain level.

Local Businesses complain to their Congressmen  since Eisenhower that the PX and Commissaries are taking business away from them and God knows Business thinks it owns Government and trickle down to the people is the game.

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We travel extensively and stay at military facilities whenever we can. We have never found the conditions you described. Yes there are PX's and commissaries that are smaller than others and their stock is what is in demand for the facility. I do agree that some of the smaller ones stock a lot of alcohol but in my 23 years in the USMC I can say that military people do drink a lot so alcohol is in demand. In my younger days I would appreciate that. Now in my mid to late 70's I would rather see other items, but it is what it is.

I will continue to support our PX's, BX's and commissaries with the hope they will never close. I do realize that one needs to shop wisely and look for bargains wherever they are.

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I remember in the late 60's reading an article in the Tacoma newspaper about retail merchants in the SeaTac area petitioning DOD to increase on-base prices, as the lower prices were unfair to them. That's about the time I remember on-base prices slowly rising, I have no idea if that was a "cause and effect" though.

I shop AFEES and commissary whenever we are near a large military installation. Hopefully  it contributes to keeping the facilities open for AD personnel.

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On 6/22/2018 at 6:21 PM, wayne77590 said:

We travel extensively and stay at military facilities whenever we can. We have never found the conditions you described. Yes there are PX's and commissaries that are smaller than others and their stock is what is in demand for the facility. I do agree that some of the smaller ones stock a lot of alcohol but in my 23 years in the USMC I can say that military people do drink a lot so alcohol is in demand. In my younger days I would appreciate that. Now in my mid to late 70's I would rather see other items, but it is what it is.

I will continue to support our PX's, BX's and commissaries with the hope they will never close. I do realize that one needs to shop wisely and look for bargains wherever they are.

My perception as well, although we usually stay off post/base.  To be honest, I just like to go on the military facilities.  Everybody is nice, friendly and courteous.  The post/base is always clean and well maintained.  I enjoy it when some young troop holds the door and says, "Good morning, sir!"  Of course, he doesn't know if I'm a retired four star general or a retired PFC.:D

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We almost stopped using the commissary entirely.  Their pricing is not what it used to be, and we find that Kroger's, Wal Mart and other food stores can usually meet or beat the commissary in price, and offer a better variety of foods.  The DoD has been in discussions to turn DECA over to AAFES.  Once that happens, I believe that will be the beginning of the end.

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In many instances the "community businesses" complained about pricing. The DOD in its infinite wisdom decided to be nice and make prices relatively close to the outside community. Hence, pricing is comparable.  The big savings is on the tax as large purchase taxable items are the savings when shopping at an exchange.  On a $1, in Texas it is only 8 cents but on $100 you can save $8. Buying a smart TV for $1000 can save oneself $82. 

It pays to shop around.

Another thing I have found about Exchanges is that the brand of clothing and items always seems to be the "upward" brand, whereas when I shop I'm okay on Vanity Fair for clothing and a lot cheaper.

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11 hours ago, wayne77590 said:

In many instances the "community businesses" complained about pricing. The DOD in its infinite wisdom decided to be nice and make prices relatively close to the outside community. Hence, pricing is comparable.  The big savings is on the tax as large purchase taxable items are the savings when shopping at an exchange.  On a $1, in Texas it is only 8 cents but on $100 you can save $8. Buying a smart TV for $1000 can save oneself $82. 

It pays to shop around.

Another thing I have found about Exchanges is that the brand of clothing and items always seems to be the "upward" brand, whereas when I shop I'm okay on Vanity Fair for clothing and a lot cheaper.

Right! I was stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA in the late 60's and remember reading in the newspaper about Tacoma business' complaining about the post commissary and exchange undercutting their prices, causing them to lose business and profit. By the time I was re-assigned "elsewhere" in 67 subtle changes could be noticed at the exchange, less at the commissary.

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