for college? Use your commissary benefit
By Carole Young
FORT LEE, Va. – Ask young service members today
why they enlisted or re-enlisted in the military and often their
reply will be – education. For many young people with limited
financial resources, military service has become a viable option
to offset the increasing cost of a higher education. And one of
the best ways college-bound service members can save for that
education is by using their commissary benefit.
With commissaries providing savings of 30 percent or more over
commercial supermarkets, a family of four can save $2,400 a year
by shopping regularly at a commissary. Single service members
can save an estimated $800 with routine commissary shopping.
That’s money in the wallet for future college expenses.
“Commissary savings put more money in the bank,” said
retired Army National Guard Col. Ron Tipa, who represents the
Army National Guard as a member of DeCA’s Patron Council.
“I’ve been a loyal commissary shopper for many years and I
figure I’ve put two kids through college, thanks to commissary
savings,” stated Tipa during a recent council meeting.
For service members, having extra money can make a difference
when it comes to making a deposit in the college savings account
or paying for the balance of tuition costs and books, according
to Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Deborah Brian, DeCA’s senior
“Many times the cost of a college class exceeds the $250 per
course limit that tuition assistance allows and the military
student must make up the difference,” Brian explained.
“Here’s where commissary savings kick in to provide the
extra money a student needs to fund the additional costs and,
hopefully, keep young service members from digging deeper into
their pockets to pay for the extras.
“Awesome savings can be found on items that
young service members routinely purchase in convenience stores .
. . such as chips, produce, soda, snack foods, over-the-counter
medicines, shampoo, disposable razors and shaving cream, to name
a few,” Brian added. “And you never know when a favorite
item might be even less because it’s on sale.” Special sales
and “Manager Specials” provide shoppers with savings beyond
the 30 percent that commissaries normally provide.
So, for food, health and beauty products, head to your
commissary and put the savings in the bank for your college