Why the commissary doesn’t ‘double’ coupons

     Commissary patrons continually wonder why DeCA doesn’t ‘double’ coupons? The answer is simple: Commercial stores operate at a profit by marking up their items. By law, commissaries must sell items at cost – not for profit. If a shopper redeems a manufacturer’s coupon for 25 cents and a commercial store doubles it to 50 cents, the manufacturer pays the store only the value of the coupon, which is 25 cents. The additional 25 cents comes out of the store’s built-in profit margin. Many local stores can double coupons, knowing that while they may lose money on a few items, they make up the difference in their overall markups. DeCA, however, has no such profit margin to make up the difference for a doubled coupon, so commissaries honor only the amount on the coupon that the manufacturer will rebate. For more information about using coupons at your commissary, or to find coupons online, go to DeCA’s Web site at: www.commissaries.com.

Online coupons save time, money

By Lynda Valentine, DECA  

            FORT LEE , Va. – When it comes to using coupons to save money on grocery bills, quit clipping and start clicking by downloading coupons off the World Wide Web! Coupon Web sites save shoppers both time and money, and open shoppers up to more products than just those being offered for sale locally.

“Coupon use is a great way for commissary patrons to stretch their military paychecks even further, on top of the more than 30 percent savings they already enjoy compared to commercial grocery stores,” says Patrick Nixon, Defense Commissary Agency director and chief executive officer.

If you worry the overwhelming number of e-mails sent by coupon sites will outweigh any cost savings you might gain, follow this advice suggested by numerous couponing Web sites:

·             Most sites offer the same coupon “packs” each week. That is, manufacturers make available the same coupons to all these sites, so it isn’t really necessary to sign up for every coupon site on the Web. 

·             Before signing up to a coupon distribution Web site, check the privacy statement to see if your information is going to be sold or forwarded to other companies. If your info is going to be shared, consider creating a separate e-mail account just for the free coupon site. If you choose to use your personal or work e-mail, be prepared for a deluge of additional offers.

·             Many local newspapers offer the same coupons online that can be found in their Sunday edition, so you can get the savings offered through coupons without having to clip the coupons from the paper.

For more information about using coupons at your commissary, or to find coupons online, go to DeCA’s Web site at: www.commissaries.com, and click on “Links.”

Extend Your Buying Power 

 http://dealcoupon.com   Online coupon codes that aren't time consuming to find or use and work at most of the top online retailers.

Wrong Receipt at AAFES Worth More Than Just a Free Drink

DALLAS – “A few dishonest associates are stealing your MWR benefit and AAFES needs your help to stop it,” said AAFES’ Director of Loss Prevention.

As a military command with a retail mission, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is constantly evaluating Loss Prevention measures to maximize the annual dividend returned to military Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs. One Loss Prevention measure that has been especially successful in eliminating employee theft actually enlists the support of PX/BX shoppers through the promise of a free drink or other promotional coupons for anyone who identifies an inaccuracy on their receipt.

“While we have signs all over the exchange advising customers of the offers, it is important to note that this effort goes far beyond free beverages, it’s really a critical loss prevention tool that allows AAFES to partner with customers to mitigate loss,” said Director of Loss Prevention Col. Jorge Garza. “AAFES recruits the customer, makes them part of the team and provides a token of appreciation to those who report inaccuracies. By taking the time to review their receipt, these ‘crime fighters’ help protect their dividends and ultimately strengthen the exchange benefit at home and to our deployed warriors abroad.”

At the beginning of this month, the customer/associate partnership helped catch an employee who had been ringing up 20 cent meals as separate transactions not connected with meal purchases. A shopper at the Fort Lewis Food Court noticed the associate had under rang their purchase and brought it to the attention of the Food Court Manager. 

When interviewed, the associate admitted to using the upgrade key to create a 20-cent charge, while collecting money for a complete meal which was later removed from the register. The resulting AAFES Loss Prevention investigation found that the Fort Lewis Food Court associate had stolen $3,500 and given away $40 of free food since April 2006.

As a result of the receipt effort, the military community will recover $3,540 through a signed promissory note, and the potential for future loss has been reduced as separation actions against the associate have been initiated. Furthermore, the Fort Lewis Military Police issued a citation and the Federal Prosecutor is reviewing the case for criminal prosecution.

“This had been going on for months, but it took a customer’s sharp eye to help us catch a thief and recover funds that belong to the military community,” said Col. Garza. “It is my sincere hope that all authorized exchange customers will follow the lead of our Fort Lewis shopper and double check their receipts.”

The sale of goods and services at AAFES operations in 2005 aided in the return of $229 million to military MWR programs. For 2005, AAFES paid a per capita dividend of $234 for every Soldier and Airman. “Every penny counts, in today’s budget constraint environment,” said Col. Garza. “Taking a few moments to ensure you’re charged correctly won’t only get you a free drink, but will also help maximize your return on the investment through increased dividends, potentially lower prices and more importantly, it allows AAFES to go where America’s warriors go.”

Cut the “fat” by clipping coupons 

      Trying to cut the “fat” out of your budget? How about clipping coupons? According to the Promotion Marketing Association 76 percent of the U.S. population clips coupons with savings of $3 billion per year. Commissaries accept manufacturer coupons, military only coupons, and Internet coupons. The use of coupons combined with overall commissary savings of 30 percent or more means you pay less and get more at your commissary. The Web site www.couponmonth.com offers useful clipping advice and a spreadsheet to track your coupon savings.

Commissaries accepting Internet coupons

FORT LEE, Va. – Commissaries are again accepting computer-generated Internet coupons with a couple of requirements to guard against fraud, Defense Commissary Agency officials announced.

This week all 273 commissaries around the world began accepting computer-generated Internet coupons that meet the following criteria: they must have a bar code that store checkouts can scan and they cannot be for free product. Photocopied or facsimile-generated coupons remain unacceptable at all commissaries.

 “Internet coupons are a popular medium customers use to save money, so we wanted to work out a way to provide this service. We’ve analyzed this issue and these requirements should adequately protect us against fraud while giving our customers the kind of the service they want,” said Scott Simpson, DeCA’s chief operating officer.

DeCA as well as other grocery retailers had stopped accepting home-printed coupons as an interim measure while the grocery industry grappled with losses incurred because of their fraudulent use. Analysts estimated the loss by coupon fraud to be millions of dollars to the grocery industry, which ultimately costs consumers in the form of raised prices to recoup losses.

Later this month, the agency’s Web site, www.commissaries.com, will re-establish links to Internet grocery coupon sites for the convenience of commissary shoppers.

DECA sale of the Week 

DECA weekly sales are listed for the military shopper


AAFES Sale of the Week 

AAFES weekly sales are listed for the military shopper



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