I'm not a huge fan of the military exchange system as a whole. I think it carries too much high-end merchandise and not enough stuff that the average family can afford. But there's one group of things that I really like: the Exchange Select brand. Whether it is hydrocortisone cream, transparent sticky tape, charcoal, or dishwasher detergent, Exchange Select brands offer good quality at outstanding prices.
For example, let's compare dishwasher detergent:
Exchange Select Fresh Scent Dishwasher Detergent Pacs, 60 count, $6.75
Cascade Fresh Scent Complete ActionPacs, 60 count, $11.99 at the Exchange
That's a significant savings.
While Exchange Select brands are a good value compared to their name-brand counterparts also sold at the military Exchanges, they are often an amazing value compared to the same products available at civilian stores.
For example, let's look at nighttime cold and flu medicine.
Exchange Select NightTime Cold and Flu Relief, Multi-symptom, 24 capsules, $3.79
NyQuil brand Cold and Flu Nighttime Relief, 24 capsules, $7.99 at the Exchange
NyQuil brand Cold and Flu Nighttime Relief, 24 capsules, $10.49 at CVS.com.
Even better, the Exchange Select brand Nighttime Multi-Symptom and Flu Relief (similar to NyQuil) is made by LNK International, the same folks that make the original NyQuil.
Exchange Select brands are manufactured for the Exchanges by a variety of manufacturers. Some products are made by the same manufacturers as their name brand counterparts, other products are made by reputable generic brand manufacturers.
I've never had a problem with the Exchange Select brands. My family uses the contact lens solution, hydrocortisone cream, razor blades, bandages, invisible tape (only 49 cents a roll,) charcoal, antacid, and various pain relievers and cold remedies. The prices are so good that I prefer to be stocked up on the Exchange brands rather than chance having to purchase these items at a local drug store when we really need them. I estimate we save several hundred dollars a year buying Exchange Select brands.
I encourage you to try the Exchange Select brand items. You might be pleasantly surprised at their quality given the low prices.