Will the Commissary Price Match Other Stores?

commissary aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan
U.S. military service members and civilian personnel shop at the commissary aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, June 21, 2016. (U.S Marine Corps photo/Justin A. Fisher)

This week, Aldi has avocados on sale for 49 cents each. I love avocados. But I do not love driving all the way to Aldi. The commissary's avocados are about $1 each. Will the commissary price match so I can just buy them there?

I feel your pain. Avocados are one of the best things on the planet. Their price, however, can often be enough to make you swear them off forever.

Sadly, you won't be able to get the commissary to give you the Aldi price instead of the one it has posted. That's because the commissary does not price match other stores -- not Aldi, not WalMart, not anyone.

Commissary 101: How to Shop at the Commissary

Why doesn't it price match? It has to do with federal law. The commissary system is required by law to resell items at their purchase price. So if the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) bought the avocados for $1 each, that's the price at which it must resell them.

So, perhaps you're wondering, if the commissary is such a good deal, why does Aldi have avocados for half the price?

"Shoppers may find selected items at lower prices in commercial stores for several reasons. One reason is that commercial stores often sell items as 'loss leaders' at prices below their cost prices to attract customers who they hope will buy other high-profit items during their shopping trip to get the low price 'loss leaders,' " said Kevin Robinson, a DeCA spokesman. "However, because commissaries are required by law to sell items at cost -- neither higher, nor lower -- we can't offer 'loss leaders' or match our prices to items that may be priced lower at commercial stores off base."

My advice? If Aldi is too far for you to drive to save 50 cents on an avocado, price match instead at Walmart. 

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