Huge news for military shoppers: the commissary will soon offer a reloaded e-coupon card, similar to those used by civilian stores.
The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) announced what they are calling a “loyalty card” at a recent conference in Norfolk, Va., according to the Army Times. The card is expected to be available in the fall.
Unlike typical store loyalty cards, however, it sounds like this one will not result in automatic savings in store. Instead it will serve another aspect of civilian loyalty card programs (like those used at Safeway and Kroger), allowing shoppers to upload e-coupons available on the commissary website to the card.
Is anyone else as excited about this as I am?
Of course, there are still a lot of questions. Will we be able to use the card with otherwise universal e-coupon services such as Cellfire? Will we be permitted to use an e-coupon and a regular manufacturer coupon on the same item (a practice permitted by most civilian stores who use a similar program)? How many coupons will be available and will they be any good?
While it will be a bit of a hassle to remember yet another thing to take into the commissary (… I am forever leaving my ID in the car), it is well worth it for a chance to save even more on our groceries. It’s also exciting to hear that the commissary is starting to catch-up with the rest of the supermarket world’s coupon policies. Yes, we do pay significantly less as a rule at the commissary than we would anywhere else, but for those of us who enjoy the savings offered by coupons, it can be frustrating to know there are electronic ones out there that we cannot use.
You better believe I’ll be following up on this one. I’m no extreme couponer, but I do love to see that grocery bill nose dive as they ring up my little stack of coupons each week.
Also of note from the Army Times story is DeCA’s plan to start using special tags on items to highlight sales and savings – something they aren’t very good at right now. While the story says we can expect to see these signs starting in July, I noticed them at my commissary Monday. I also noticed, however, that still not everything on sale was labeled.
If you are interested in finding all of your location’s sales, I suggest you visit the sale section of DeCA’s website. Type in your name and other information, select your commissary and view the full list of sale items. You can note what is really, really reduced and look for it on your next trip - no need to rely on those signs that may or may not be there.
UPDATE: More info on the E-Coupon Card from DeCA can be found here.