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Commissary Freebie: Reusable Shopping Bags

Who doesn't like the word "free" -- as in "free commissary bag?"

Thanks to a public relations push by Military OneSource, commissaries both stateside and overseas will soon start handing out one free, reusable bag to each shopper.

The blue and red bags, officials said, include the Military OneSource logo as well as the Military OneSource contact information (which, for the record, is MilitaryOneSource.mil and 800-342-9647).

Want a free commissary bag? This is what the commissary will soon be handing out. (Photo: Defense Commissary Agency.)

Want a free bag? This is what the commissary will soon be handing out. (Photo: Defense Commissary Agency.)

Commissary officials said they didn't know where, specifically, in the stores the shopping bags will be handed out. They said, however, that the whole thing is on a "while supplies last" basis.

The bag distribution is set to start in stores on Oct. 28. About 4,800 cases of the bags were sent over the entire commissary system, but officials didn't know exactly how many bags each store has.

Still, if you happen to be in the store and they happen to be still handing them out -- score a free commissary bag.

Unlike some other civilian stores like Target, the commissary does not offer a rebate for using a reusable bag instead of a plastic or paper bag when you shop.

The system annually spends somewhere around $5 million on disposable shopping bags. Last year in a report submitted to the Defense Department, commissary officials suggested that they should be allowed to charge shoppers a fee for those bags. That proposal has not yet seen any kind of action, but the commissary wouldn't be the first to suggest such a thing. Many municipalities, such as Washington, D.C., charges shoppers to use bags if they don't bring their own. I don't know about you, but having to pay out of pocket for a bag would certainly motivate me to remember to actually bring my reusable bags into the store from the car.

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