Commissary: Getting Started

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When shopping at the Commissary there is one major thing we should keep in mind. Commissary shopping is not a right, it is a privilege. Not anyone can shop there, choosing to abuse or misuse it can result in a revocation of your privilage.  We will discuss revocation and misuse in a later article.

All commissaries charge you a usage fee, think of this usage fee like a tax. This “tax” currently sits at a comfortable 4.5%. This is assessed to your entire basket purchase. There are many states that do not charge you taxes on grocery items. This will vary from state to state. It is always good to know your states sales tax laws. This information is available on your state’s website. California (where I reside) is one of the states that does not charge tax on grocery items. I do not pay taxes on milk or food out in town. However, when I purchase a 12 pack of Coke, I pay what is called CRV (California Redemption Value). CRV is charged to us when we purchase pretty much everything that isn’t milk or juice, and comes in a plastic bottle or can.  There is a list of things CRV is charged on and it has no bearing on what my main point is. However, if you are curious as to what items CRV is charged on check out the website

The point is this, in instances where your state has things like CRV your commissary will honor that law. We do not get around paying CRV at the commissary, we are charged the appropriate amount and as well that pesky usage fee. So if a gallon of milk is the same price in town as your local commissary, and your running pennies close to your budget this month, you may want to consider going to your local grocery store instead.


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