The dictionary would have you believe that a commissary is a restaurant. That is not the definition for millions of military families. The commissary, or the com, is a grocery store on a military installation.
If you have a military id that allows you access to the commissary, you can shop tax-free. Except, there’s a surcharge, let’s say $7.55 on $150 spent, which feels a lot like tax, hm?
We have commissary privileges until sometime this summer. We’ve slowly increased our shopping at other stores, not just because we can’t shop at the com forever, but also because commissaries are open fewer days and shorter hours than other grocers. Also, we’re not out in the middle of nowhere, we’re in the city.
However, when we lived at Ft Stewart, highly isolated from city life, >hold me< we used the commissary almost exclusively, venturing out to other grocers only when we couldn’t find something at the com. Like black-eyed peas on December 31.
I started using the commissary while we were still in Indy, but our com on Ft Ben is much less used, considering we probably only have a coupla thousand soldiers at the finance center. (DFAS)
While we were in Georgia, there were tens of thousands of soldiers stationed there, not counting retirees who stayed local. This meant that the com was usually crowded, and certain days of the month were to be avoided at all costs. Of course, it takes a few months for this information to register in your brain, and when it finally does, as you stand 30th in line, at the back of the store, holding 80 pounds of toddlers, next to some granddad veteran, makin small talk, sayin, “Sure glad I got paid today. Really didn’t wanna fish for my dinner tonight. Haha! Man, I love fishin. Y’all ever go over to…” the light bulb goes off: OMG WE ALL GET PAID ON THE SAME DAYS. i must never come here on payday. ever.