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Commissary and post exchanges

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  • Commissary and post exchanges

    I have enjoyed military base priveledges for years. I can remember cigarette machines, 35 cents a pack. I can remember carton of cigarrettes, marlboro for around 1.50. The salaries were kind of low back then too and some money was taken out to cover housing and other expenses. This was back in 1970's. This was in the Panama Canal Zone. (If you've never been there, you just don't know.)
    The most recent experience I had with commissary and base privledges was out in Guam when working on the MPS ships. Had an ID card with "Overseas Use Only" stamped on the face of the ID. I remember in late 1980's carton of Marlboro running at that time, five bucks, but with a coupon tag you pulled, you got 2.50 savings instantly, so carton of Marlboro ran as low as 2.50 and of course, now talking some 25 years ago.
    Here was my take on military exchanges and px. Great for overseas use, but useless in the states with all other competition around like Walmart and grocery stores. Out on Guam in 1994, they brought over KMART, which was the largest KMART in the world ever built up to that time, you should have seen the prices on Guam drop. Up to that time, the base was the cheapest place to shop. So what's your take on military commissaries and px in general? Is it worth going to them here in the states for you? I know where I live now, its not a military town, so no bases around. Retirees here have nowhere to go for shopping and going on post.

  • #2
    Re: Commissary and post exchanges

    Supermarkets tend to have loss-leaders -- staple items (e.g., milk) that they sell below cost in order to lure you in, and then make profit on everything else. Commissaries don't do that, they have the same low markup on everything. That's why you can find any one item cheaper elsewhere, but of course you don't ever buy just one thing at the supermarket, you buy a whole cartful. The price of the cartful shows the value of the commissary, not any one item.

    The big box stores have really reduced the value of the PX, however, because of volume and supply chain management. The PX is basically now a convenience shop for those living on post. It will always have good prices, although they will likely lack selection and variety compared to the big box stores.

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    • #3
      Re: Commissary and post exchanges

      When I was in Cuba, alcohol and meat were pretty cheap compared to New Jersey store prices. Alcohol especially.

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      • #4
        Re: Commissary and post exchanges

        With whom were you in Cuba with? I am hoping that I get to go to Gitmo someday on a miltary charter. (I'm an Aircraft Mechanic.) I knew a guy that went there, it would be nice to set foot in Cuba and get a stamp on my passport from there. I've done various charters . One time we picked up reservist coming back from Iraq, a year tour of duty, they had SPURS on thier boots. Called the Military order of the Spur. We picked them up in Mississippi and took them to Norfolk. They were out of Norfolk. From the airlfield, I could see Little Creek Amphibian base, which reminded me of taking out a vessel, the LST 1196 back in early 1980's. Done other charters to Pope AFB, took reservist to LaCrosse Wisconsin, I believe they were going to Fort McCoy or some place like this.
        Last edited by marinecomm; May 25th, 2013, 05:35 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Commissary and post exchanges

          I had a relative visit me from New York City a few weeks ago and they were checking the prices out at the PX for a carton of cigarettes and it was about 30 dollars cheaper than there.

          The PX will match the prices of sales off-post but still when I purchased my screen TV at Target, I just had to show a lower price on Amazon on my iPhone and they matched it too. I did buy my BOSE home theater system from the PX and it rocks.

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          • #6
            Re: Commissary and post exchanges

            Some news on commissaries

            http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...3317843&rank=2

            And CPT Redleg made a comment to my post about the removal of National Guard/Reserve on DoD Guards and I remarked about the commissary linkage. Yes, there were other issues behind it than just that and the Captain is right.

            http://www.defense.gov/releases/rele...releaseid=1529

            From the link above
            Among the many considerations taken into account by DoD officials when authorizing the change were medical benefits and commissary privileges two primary areas in which active and Reserve personnel have different entitlements. An ID card alone does not automatically authorize access to medical benefits or commissary privileges, both of which will continue to require additional documentation to allow members of the Reserve components to receive them.
            Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; May 25th, 2013, 10:15 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Commissary and post exchanges

              Correction, not Fraternal order of the Spur, they were MILITARY ORDER of the spur, and here it is......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Spur

              I quit smoking cigarettes in 1992. Cigarettes have gotten ridiculous. I remember in the Panama Canal back in the 70's everyone in Panama wanted you to buy cigarettes. Cigarettes in the town ran and I won't forget this.....10 bucks a carton. For ten packs. That was big money in the 70's. In the base, they were like two bucks. Here is the kicker. The USA got in a no smoking kick, you cant even smoke in bars today. Now, carton of Marlboro runs around 50 bucks or more here in the USA and you can get a carton of Marlboro in Panama for roughly 15 bucks. Way cheaper than in the USA. I can get cigarettes in Philippines for 5 bucks a carton. A few years back, now probably a bit more like everything else. I can't say that I miss the PX. I think they serve their purpose overseas when you want american goodies and not have to pay an arm and a leg for U.S. goods in the local economy.

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              • #8
                Re: Commissary and post exchanges

                Thought you was 51 yrs. of age??? You graduated high school in either 1979/1980......what was you 12 roaming the high seas?

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