Awhile back I was asked by Amy if I knew what the coupon policy at military commissaries was. I didn’t, but I told her I could find out! I emailed them and they were very kind to give me a response to my specific questions about stacking commissary and manufacturer’s coupons, as well as their policy on coupons for “buy one get one free”.
Here’s what they told me:
About Coupon “Stacking”
Commissaries cannot accept a manufacturer coupon and a commissary or military coupon for the purchase of a single item. Generally, customers may use only one coupon per item in DeCA commissaries. Even coupons without “exclusionary language,” such as “NOT TO BE USED WITH ANY OTHER COUPON,” “NOT TO BE USED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER,” “ONE COUPON PER PURCHASE,” etc., may not be used in combination on the purchase of an item. This policy is in line with the policies of other DoD resale activities and our commercial counterparts.
“Military” or “commissary” only coupons should not be confused with store coupons. Store coupons are provided by a commercial retailer for use solely in their stores. DeCA does not provide any coupons in the commissary; all coupons, including “military” or “commissary” coupons, are provided by manufacturers. Manufacturers reimburse us when we redeem these coupons.
Store coupons are “reimbursed” by the store chain with their profits; this is why they can allow you to use a manufacturer coupon in conjunction with their store coupon. DeCA is required by law to sell at cost; therefore, we do not have a profit margin to offer store coupons and absorb the loss.
There is one “special” situation in which commissary personnel may accept multiple coupons on the purchase of a single item. Multiple coupons means more than one coupon redeemed for a single item. These multiple coupon situations are typically short-term and applicable only during a particular commissary promotion. The commissary does not decide when multiple coupons will be offered, the products they will be used on, hand out the coupons, nor advertise in advance that multiplecoupons are being offered. It is up to the company representatives to decide if and when multiple coupons will be used and the commissary normally has minimal notice when the representative will be handing them out in the commissary.
When a company’s representative is authorizing multiple coupons to be offered on a product, coupons are made available by the company’s representative directly to patrons when they are in the commissary to purchase the item. If a customer comes to the commissary with a coupon for that item, the customer has the option of using their 2coupon or the multiple coupons being offered in-store for that item.
However, the customer cannot add their coupon to the multiple coupons being offered in-store, thereby increasing coupon savings not intended by the manufacturer. The total number of coupons allowed and the total value of the coupons cannot exceed the manufacturer or broker offer for that item.
Using Coupons for Buy One Get One Free
Can you use two coupons (one for each item) on a buy-one-get-one-free sale and can you use a manufacturer’s coupon for “Buy one get one free” along with a manufacturer’s coupon for $1/2?
If you use a buy one get one free coupon (BOGO), you cannot use another coupon in conjunction with the BOGO coupon. Per DeCA Directive 40-6, paragraph 7-4m, customers may use only one coupon per item purchased in DeCA commissaries. For example, if the coupon requires the purchase of one package of gum in order to get the second package free, your one BOGO coupon counts as a coupon being used on the package of gum you are purchasing AND as a result of this purchase you get the second package free.
Update: Here’s even more information I found from Commissaries.com:
Do commissaries accept coupons?
Yes. Commissaries accept most types of coupons as part of purchase transactions in accordance with the terms and conditions stated on a coupon.
Commissaries CANNOT accept “in-house” coupons issued by commercial grocery stores or supermarkets.
Patrons who wish to use coupons as part of a purchase transaction must buy the item(s) indicated on a coupon, and-except in foreign overseas areas-must use a coupon prior to or on the expiration date stated on a coupon.
Commissaries located in foreign overseas areas accept coupons up to six months after the expiration date stated on a coupon.
Do commissaries ever have “double coupon” or “triple coupon” promotions like those offered by commercial stores?
No. The “double” or “triple” coupon promotions offered by commercial stores involve doubling, tripling (or otherwise increasing) the face value of a coupon. Commercial stores who offer these types of promotions get paid by the coupon issuer only for the face value of a coupon, and have to absorb the costs of “doubling” or “tripling” coupon face value in their pricing and profit structure.
Because commissaries are required by law to sell goods at prices set only high enough to cover the cost of those goods, commissaries make no profit from which to pay the costs associated with “double” coupon promotions.
Additionally, DeCA cannot use funds provided for the operation of commissaries to support such promotions, because law strictly prescribes the uses of these funds, and “promotional support” is not among the allowable uses of these funds.
Commissaries do occasionally offer a different type of “double coupon” promotion than described above. For these promotions, manufacturers or other coupon issuers agree that commissaries may accept more than one coupon on the purchase of an item, and usually supply large numbers of coupons to patrons in the commissary in support of such promotions. These “double coupon” promotions involve doubling the number of coupons accepted on the purchase of an item, but DO NOT involve doubling (or otherwise increasing) the face value of a coupon.
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May I use coupons in combination on the purchase of an item in a commissary?
No, customers may use only one coupon per item in DeCA commissaries. Even coupons without “exclusionary language,” such as “NOT TO BE USED WITH ANY OTHER COUPON, ” “NOT TO BE USED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER,” “ONE COUPON PER PURCHASE,” etc. , may not be used in combination on the purchase of an item. This policy is in line with the policies of other DoD resale activities and our commercial counterparts.
Can I use coupons generated from the Internet in a commissary?
Yes, commissaries gladly accept Internet or home-printed coupons provided they meet the following requirements – the coupons must have a typical barcode and Product Identification Number (PIN) or GS1 DataBar. A Dot Scan Barcode may appear below the expiration date, but is only required if stated on the coupon, e.g., “Do not accept without a Dot Scan Barcode below the expiration date.” Internet coupons cannot be accepted for free products, however, “Buy One Get One Free” coupons are acceptable if they meet all other requirements.
Procter and Gamble (P & G) does not authorize Internet coupons for any of their products. Carrie’s note: this is *generally* true, but not always.
These policies are applicable at all Defense Commissary Agency stores in the Continental United States.
I hope this is helpful to our awesome military readers! By the way, if you have a blog and ever feature deals at any of the commissaries here in Colorado Springs, shoot me an email (email@example.com) and I’ll consider sharing it with Springs Bargains readers! I don’t have access to a commissary so I can’t keep up with the deals there, but I know they do have some great finds.
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Welcome to Springs Bargains, a service of our real estate business, Circa Real Estate Group! I’m Carrie, and since 2008 I’ve been sharing free and discounted ways to eat, play, and enjoy life in Colorado Springs.