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Commissary Connection - Volume 2 Issue 2


Volume 2, Issue 2
February 2010 

DeCA works with DoD's Military Saves to promote financial fitness in the military community
In these hard economic times, financial problems are all too real for many of the nation's military and their families. The Department of Defense proclaimed Feb. 21 through the 28, Military Saves Week. The Defense Commissary Agency joins it and other DoD agencies and installation financial institutions to help reinforce the message to the military community to cut debt and save money to build wealth.

As part of DeCA's partnership with Military Saves, commissaries will work with installation financial counselors to arrange "savings" tours of the stores during Military Saves Week. The tours are designed to help shoppers learn how they can stretch their grocery budgets with tips that include taking advantage of price promotions and coupons.  For more information, contact your local installation financial counselor.



Please note: The Defense Commissary Agency does not and can not endorse any product mentioned in this newsletter; any product mentioned is for informational purposes only.

Get your 'Game On!' and save big 
on your Super Bowl Party
DeCA's "Game On!" campaign reminds you that the commissary should be your first stop as you prepare for your Super Bowl XLIV party Feb. 7. You can get all your snacks and party food at savings approaching 50-60 percent.

The football action on television is expected to be hot, but that's nothing compared to the sizzling savings your commissaries have for you.

Ocean Spray will roll in "Mardi Gras Savings" with a truckload sale
Ocean Spray's truckload of "Mardi Gras Savings" will be rolling into your local commissary around mid-February, so look for great sale prices on a variety of Ocean Spray juice products. 
Look for "Home Grown Goodness" in Del Monte Foods' truckload sale    From mid-February thru mid-March Del Monte will feature the 2010 "Home Grown Goodness" truckload sale. You can look for great sale prices on a variety of Del Monte, Contadina and College Inn products.

"Focus on fitness...Steps to a healthier U"
Check out your local commissary for Unilever and Continental Sarvis' first "Focus on Fitness...Steps to a Healthier U" contest from mid-February thru the end of the month. Look for in-store coupon flyers featuring more than $12 in savings on many top Unilever wellness brands. 

Getting healthy is about making choices that are good for you and good for your family. From the amount of food you eat to the amount of physical activity you get every day, it all contributes to wellness. 

Now, when you buy any Unilever Brand, you're also contributing to the wellness of your installation, because every Unilever product you buy at your commissary gets your base or post that much closer to winning healthy rewards. Unilever will reward winning bases with more than $75,000 in wellness prizes that support fitness and healthy lifestyles.

Twenty-one prizes will be awarded based on commissary sales. Let's "Focus on Fitness" with "Steps to a Healthier U"!

"Start Making Choices ... Your Plan for a Balanced Life" with ConAgra Foods health and wellness event
"Start Making Choices ... Your Plan for a Balanced Life" is a way to help you enjoy a balanced life based on MyPyramid guidelines and personalized online tools targeting nutrition, activity and well-being. Check out your local commissary to find information about this program and the key elements to get started on a path to a healthier lifestyle. 
You'll also find product demonstrations throughout the commissaries and a rebate offer on certain ConAgra brands that will provide additional stock-up savings on top of great sale prices.
If you like grapefruit, now's the time to get it
during Ocean Spray's grapefruit sale

During February, look for Ocean Spray's "Grapefruit Tie-in" promotion to help you buy fresh grapefruit and grapefruit juice with coupons provided to your local commissaries. You can receive a coupon for a free bag of fresh grapefruit with the purchase of two 64-ounce bottles of Ocean Spray grapefruit juice. Sale prices will be in effect on Ocean Spray 100-percent grapefruit juice and blended grapefruit juice.

Check out  C. Lloyd Johnson's
"America Land of the Free" sale
During C. Lloyd Johnson's' "America Land of the Free" sale, look in your commissary for great savings and great coupons on brands such Minute Maid, Campbells, V8, Purex, Renuzit and many more.
C. Lloyd Johnson, a product distributor to commissaries, also supports the Scholarships for Military Children program, donating more than $23,000 to this cause in 2009. In February, commissaries worldwide will have another opportunity to take part in this very special promotion as C. Lloyd Johnson will donate to the scholarship program 25 cents per case by participating manufacturers.

big savings on Quaker and Tropicana
In keeping with DeCA's health and wellness theme, this year's promotion will feature substantial savings on 18 major Quaker and Tropicana brand items placing special emphasis on those healthy brands with special recipe cards, Web site links and healthy tie-in features for all of you.

Quaker has recently launched this worldwide "Go Humans Go" initiative, a new social purpose movement powered by Quaker and the human energy of Americans around the world. Quaker, which energizes people's lives every day with the wholesome goodness of whole-grain oats, is now encouraging Americans to share that energy for others through donations, grants and volunteer opportunities.

Commissary customers and employees have the opportunity to earn a $500 grant to be used for a start-up organization or a charity they may be involved in that benefits their military community.

One winner from each store band (a total of 14) will receive a $500 grant to make their projects a reality. An overall winner will be selected from the 14 winners to receive the "Fuel It Forward - Go Humans Go" trophy and a $3,000 grand prize! Winners will be announced in mid-February and honored at their DeCA commissary in early March.

Check out ConAgra's "Big Game, Bigger Savings"
truckload event, benefiting Scholarships for
Military Children
ConAgra Foods is kicking off a year of great savings for you with the "Big Game, Bigger Savings" truckload event through January and ending mid February.  Their truckload of savings are sure to score a touchdown with your home team as you look for great savings on brands such as Hunts, Pam, Healthy Choice, Marie Callender and Banquet. 

The "Big Game, Bigger Savings" event will raise awareness and money for the Scholarships for Military Children program.  ConAgra will donate a portion of its truckload sale revenue to support this great cause that helps military children achieve success through education.

Yes, you too, can win an all-expense-paid trip to the 2010 Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas
From Jan. 21 through Feb. 10, Dr Pepper and Motts will offer you a chance to meet with today's most popular country music stars.  Ten DeCA customers and their guests (five from DeCA East and five from DeCA West) will win a trip to the 2010 Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.

Trip packages will include: Roundtrip airfare, roundtrip ground transportation, deluxe hotel accommodations for two for two nights,  
breakfast on Sunday and Monday, welcome gift upon arrival, two passes to Dr Pepper welcome reception, two passes to Dr Pepper pre-show party, two tickets to awards show, two tickets to post show all-star jam, all hotel taxes and service fees associated with package, and onsite travel support staff

Check your local commissary for combined Dr Pepper and Motts displays promoting these items and this great contest.

Stock up and save with Kimberly-Clark Products
Hot sale prices on leading Kimberly-Clark products will encourage you to buy multiple products or to trade up to bundle packs and stock up from       mid-January through mid-February. 

To further ease the strain on your wallets, you can enter to win one of the 200 $50 American Express gift cards being given away in commissaries worldwide. 

Look for Kimberly-Clark displays that include shelf cards with sweepstakes entry forms and posters at your commissary for your chance to win a card and save money on these products.
Check out Old El Paso's halftime sales event
Old El Paso brand items are popular dishes to serve while cheering for your favorite Super Bowl team.  From mid January through mid February, Old El Paso will offer great sales to help feed those hungry fans cheering at your football parties.  To find high-value coupons on popular Old El Paso products, check out the great Super Bowl displays at your commissary.



If you can't make it to the commissary,
make the trip to February's On-Site Sales

Your commissary benefit takes care of authorized shoppers who aren't near commissaries by taking commissary goods on the road to Guard and Reserve centers across the United States for regional on-site sales.

We are conducting these sales out of warehouses, aircraft hangars, armories, tents in parking lots and even out of semi-trailers.

Click on the picture above to go to our Web page with the times and locations of our upcoming on-site sales.  






Question:  Why don't commissaries offer an incentive to customers who use reusable bags, such as a 5- or 10-cent credit per bag used, like some retail grocery stores do?

Answer:  While some retail grocery stores may offer a credit to customers for using reusable bags, they pay for this marketing program by marking up their prices to account for their overhead costs and their desired profit. Commissaries sell their products at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge, so we have no markup on products to pay for this incentive because we pass the savings directly to our customers.

(By law, surcharge funds may only be used to pay for commissary construction, renovation, repair, equipment and store level automation systems such as the checkouts. There are no provisions in the law allowing DeCA to use surcharge funds to credit customers for using reusable bags.)

Although it's not possible for commissaries to offer such an incentive, the average savings of 30 percent or more customers receive by shopping at the commissary are much greater than what you would earn through such a program at a retail store.

If you ever have any questions or concerns about commissary shopping, you can fill out the Customer Comments Form, and our staff will research your issue and respond to you.









Don't forget to check out
for commissary locations,
online gift shopping and
coupons at links.cfm#IYSC.


Deadline for 2010 Scholarships for
Military Children fast approaching
The Feb. 17 deadline for students to apply for the 2010 Scholarships for Military Children Program is fast approaching. All students interested and eligible to apply are encouraged to gather their materials and submit their applications as soon as possible.

One of the materials needed is an essay on the following topic: "You can travel back in time, however, you cannot change events. What point in history would you visit and why?"

The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created 10 years ago to recognize the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community.

Applications are available in commissaries worldwide and online through Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business Feb. 17. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants.

[Read more at Deadline.]

More customers, higher savings point to
stronger benefit
Even a challenging economy couldn't diminish the strength of the commissary benefit as more customers decided to take advantage of their annual savings.

In fiscal 2009, customers conducted 94.7 million transactions at commissaries, up 1.81 million from fiscal 2008. Increased visits and the percentage of savings rising from 31.1 to 31.7 percent in September 2009 are both indications of the strength of the benefit, said DeCA Director and CEO Philip E. Sakowitz Jr.

"A combination of more customers in our stores and a higher savings percentage means the commissary benefit is even stronger," Sakowitz said. "We want those customers who aren't using their benefit to know just what they're missing in savings."

[ReadHigher Savings to learn how much you can save by shopping your commissary.]

Commissaries partner with DoD to promote psychological care for veterans, families

Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Megan Krause had deployed to Iraq and returned
without  any injury, or so she thought. Marine Sgt. Josh Hopper had been
wounded by a roadside bomb during his second tour to Iraq, but his scars ran deeper than even he could imagine.

Both Krause and Hopper were suffering from post-traumatic-stress syndrome. They are among the service members profiled in candid videos posted on Real Warriors as part of the Real Warriors Partnership Campaign. The Defense Commissary Agency is partnering with Real Warriors to help promote their Web site as a meeting place for service members, veterans and their families to begin seeking psychological care.

"This campaign looks to open doors for our warriors and let them know it's OK to ask for and receive much-needed assistance," said DeCA Director and CEO Philip E. Sakowitz Jr. "We are proud to do our part in supporting this noble initiative. As a member of the military community we have an inherent responsibility to lend a helping hand."

Visit: DeCA's Partnership to learn what DeCA will do to promote the Real Warriors Campaign.


DeCA wants you to become a 
fan of our Facebook page! 

Click on Facebook for the Defense Commissary Agency's Facebook page.  There you can check out new videos and the latest happenings at your commissaries through the events tab. 
Don't forget Twitter, too.
You can also find us on,
where we are talking with those who visit the site about the latest cost-saving programs, promotions and events at DeCA's more than 250 commissaries worldwide; sharing information unique to those stores; and discussing issues that affect customers and industry partners.

            HOT LINKS

Army Wife Network
Army Wife Network,, is the internet's leading website for Army wives, by Army wives. We boast the only internet talk radio show designed specifically for military spouses - Army Wife Talk Radio - in its fifth year of broadcasting! 

Careers in national defense: strengthen your country, empower yourself
The Department of Defense employs more than 700,000 civilians in an array of critical positions worldwide, with opportunities for people from all walks of life. If a competitive salary, great benefits,unsurpassed training, and the pride of defending our nation interests you, then find your future at
Comprehensive Soldier Fitness ... Strong Minds * Strong BodiesThe mission of CSF,, is to develop and institute a holistic fitness program for soldiers, families, and Army civilians in order to enhance performance and build resilience.

The program will focus on optimizing five dimensions of strength: Physical, emotional, social, spiritual and family. This holistic approach to fitness will enhance the performance and build resilience of the force in this era of persistent conflict and high operational tempo. Resilience is the ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenges and bounce back from adversity.
Military Connection, /, is a woman-owned business located in Simi Valley, Calif., near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. It has been in business since 1999, and takes great pride in assisting many military charities. Its mission is to serve the active military including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, the reserves including Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and the National Guard. It also serves veterans, military retirees, DoD civil servants, and their spouses and dependents.

Military Health System
America's Military Health System,, is a unique partnership of medical educators, medical researchers, and healthcare providers and their support personnel worldwide. This DoD enterprise consists of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs; the medical departments of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Combatant Command surgeons; and TRICARE providers (including private sector healthcare providers, hospitals and pharmacies). The Military Health System mission is to provide optimal Health Services in support of our nation's military mission--anytime, anywhere.

Military One Source
Military One Source,, contains a wealth of free information for military members and their families. Military One Source has a free library, information on a variety of topics, referrals to lawyers and counselors, deployment support and more.

Operation First Response
The staff of Operation First Response, has had the honor of working with our nation's wounded heroes and their families on a daily basis for several years.

Your donations have made the following accomplishments possible: 2,579 wounded heroes and their families have received assistance with mortgage and rent, utilities, vehicle payments, and groceries; 1,145 wounded heroes and their families have received air transportation; 1,055 wounded heroes and their families have received ground transportation and lodging; 5,646 OFR backpacks have been sent to combat support hospitals in theater.

Operation: Military Kids
Through a network of community partners, Operation: Military Kids,, provides youth program opportunities for school age, middle school and teenaged youths and connects them to support resources where they live. Through OMK, they can:

  • Participate in a range of recreational, social and educational programs
  • Gain leadership, organizational and technical skills by participating in the "Speak Out for Military Kids" program or "Mobile Technology Lab" programs
  • Receive assistance with school issues by connecting with Army child, youth and school services school liaisons [read more on school transition support
  • Attend single-day or weekend camps
  • Meet other youths who are also experiencing deployment ... supporting National Guard and military reserve families ... one child at a time
Our Military Kids provides tangible support to children of deployed National Guard and Reserve personnel as well as to children of severely injured service members through grants for enrichment activities and tutoring. Such activities help these children cope with the stress of having a parent in a war zone or recovering from injury at home.

Our Military Kids grants are made to honor the sacrifices that military families make and to ensure that their children have access to sports, fine arts or academic tutoring programs.

The Military Family Network
The Military Family Network,, supports military families and increase their readiness and well-being by connecting them with their communities and the organizations that provide the best service and value. 

We Serve You
You can link to your commissary, exchanges and military community support services at Military One Source's
We Serve You  page.








It's bread-baking season
By Kay Blakley
DeCA Home Economist

If you're a home baker, you understand fully what I'm referring to when I say it's "bread-baking season." Of course, you can bake bread any time of year, but the cooler months just seem to beckon you to the warmth of your kitchen.

Plenty of people think they have no time for baking. "I'm just too busy," they claim, "and if I do have time, I don't want to spend it tied to a long-term kitchen project."

That's a pity, since almost any baker will tell you a day of baking is effective therapy for whatever happens to ail you. Maybe the delicious reward when the product is finished has something to do with it.

If you're a beginning baker, here are a few tips to ensure success.


Zucchini Pineapple Bread - Fat Free


    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup applesauce
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 cups shredded zucchini
    • 1 (8.5-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
    • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional (adds fat)

Visit Directions to see how to make this wonderful bread.

Cartoons, cereal, candy: food
marketing to children
By Lt. Col. Karen Hawkins
Deca Dietitian
Many of us have fond childhood memories of sitting in front of the TV watching cartoons on Saturday mornings while enjoying our favorite cereal. I shared this tradition with my sons as children, only to realize that much of the time they spent watching their favorite cartoons included numerous advertisements for sugar-laden cereals and candy.

Were they being trained to ask mom and dad to buy these foods along with developing a desire for them? This is possible, if they had not grown up with a dietitian for a mom.

As the obesity rate in children continues to rise, federal agencies and health care professionals such as I are working to address the issue through many different avenues. Read more at Cartoons to learn how to fight television's influence on your child's diet.


Making healthy lifestyle changes
isn't always easy
If you'd like help meeting your weight loss and fitness goals, enroll in the iCanChange health coaching program from Military OneSource. The iCanChange program provides expert information, online tools, and personal coaching by phone and it's free for service members and their families.



The Commissary ... It's Worth the Trip!