I think this program was rolled out a few years ago when commissaries began installing self checkout counters. Double check your closest commissary before you head out, bu the gist of the program is that you can shop one hour before the store officially opens. If you don’t like crowds and can check out your own groceries (as it only works for self check-out), then this is for you! Many commissaries also have limits to the number of items you can buy…usually not more than 20 or 40 items, so double check that too before you try it.
I know at our last duty station, I used to do it all the time. Even on paydays, it was a ghost town. I don’t know about you but guaranteed parking and not having to navigate among all the parked carts in the aisle is what sold me on it! You also tend to be a bit more selective in your shopping choices and not impulse buy, knowing there is a limit.
Oh, one more thing that you probably already know…but just in case….coupons are valid 6 months after the expiration date on your coupon if you go to an overseas commissary…so don’t throw that old stuff away just yet! You can also donate your old coupons…I believe to ACS, if you no longer need them…those of us overseas will still squeeze money out of it. If I’m not mistaken, there is also an organization out there that sends expired coupons overseas. I’d post it here but am momentarily too lazy to look it up!
Do you have any commissary shopping tips to share?