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MAY 2012

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

FROM THE NEWS DESK Commissaries announce coupon policy changes

WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME Commissaries Celebrate Military Appreciation Month Honoring service members and their families in observance of Military Appreciation Month highlights commissary promotions offering extra discounts during May. "You could also call this the 'Month of the Super Coupon,'" said Chris Burns, the Defense Commissary Agency's director of sales, "because there's a wealth of high-value coupons available in May for commissary shoppers worldwide - get them while supplies last!" Throughout May, DeCA's industry partners - vendors, suppliers and brokers - will host many in-store promotions and provide extra savings focused on Military Appreciation Month. Overseas stores may have substitute events for certain promotional programs. Customers should check their local commissary for the following super sales events: 

Cinco de Mayo. From April 26-May 9, commissary customers will find coupons while supplies last on Old El Paso products, as well as

Effective May 1, the Defense Commissary Agency has changed how its commissaries handle coupons and product returns without receipts, among other things, as the agency enacts customer service policy changes to protect the commissary benefit. "The average coupon user might not notice the policy changes because they are aimed at preventing possible misuse of the commissary benefit - primarily using coupons to get large amounts of cash back," said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO. Commissary shoppers are big users of coupons, as evidenced by DeCA's consistent ranking among the top 10 grocery retailers in coupon redemptions over the past several years. Commissaries welcome coupon usage, and to acquaint customers with the changes in the coupon acceptance policy, it has been posted on the agency's website here and on Facebook. Key changes, which went into effect May 1, include: 

Gift cards will be issued to a customer,

Ortega's Dinner Kits and Mission Tortilla Chips and Salsa. "Salad Days." From April 26-May 30, Kraft will offer special coupons while supplies last on salad dressing and mayonnaise along with offers on fresh produce items. "Enlist in a Healthier Lifestyle Sale." From April 26-May 30, Acosta will offer more than 400,000 coupon flyers in commissaries worldwide. A portion of the proceeds from this sale will go to the Fisher House Foundation. A Fisher House provides a "home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and Veterans Affairs medical centers. "Just Add Milk." From April 26-May 9, General Mills will offer high-value coupons while supplies last on any "big G" cereal and nutritional snacks, including a coupon for free milk with multiple purchases. Canoe giveaway. Throughout the summer, Hershey will sponsor the Old Town Saranac 14foot canoe giveaway event. This store display will promote all of Hershey's chocolate and Twizzler products and military-specific instant redeemable coupons. Road to Fitness. From April 26-May 30, the Kellogg's Company offers shoppers a chance to win free bicycles. Kellogg's will also offer various coupons and product demonstrations. Additional savings on fresh produce will be offered when Kellogg's products are purchased. "Get Fired Up with Sizzling Savings." From May 10-30, commissaries will celebrate National Barbeque Month, and Con Agra Foods will offer recipe books containing more than $10 in coupon savings. "Proud Sponsor of Moms." From April 26May 9, Proctor & Gamble will offer a brandsaver coupon flyer in the commissary valued at about $70 on P&G products. A portion of the proceeds goes to P&G sponsorship of Army Staff Sgt. Dremeil Byers, who is competing on the U.S. Olympic wrestling team. "Salute to Military Families." Continuing through May 9, S&K Sales Company is offering coupons distributed through Family Magazine in the United States and by Maxi Saver in overseas commissaries. A portion of each product's purchase price will be donated to the

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in conjunction with cash, whenever a transaction total reflects $25 or more is owed to the customer due to coupon "overages" (when the face value of the coupon exceeds the selling price of the item purchased and the transaction results in a negative balance) Gift cards will be issued to customers, in conjunction with cash, for refunds of $25 or more when a receipt is presented showing the merchandise was originally purchased with gift cards Gift cards will be issued to customers, in conjunction with cash, for refunds of $25 or more when a receipt is not presented Clarification for instances of suspected privilege abuse Update to the coupon acceptance policy that clarifies dot-scan barcode requirements and pin requirements for unique numbering, that photocopies and counterfeit coupons are not accepted, and that coupons must be printed in English

"Commissaries are providers of a benefit that sell groceries at cost, and using the gift cards to cover certain refunds and coupon 'overages' discourages practices contrary to DeCA's mission," Jeu noted. "We value coupon usage because it helps our customers boost their savings," Jeu said. "These changes are in the best interest of all concerned to help ensure that coupons continue to be a great source of savings for our customers." For more information on these policy changes and other frequently asked questions, please visit our coupon policy FAQs and refund policy FAQs at New Fort Carson Commissary opens May 9 Making good on a promise to deliver a 21st century commissary benefit to its customers, the Defense Commissary Agency will open its



National Military Family Association. "Tribute to the Troops." From April 26-May 30, Gatorade will be honoring military members with customized "military in uniform" labels on its 32-ounce bottles. Through its "Honoring Our Heroes" contest, Gatorade will offer commissary shoppers the opportunity to honor their military heroes by going to and, in 200 words or less, tell Gatorade who deserves to be awarded cash and free groceries. Those nominated must be authorized commissary patrons. Three prize levels will be offered to include cash and commissary gift cards. Each participant who submits an essay online will be provided a VIP "Free Product Gatorade" coupon redeemable only in a commissary. In addition, all winners will be recognized at their commissary and in military media publications. "The Avengers." From May 10-30, as part of the May movie launch of "The Avengers," the Dr Pepper Snapple Group will be offering four commissary customers the chance to win a Samsung 46" LCD TV and a 1000 watt, 5.1 channel 3D/Wi-Fi Blu-Ray home theater system. Two winners will be selected in the United States, one in Europe, and one in the Far East. All commissaries will have entry tear pads and entry boxes.

newest full-service grocery store at Fort Carson, Colo., on May 9.

The community is invited to attend the 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. Doors to the $18.7 million modern facility will open immediately following. The new store is nearly 50 percent larger than the one it's replacing, and it has something inside for every type of commissary shopper, according to DeCA's Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. "In the design phase, we considered the unique needs of singles, families and retirees from all walks of military life," Jeu said. "Our customers are telling us they want a variety of choices when they shop. This store delivers on that requirement and will make every shopping trip a pleasant experience." The new commissary features extensive produce, meat and grocery departments; an international delicatessen and bakery; sushi to go and rotisserie chicken. [Visit Fort Carson for more information on the store and grand opening.]

Family Fun Fitness Festival a 'Must Visit' for Savings, Excitement Family Fun Fitness Festival events roll out the ultimate red carpet in military resale and fitness in May, says the Defense Commissary Agency's director and CEO. "All the festive activities and product savings will definitely make these events worth the trip for our patrons," says Joseph H. Jeu. "With

Looking for the Guard/Reserve Sales Schedule Newsletter Check out the Defense Commissary Agency's Guard/Reserve Sales Schedule newsletter to request email updates on DeCA's Guard/Reserve On-Site Sales program. When you subscribe to this newsletter, you will receive the on-site sales schedule on a monthly basis, along with sale information, points of contact, program updates and more, straight to your inbox ... this newsletter will be a one-stop shop for on-site sale details! This newsletter offers us the ability to send updates to customers if sale information changes; you just indicate the state in which you normally attend on-site sales when you subscribe to the newsletter. If the details change for a sale in your state after we've announced it, we'll alert you - no worries! This feature affords our customers the peace of mind that comes with knowing they'll never have to miss a chance to save. Click this link to sign up today and help us bring the commissary benefit to you!

rising gas prices, partnerships such as these make the installation an even better choice to find everything in one location." For the third straight year, military communities are one-stop shopping for commissary case lot sales, exchange sidewalk sales, and various morale, welfare and recreation fitness activities, demos and music events, complete with industry-sponsored nutritious food samples, prize giveaways and discount coupon offers. Event dates, which began in mid-April, continue through mid-June. Customers should check their local installation media for overall festival events and schedules. To see May commissary case lot schedules, click here. Commissaries in Europe don't hold case lot sales in May; they participate in September. However, European commissaries do participate in and coordinate various Family Fun Fitness Festival events with their local installations. [Check out FFFF for more information on the festivals and the savings.]

More Military Shoppers Using Their Commissary Benefit More military members and their families are using their commissary benefit than any time since fiscal 1997 as they seek to counter the effects of rising prices on groceries and other household goods. The Defense Commissary Agency recorded more than 96 million transactions in fiscal 2011 - just one of many signs that the commissary benefit has continued to grow and evolve to meet the needs of its customers.

BABY BYTES (These links will change each month.)

Because commissaries sell at cost and negotiate the best possible prices for the products they sell, commissary shoppers saved almost $2.8 billion on their purchases in fiscal 2011. And coupon-friendly policies allowed shoppers to - 'Live Well. Learn How.' This site is a quick guide to healthy living, Welcome to you can find links to this and other kids' sites. Explore, learn and have fun! La Leche League International - 'Happy Mothers; Breast-fed Babies' La Leche League International,, strives to encourage mothers worldwide to breast feed by offering mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information and education. It also promotes understanding of breast feeding as an important element in the healthy development of baby and mother. Military Homefront ... New Parent Support Program The New Parent Support Program, was developed to help military families with young children adapt to parenthood and thrive as healthy families, no matter where their service may take them. Locate the New Parent Support Program at specific installations on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS. Organic Baby Resource - Your Complete Baby Care Guide Organic Baby Resource,, is an online community for parents seeking the most natural baby products and baby care. BABY BOUTIQUE Jump into savings with Kids Exchange Make a splash this season with the latest gear for babies and kids. Kids Exchange Spring/Summer 2012 catalog has a brand-new look, and it's filled with colorful, creative products for children of all ages. Find Stephen Joseph rain gear, quality furniture, charming bedding and more. Browse the 52-page catalog online at, or pick up a free copy at your local Exchange. Plus, make a minimum $199 purchase from this catalog using your Military Star速 card and enjoy no interest and no monthly payments for six months. Prices are valid from May 2 through Sept. 25 for any authorized Exchange customer.

earn more than $110 million in additional savings at the commissary, which has been consistently ranked in the top 10 for retailers that redeem the most coupons. [Visit Commissary Benefit to learn more about your commissary.]

Campbell's Kitchen - Savings Center Visit coupons and special offers on a variety of Campbell's products. Lysol Special Offers It's free, easy and fast to join the LYSOL速 Community. As a member of our community, you can receive exclusive special offers from Reckitt Benckiser when you subscribe at

SAVE EVEN MORE These links will change each month.

Betty Crocker ... Expertise from our kitchens and yours. It's easy to save money on your favorite brands with printable grocery coupons. Great savings are only a click away, ConAgra Foods速 Military Commissary Site This site,, helps commissary patrons save money on products such as Chef Boyardee, RoTel, Marie Callender's and others. Sign up to get their e-newsletter to find out first about coupons and commissary deals. Del Monte Sign up at to receive the latest coupons and promotions from Del Monte Foods. Hunt's速 News and Promotions Sign up at to receive the Hint's from Hunt's速 newsletter full of information about our products, tasty recipes, meal ideas, and money-saving coupons and offers delivered right to your inbox. lists more than 300 General Mills products that are gluten-free and provides resources, recipes and more to help you live gluten-free. Maxisavers Check out for commissary-

KAY'S KITCHEN 'Of kids, commissaries, peas and carrots' Shopping can be an educational adventure for young patrons By Kay Blakley, DeCA home economist Do you routinely arrange for commissary shopping to be a solo affair because it's just too much trouble having the kids in tow? Too bad, because you're missing a whole store full of teaching opportunities. A lesson in identifying primary colors is as easy as collecting some red apples, yellow bananas, green grapes and blue (purple) plums. If the child has been involved in choosing these fruits, they're a lot more likely to eat them, and like them, as well. And, you might be surprised to know the same goes for vegetables of all kinds. Encourage your child to participate in your commissary activities, then reinforce the lessons learned at home. Next time you have a fresh sweet potato on hand, peel a portion of it, slice it into carrot-stick-like pieces and plunge immediately into a bowl of ice water to prevent

wide savings. Welch's Welch's news from the grapevine allows you to be the first to hear about exclusive product and promotional announcements, coupons and valuable health and nutritional information. You can sign up by filling out the form at to begin receiving your member benefits.

browning. Serve as an after-school snack or a before-dinner appetizer. Kids and adults alike will love it and swear they're eating carrots. If sweet potato is not a normal vegetable at your table, bake what's left of the potato and serve with dinner. You may be amazed at how good your family says it tastes. If your second grader is having trouble with remembering spelling words or retaining math facts, try a quarter-cup snack of blueberries a day as a great-tasting home remedy. Raw blueberries eaten daily are said to have memory-boosting properties. Try to include as wide a variety of fruits and vegetables as the taste buds in your family will allow. That's the best way to make sure growing bodies get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need. This week's recipe collection is especially geared to kids. There's no question about kids liking a recipe such as Animals in the Swamp,

but don't shy away from the Strawberry Spinach Salad recipe. Most kids won't recognize the fact that they're eating spinach until they've eaten every bite and loved it. Same advice goes for the Brown Rice Tabbouleh. It provides the nutrients of whole grain in addition to those of vegetables. Choose the dish that appeals to you and your family and, as always, get the ingredients at the commissary. Saving an average of 32 percent will help you manage your grocery budget and show your children the benefits of stretching your buying power. To see more, visit Kay's Kitchen.

Below are links to featured recipes:      

Animals in the Swamp Banana Sammies Zucchini Apple Salad Apple-Banana Salad with Peanuts Strawberry Spinach Salad Brown Rice Tabbouleh

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Question: What are case lot sales?

Answer: In the fourth video of the "Your Commissary Questions" series, Courtney Rogers, DeCA customer relations specialist, discusses DeCA's worldwide case lot sales, which can help commissary customers save 50 percent or more off already low commissary prices. Commissaries stateside and in the Far East offer these sales each May, and most commissaries worldwide offer them in September, as well. Tremendous savings are available at these sales, due to special promotional offers and coupons from manufacturers, including coupons electronically linked to cases. Because electronically linked coupons are part of the manufacturer's promotional offer to DeCA, customers may not use their own coupons on these items, as this would increase the coupon savings beyond the level intended by the manufacturer. Customers can find out if their commissary is holding a case lot sale soon by clicking the "Case Lot Sales" link under the "Shopping" tab on Some stores also post a product listing for these sales on their local store information page. For answers to more of your commissary questions, please visit If you have questions regarding commissary issues that haven't been resolved by your store's management, we encourage you to contact DeCA's Your Action Line program at any time using our online customer comments form at For questions regarding the Commissary Connection newsletter, please contact the editor through the customer comments form listed above.

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Commissaries Celebrate Military Appreciation Month Key changes, which went into effect May 1, include: Honoring service members and their fa...