Are you just starting to coupon at the Commissary and Exchanges and baffled by what’s a “store” coupon and what’s a “manufacturer” coupon? This post helps to explain the difference between the two.
While it seems to be pretty easy to tell off-post, things are slightly different on-post. So, if your coupons have been rejected by the cashier, but they don’t say why, or it doesn’t make any sense, hopefully this will help!
Military store coupons, labeled as such, are actually manufacturer coupons (even though it says “store coupon” … you will see on the bar code that it starts with a “5” … anytime it starts with a “5” means that it’s a manufacturer coupon. However, the good news is, the Exchange and the NEX have their own actual “store” coupons, like from their Coupon Booklet and on their Facebook page. Those are really store coupons that can be stacked with manufacturer coupons.
For those new to the military lifestyle, it’s helpful to know that the Commissary and Exchanges are two separate entities. Sure, they’re both on post, but one operates for profit to help give back to the military community (Exchanges) and one helps by not operating for a profit (Commissary), and in turn, helps keep groceries affordable for us military folks. Both, however, do have something in common – – no sales tax! You’ll see the 5% surcharge at the Commissary, but that actually goes back into helping make the Commissary better, not into the wallets of the higher-ups.
One thing to note – you cannot stack coupons at the Commissary. You may only use one coupon per item. You will receive overage if the coupon value is higher than the item cost.
However, you can stack coupons at the Exchanges, but you will not receive overage if the coupon value is higher than the item cost – instead, the coupon is “adjusted” down to match the item price.
For more tips for maximizing your savings at the Commissary and Exchange, check out some of these articles:
- How To Get The Best Deals at the Commissary and Exchange
- How To Find Military Commissary Deals and Coupons
- How To Save Money in the Military (A Military Family’s Guide)
- How To Save Money Without Coupons
- How To Use Coupons – A Beginner’s Guide