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Commissary Shoppers Can Get Cash Back for the Holidays

By Bonnie Powell
American Forces Press Service

FORT LEE, Va., Nov. 19, 1996 – While you're out spending money this holiday season, the commissary just might be the place to get some cash back -- and contribute to your installation's morale, welfare and recreation programs.

For the rest of November, shoppers in U.S.-based commissaries can get cash rebates during a special program on grocery and holiday items. Shoppers can pick up a Cash-Back pamphlet of rebate items in their installation commissary. For every featured item bought before Dec. 1, they can receive cash rebates. Customers must buy at least three items to be eligible.

According to Joyce Chandler, Defense Commissary Agency special programs coordinator, this is the first year the agency is participating in a program of this type. She said retail grocery stores conduct similar programs.

Besides the customer rebate, participating manufacturers will contribute 5 cents more on each item to the installation's morale, welfare and recreation programs.

The rebate program also allows customers to combine all participating offers into one easy mailing, with the shopper receiving one check back for the total amount.

"A lot of shoppers are used to instant coupons," said Laureen Mgrdichian of L. Norman Howe and Associates, project manager for the Cash Back program. "But this is an additional way to save money. Most rebate money is already set aside by the manufacturers as part of their marketing efforts, so the consumer is really missing out by not taking advantage of the offer."

DeCA tried Cash-Back for the first time in July with some success. Mgrdichian said the program will grow if customers continue taking advantage of the savings offered. Eventually, she said, the commissaries may be able to offer savings of $50 to $75 -- equaling civilian grocery store rebate programs.

(Bonnie Powell writes for the Defense Commissary Agency.)

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