If you shop at the Military Commissary, sometimes you are probably left guessing what is the best item to purchase. When previously comparing Costco and the Commissary, price comparisons demonstrated that beef was a good bet at the Commissary. Recently, commissaries at installations across the US began offering “Power Buy Boxes” of pre-packaged meat packs. It’s almost like bulk buying without the sidewalk sales.
Contents of the Power Buy Box
Three meat packages are currently available: Economy for $28, Health Alternative for $45 and Tailgaters for $65. Curious if they are a better bang for your buck? We were too! So we set to investigate.
Per the banner at the Camp Pendleton Commissary, we have listed what comes in each power buy box. The meat manager confirmed that this is what is on offer Commissary wide.
Economy – $28.00
- 4 lbs 85% ground beef
- 3 lbs boneless pork chops
- 3 lbs bottom round roast or steaks
- 3 lbs beef cube steaks
- 2 lbs boneless pork tenderloin
- Total: 15 lbs, Advertised savings of 33%
Healthy Alternative – $45.00
- 4 lbs 93% lean ground beef
- 2 lbs beef kebab
- 2 lbs of London broil
- 2 lbs of beef top round stir fry
- 2.5 lbs USDA choice top sirloin
- 3.5 lbs pork baby back ribs
- 4 lbs boneless pork chops
- Total: 20 lbs, Advertised savings of 36%
Tailgaters – $65.00
- 10 lbs 75% frozen beef patties
- 7 lbs pork baby back ribs (in 2 slabs)
- 5 lbs Choice Ribeye Steak
- TOTAL: 22 lbs, Advertised savings of 39%
Is it worth it?
YES. While there are occasions when the meat can be cheaper at the commissary, there’s no guarantee. Sometimes, when the meat is close to expiration, the meat manager pulls it to be frozen. The meat can be up to 50% off the listed price per pound. It is all about timing, sometimes it is just plain picked over and you cannot find frozen ground beef.
Ask your local DECA meat manager which day they usually put out the frozen meat, and about what time to see if you can take advantage. Specific cuts of meat are not always available, and it is purely based on what didn’t sell prior to the sell-by date.
Here is the breakdown of a Commissary Healthy Alternative Power Buy Box we purchased:
We saved over 38% off the already low meat prices. Plus, the power buy box we got was a little heavy-handed on the top sirloin— the most expensive meat cut in the box, with an overall higher weight than advertised.
Bonus, you can ask to have your baby back ribs cut smaller if you like, and that is all free!
Per the Military Commissary’s Instagram page, these power buy boxes will only be offered until September 1st. So, grab your friends and have one last summer grilling party, or maybe grill after the kids go back to school their first day (we won’t tell). You can always buy more than you will use now and freeze that ground beef for up to a year.
Photo Credits: Heather Walsh