Nike and Under Armour shoes are coming to the exchange online store by mid-August.
The initial selection will be fairly small — but those selections are considered best sellers in the exchange brick-and-mortar stores, according to exchange online mall footwear merchandise manager Erica Cordova.
The online prices will match prices in brick-and-mortar stores — currently a discount of 15 percent off the manufacturer's suggested retail price. There is no tax, but you do have to pay for shipping, unless you use the Military Star card or if your purchase is more than $49.95.
It's the exchange online store's first foray into Nike and Under Armour footwear, using a conservative approach to gauge customer reaction, Cordova said.
The store will offer a total of nine Nike shoe styles — four men's and five women's —and a total of five Under Armour shoe styles — two men's, two women's, and one kids'.
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service operates the exchange online store for all the military service exchanges. Visit the store at www.aafes.com, www.cg-exchange.com, www.navy-nex.com and www.usmc-mccs.org. Any authorized exchange customer can shop at the online store through any of these websites, regardless of branch of service.
As always, comparison shop: Check for sales in local civilian department stores and discount stores and online.
Commissary savings revisited
If you haven't visited your commissary lately, you might want to stop in.
Defense Commissary Agency officials have honed their method of comparing their prices with prices in civilian stores — separating food items from non-food items. The overall savings of 31.7 percent, reported earlier this year, remains the same. But savings in the food-only category is 32 percent, and for the non-food category, 30.5 percent, commissary officials said.
Savings rates traditionally have been based on comparisons between commissary sales figures and the Agriculture Department's moderate-cost food plan statistics, a continuous survey measure of household grocery store purchases, according to commissary officials.
Those statistics are based on food purchases only, while the commissary data included both food and non-food items, such as paper products and beauty items.
When you separate the cost of edibles, an average single person saves $1,158.08 per year on food items by shopping at the commissary. An average family of four saves $3,351.22 a year; and a family of five, $3,720.22, according to commissary calculations.
Add in the savings on non-food products, and a single person saves $1,530.26 a year; a family of four saves $4,428.24 and a family of five saves $4,915.82.
Green but clean
Reusable shopping bags are a big hit with commissary patrons, but remember to keep them clean, says Kay Blakley, home economist for the Defense Commissary Agency.
Think about it. You're putting meat and poultry, produce and dairy items in the bags. You bring the bags home, unload them, reuse them. A few bits of lettuce mixed with a couple of drips of raw meat or poultry juice … not so good.
Blakley's tips for staying safe:
• Designate certain bags for different groceries. Perhaps mark some bags specifically to be used for produce, and some for meat and poultry.
• Use plastic bags in the meat and produce aisles to wrap and enclose items before placing them in the reusable bags.
• After emptying the bags at home, wipe off the table or counter surface where the bags were sitting.
• Try to choose bags that can be washed with hot water and laundry detergent, and hang them to air dry.
• For non-washable bags, spot clean with a clean cloth and soap, rinse with clear water and dry thoroughly before using or storing.
• Store bags in a clean, dry place.