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Commissary price hikes: What budget cuts mean for military shoppers

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Military families may soon be paying a lot more out of pocket for their on-base groceries as part of sweeping cuts coming to the commissary system -- as much as $3000 more per year, according to some sources.

The Defense Department is scheduled to present their budget recommendations next week to Congress, and rumor has it big budget cuts are expected. Currently, the DOD spends $1.4 billion each year subsidizing commissary costs for military personnel and their families, and the new number could be as low as $400 million each year.

That's a 71% drop in funding to the DeCA budget, phased in over several years.

While previous budget proposals floated the idea of closing some or all stateside commissaries in an effort to save money, government officials now say that instead either shelf prices or the commissary surcharge will be raised as a result of the budget cuts.

According to Stars and Stripes, military shoppers currently save about 30% off their groceries purchased at commissaries, as opposed to shopping in the local community. That discount may drop as low as just 10% once the subsidies are cut or eliminated.

CNN estimates that a military family of four could be spending an additional $3000 per year on their commissary grocery purchases as a result of these cuts.

In an ironic twist, the proposed budget cuts were leaked to news organizations the same week that DeCa launched its annual 'Military Saves Week' campaign, which promotes all the different ways shoppers can save on groceries shopping at the commissary system.

If you're in the military or part of a military family, how would these proposed budget cuts and subsequent price hikes impact your family?