• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 51s

With JBER commissary closed, soldiers forced to shop elsewhere

By KTVA Alaska 9:54 PM October 3, 2013

Military families shopping off-base as government shutdown closes base grocery store

ANCHORAGE – Military families were shopping at Sam’s Club in the Tikahtnu Commons on Thursday after the commissary on base was shut down, along with thousands of other federal jobs in Alaska, on the third day of a partial federal government closure.

“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” said Bobbi Lazo, an Army mother of three, as she wheeled a shopping cart full of hotdogs, milk and more away from the register. “We’re here because the commissary’s closed.”

Manager Doug McIntosh said that, during the shutdown, members of military can do their shopping at Sam’s Club without paying the annual membership fee.

”As long as the government closure continues, Sam’s club is going to open its doors to anyone who can show us any kind of military identification,” he said.

That’s good news for Sherrill Hill and her friend Tami Beasley. They walked from their homes on base to check a few items off their shopping list. Hill said off-base shopping is going to cost them a bit more than it would buying on base, but she has little choice.

“It’s closed,” she said, rolling her eyes. “No more commissary.”

It’s where she and her family spent nearly $200 every two weeks, not including money they save on coupons, which Hill said she clips diligently. “It all depends on what we all need,” she said, checking out. “If we need a lot of meats, then it’s about $250.”

Economists say about 15 to 20 percent of household income is spent on food. Spending on things like groceries and meals will likely be one of the first things to feel the squeeze of a government shutdown. For Hill, it’s buying in bulk and pushing every dollar as far as it goes. For now, that means shopping at Sam’s Club, until the shutdown ends and she can go back to buying groceries on base.

“This is stuff I would normally get at the commissary,” she said, holding a receipt with about $80 worth of groceries. “It’s a five minute walk from the house. Here it’s a little bit further but, it’s a walk!” she said, shrugging with a smile.

“It sucks, but it’s understandable. It happens.”

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    AKLeg: Education funding a sticking point in budget negotiations

    by Associated Press on Apr 20, 22:59

    The Alaska House took up amendments to the state capital budget but held off a vote late Monday. The capital budget is typically one of the last items in play during the legislative session. It was pushed to Tuesday’s calendar. Talks were under way on the operating budget, another piece of the state’s overall spending […]

  • Sports

    Service braves the cold, burns Grace Christian 6-0

    by KTVA Sports on Apr 20, 22:54

    On a day that saw multiple game cancelations due to poor weather, Service High School and Grace Christian decided to tough it out Monday evening. The clouds broke wide open and so did the score early on as the Cougars cruised to the 6-0 victory. “Extremities kind of losing the feeling, it’s hard to get […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, April 20

    by KTVA Weather on Apr 20, 20:46

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Decreasing chance of showers on the Kenai with the heaviest and most steady snow on the eastern side of the Peninsula and Prince William Sound. Snow levels are quite low and will rise Tuesday, so scattered snow on the Western Kenai will turn to scattered rain by afternoon.   […]

  • News

    NTSB releases initial report on fatal plane crash in Prince William Sound

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 20, 15:18

    The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on a plane crash that claimed the life of a 53-year-old Wasilla man on April 14. The search for a missing Cessna 180 and its pilot, Dale Carlson, ended with the discovery of Carlson’s body by Alaska State Troopers on the shore of Culross Island on April […]

  • News

    RACE RESULTS: 53 Alaskans start 2015 Boston Marathon

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 20, 15:05

    More than 50 Alaskans crossed the start line of the Boston Marathon early Monday morning, and several have already finished, according to the race’s website. Of those that started the 26.2 mile long race, 53 were from Alaska. The majority of Alaska runners claimed Anchorage as their home, but runners came from all around the […]

  • News

    Missing wedding ring plucked from dog doo, returned to owner

    by Associated Press on Apr 20, 14:09

    An Alaska woman suspected her family’s dog snatched her wedding ring, but she couldn’t find proof – until the platinum band turned up months later at a ball field. The Daily Sitka Sentinel newspaper reports Nikki Balovich lost her ring in January, when she was pregnant and often took it off her swollen finger. The Sitka woman […]

  • Politics

    Senate considers new committee on federal issues

    by Associated Press on Apr 20, 12:31

    Alaska’s Senate is poised to consider creating a special committee to address federal overreach. A resolution from the Senate Rules Committee would create a Senate Special Committee on Federal Overreach. The resolution calls for the new committee to submit reports to the Senate in January 2016 and 2017 about how to use state authority to […]

  • News

    Mat-Su Valley gathers to help end domestic violence and sexual abuse

    by Dave Leval on Apr 20, 11:55

    Cynthia Wagoner will be the first to admit she did not have an easy life as a child. “I have been raised in both my families where domestic violence and sexual abuse were prevalent,” Wagoner explained, saying the problems did not end there. “My older brother was charged with sexually abusing both of my younger […]