YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — As the cost of food and other essentials continues to rise, consumers are on the lookout for ways to save when they shop for groceries. One way is to buy in bulk, and there is no better time to do that than during a commissary case lot sale.

“Buy big and save big is what we tell people,” said Mike Auderer, Yokota’s commissary administrator, adding that the sales are a good opportunity to mitigate rising food prices.

The Defense Commissary Agency holds case lot sales twice annually, in September and May, to allow customers to buy bulk quantities of a variety of products. This weekend, the case lot season kicks off at several commissaries in the Pacific, including Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, plus Yongsan Garrison, Taegu and Camp Casey in South Korea.

“The types of items available run the gamut, from snacks and juices to paper products,” said Auderer, who said officials at the DeCA headquarters in Fort Lee, Va., work with manufacturers to get the lowest prices possible for the sale. Auderer added that customers should start clipping coupons for additional savings during a case lot sale.

Last May, commissaries sold more than $12.5 million, or 1.8 million cases of products, worldwide during the sales.

The first case lot sale was in September 2001 and proved to be so popular that another sale was added in May, according to a DeCA press release. Nearly all commissaries participate, the release said, though the sales take place on different weekends throughout the month and sometimes into June.

During the sales, stores will maintain normal hours; some stores may offer special promotions or activities to attract customers.

For its sale on May 17-18, the Yokosuka Naval Base commissary will feature a bounce house for children, a DJ, product demonstrations and giveaways.

For more information about case lot sales and dates click here.

Stars and Stripes reporter Allison Batdorff contributed to this report.

When and where to buy

Throughout May and into June, Pacific commissaries will be holding case lot sales. Contact your commissary or go online to for more information. Here’s a list of places and dates for case lot sales on Okinawa:

KoreaCamp Carroll: Saturday-SundayCamp Casey: Saturday-SundayCamp Eagle: May 31-June 1Camp Humphreys: May 31-June 1Camp Red Cloud: Saturday-SundayCamp Stanley: Saturday-SundayChinhae Naval Base: Saturday-SundayHannam Village: Saturday-SundayKunsan Air Base: May 31-June 1Osan Air Base: May 31-June 1Daegu: Saturday-SundayYongsanGarrison: Saturday-Sunday

JapanNaval Air Facility Atsugi: May 16-18Camp Kure: May 15-16Camp Zama: May 23-25Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni: May 16-18Sagami Depot: May 23-25Sagamihara Housing Area: May 23-25Sasebo Naval Base: May 16-18Yokosuka Naval Base: May 17-18Yokota Air Base: May 31-June 1

OkinawaCamp Courtney: May 16-18Camp Foster: May 16-18Camp Kinser: Saturday-SundayKadena Air Base: Saturday-Sunday

— Bryce S. Dubee

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