Shopping at U.S. military bases

459 posts in this topic

I know even when allowed on base some places you can go like the food places, or gas stations. But I once tried to buy cigarettes in Fort lewis and they said I could not without an ID card.

 

I asked if they could just charge me the normal tax, and they said no they only carry tax free. But I could buy snacks and drinks. I also could drive through Burger king, but that of course was stateside.

 

My brother never took me in the PX or commissary stateside, but I know the time I have been there with a friend or my dad only they could pay with the ID card.

 

I do not know all the variations overseas, but even in the US acess is restricted. But then again most of us then had no interest in shopping on-base, unless you were trying to sweet talk some young soldier into buying you tax free tobacco.

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We used to have Hot Pockets in German grocery stores for a while, actually. But I haven't seen them anywhere lately so they were probably not selling well.

 

I was told that in the times before 9/11 (when I didn't live in this area yet), BFV in Mannheim was open to non-military people and anyone could go to Taco Bell for lunch, regardless of whether they were accompanied by an ID card holder. Damn terrorists!

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Why would I limit myself to only European/German food if I don't have to? One doesn't exclude the other. I'd like to have both. Besides, I personally grew up with German food, so American food is a whole lot more adventurous to me (though I suppose your post was likely directed at the Americans posting here). Anyway, when I lived in the States and in Spain, I was always happy to find German food (for example around Christmas time) in the grocery store. Doesn't mean I ate exclusively German food, but every now and then one thing here and one thing there is just lovely, comfort food.

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why would someone living in EU want to eat american food? defeats the adventure of living there.

 

Not really. Depends on how long you've been living there. You get cravings and miss certain things that you cannot find.

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Why would I limit myself to only European/German food if I don't have to? One doesn't exclude the other. I'd like to have both. Besides, I personally grew up with German food, so American food is a whole lot more adventurous to me (though I suppose your post was likely directed at the Americans posting here). Anyway, when I lived in the States and in Spain, I was always happy to find German food (for example around Christmas time) in the grocery store. Doesn't mean I ate exclusively German food, but every now and then one thing here and one thing there is just lovely, comfort food.

 

i could on quite well without ever seeing another crap fast food place again. america has no distinctive cuisine, it's alot of pre-packaged crap from a box, chicken by the bucket, pizza by the foot, etc. when i lived near paris for 3years or traveled to marseille, i never wanted to eat or see american food. when i lived in australia and new zealand, 6 years, it was the same, never thought, never wanted to eat american food. the UK has the worst food of anywhere, the only good food is from the immigrants so they have great curries and chinese, etc all non-british.

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Well, but sometimes the pre-packaged crap from a box tastes pretty damn good. I for one will be making Oreo truffles on Tuesday, and you know what? I am really looking forward to eating them, as are my friends who know I am making them, even though they consist mostly of pre-packaged crap from a box.

 

Besides, could you imagine a life without Ranch dressing? I have to live it every. single. day. Now excuse my while I go hug my beloved 1 lb. 2 oz. package of Oreos that we cannot buy in Germany, except in smaller packages and ridiculously overpriced.

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American food is not ALL pre-packaged shite. A lot of it is...but not all of it. Just because YOU did not like the food in the US, it doesn't mean that others do not. Many of us have traveled (just like you have) and yet still enjoy the food from the US.

 

"i could on quite well without ever seeing another crap fast food place again."

 

Definitely not going to happen in Germany. They have fast food as well.

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just make friends with someone with a military id and give them a list of stuff you want..there are some stores on base you can go in with them but not the PX or commissary, so make a buddy and list.

 

Good plan, because nothing makes you feel quite so good as when you realize, "This person only wants to be my friend because I can shop at the PX." It's happened to me a few times over here, and I never talked to those "friends" again.

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The thing is, is that a lot of those foods one is craving can be easily made from scratch.

 

- Taco seasoning packets? Go buy a jar of cumin and some dried peppers at your local Turkish store.

- Refried beans? Go to Tegut and buy some of their Chili beans for .45 a can, and then smash them up with your hand-held mixer.

- Pinto beans are also available dry, they aren't that difficult to cook

- Rewe has all the burrito wraps and taco shells, as well as jars of jalepenos and Old El Paso salsa, though making your own salsa is a breeze and tastes ten times better than any of that stuff in a jar.

 

- Hamburger Helper? You have got to be kidding, that is the most disgusting food item I think I have ever eaten. Why pay extra for some noodles with a bit of spice thrown in. It doesn't even save you any time cooking. So what pray tell is the purpose of it?

- Make some Mac and cheese from scratch and you will never want to eat Kraft mac-n-cheese again.

 

Hidden Valley Ranch dressing is the one item I haven't figured out how to make yet, but I usually bring enough packets from the states to tide me over for a couple of years.

 

Having your aunt in the Air Force visit you won't help much as she wouldn't have base access. They are really picky on base here about stuff like that.

 

Heck, retirees can't even shop at the PX and Commissary without having special tax forms from the Germans and then they have to pay that good old VAT on everything they purchase. Nein danke!

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- Make some Mac and cheese from scratch and you will never want to eat Kraft mac-n-cheese again.

 

I've tried many different homemade macaroni and cheese recipes - even cooked a few myself - and have yet to find one better than the boxes of Kraft.

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Really??? Thank goodness I didn't grow eating Kraft Macaroni Cheese then. My parents cooked Mac N Cheese from scratch and I had the boxed stuff at a friends and seriously wanted gag. I don't understand the hype at all.

 

Like Moondancer said, most stuff people crave are easy to make from scratch. I have commissary privileges and I rarely shop down the middle aisles unless it's for crackers or those energy bars or nonfood items or something. When I was pregnant I did crave sunkist and welch's grape soda, though. So I do understand cravings :) Just DO NOT befriend someone just because you want to shop at the PX pr Commissary...

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Hello,

If frozen food is the issue please take a look at:

http://www.dryiceinfo.com/shipping.htm

You can get frozen products shipped, it is all just a matter of cost, transit time, and packing...

I have shipped to the Frankfurt area several times with personal items such as jams and jellies to relatives. I have used polystyrene packing and dry ice...You just need to find someone on the us end to provide it for you.

It is much less expensive to ship to Germany than from Germany, so at least you are on the more cost efficient side of the transaction.

Good Luck!

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Really??? Thank goodness I didn't grow eating Kraft Macaroni Cheese then. My parents cooked Mac N Cheese from scratch and I had the boxed stuff at a friends and seriously wanted gag. I don't understand the hype at all.

 

I didn't really grow up eating it. My mother cooked it once in a blue moon, but usually she made her own from scratch (which isn't bad...just not as good as Kraft). I don't know why, but I definitely prefer the boxes of Kraft to any homemade recipe I've tried, especially baked macaroni and cheese. Blech.

 

You can definitely make most of the things from scratch...and I do. However, there are just some things just do not taste better when cooked from scratch...probably because one is used to the pre-packaged version like you mentioned.

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You can get frozen products shipped, it is all just a matter of cost, transit time, and packing...

 

 

It is much less expensive to ship to Germany than from Germany

1st you must find a shipper to send you now dangerous/Hazardous parcel internationally and

when you do find one, it deff. will not be cheap.

 

UPS Guide for Shipping International Dangerous Goods

Fedex: Extra Services and Value-Added Options

 

USPS will not ship parcels containing Dry Ice.

 

Fedex, quotes a price of $180 for a 10lb package (Containing Dry Ice) from The US east coast to Frankfurt.

UPS, quotes $200-$250 for the same weight/size, and does not include the Hazardous material surcharge.

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why would someone living in EU want to eat american food? defeats the adventure of living there.

Not everyone wants to eat the fast food crap from America but yes, on occasion, it's nice to eat a cheeseburger and fries. I miss a lot of the local cuisine from Austin. I try to duplicate most of it but it doesn't always come out the same.

 

RANCH dressing!! How does anyone live without this? ;)

 

And I know I'll probably get hammered for this but I actually prefer Chinese food from the States. I am not impressed with the Chinese food I've had here so far. Yes, I know..it's "Americanized" but so what, I love it. In my opinion the dishes back home have so much flavor and here I find things so bland. Sadly, I can *almost* say the same for Italian food. I'll be going to Rome next month and I'm sure I'll find out that true Italian food is not like back home but I haven't been wowed yet here by anything.

 

There are things that I crave from back home but for the most part I'm trying to adjust to Germany and make do with what is available here. I have found that Chinese/Indian stores carry a nice variety of Mexican spices and ingredients.

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And you can make your own ranch dressing Ranch Dressing Recipes

SWEET! Thanks... (Why didn't I think of that? )

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