A Senate budget panel voted late last week to restore $200 million in cuts for military grocery stores, called commissaries. The House has already voted on a similar resolution.
The cuts were part of broader Pentagon cuts slated over the next few years that aim to trim forces as the U.S. withdraws from overseas conflicts.
Related: $3,000 hike slated for miltiary family grocery bills
The commissaries, usually located in military bases, sell subsidized grocery items and are a life saver for struggling families in the armed services.
A family of four can save $4,500 a year at commissaries on average, according to the Defense Commissary Agency. Compared to regular grocery stores, the items are on average about 30% cheaper.
The proposed cuts would have shaved those savings to $1,500 a year.
Food stamp use among military rises again
Lawmakers agreed that the cuts can wait one more year, at least. A special military panel, mandated by Congress, is reviewing the commissaries and other military costs, including pay, in a report due out next February.
Each year, $1.4 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars are used to run 178 commissaries nationwide and 67 located overseas.
The Department of Defense had planned to slash $200 million in subsidies each year for the next five years, which would mostly affect the U.S. stores.