Fort Hood, being the largest Army base in the world, actually has two big PXs; along with about 6 or 7 shoppettes. A lot of people get a little excited about the big PX when they find out they’re coming here. For us though, it was actually a bit of a let down …
We came here from Hawaii in 2009. And among many other things that Hawaii has, there is an (over) abundance of military shopping facilities. There was a big BX at Hickam, an only slightly smaller PX at Schofield, and a huge Navy Exchange at Pearl Harbor. Needless to say, we didn’t do a whole lot of shopping off base when we lived in paradise.
Here in Texas, it’s a bit more of a toss-up as to where we go when we need something. On the one hand, the main PX is almost right across the street from our house, so it’s really convenient. But some things, like clothes, they carry mostly name brand/designer stuff, so for a family with a lot of kids, Walmart is actually a little easier on the budget.
Not only that, but remember up above where I said that we have two big PXs here on post? Well, there’s a caveat; even though they are on opposite sides of Fort Hood (about a 15-20 minute drive apart), they are not identical stores. The Clear Creek store, which is over by us, has things like clothes, lawn and garden, kitchen ware, and books. If we want electronics, furniture or sporting goods, you have to go over the Warrior Way PX on the other side of the post. (Ana is actually over there right now looking for a bicycle).
Even if it is a bit of a hassle sometimes, all-in-all the military exchange is a really good deal (tax free, and generally very competitive prices). It one of the better benefits that comes along with serving.