Thursday, February 11, 2010

What can you do with all those expired coupons?

I saw this on Deal Seeking Mom this morning and was actually quite intriged by this article. What a simple way to make your donations go further and help out our Armed Forces as the same time!

Coupons are like money and it seems like such a waste to throw away unused coupons. Many stores in the United States do not accept expired coupons because retailers will not be reimbursed for coupons that are past their expiration dates. So what should you do with expired coupons?

Did you know overseas military families can use expired manufacturer coupons in their commissaries for up to six months past their expiration dates? Many military families are living on a tight budget, but while living in another country they do not have access to the Sunday coupon inserts.

Instead of throwing out your unused and expired coupons, consider mailing them to an overseas military family.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Only manufacturer coupons can be used by overseas military personnel. Store-specific coupons, like those for Target, cannot be redeemed. 
  • Food and baby coupons are in much higher demand than pet and medication coupons.
  • Overseas Coupon Program has a list of mailing addresses for military bases accepting coupon donations. Also, ask people in your community if they know of someone stationed overseas since sending coupons directly to a family rather to the family center on base may benefit the family more. 
  • For a list of other organizations that have coupon projects in place refer to Coupons for Troops.
Follow these steps to send coupons overseas:
  • Cut the coupons out to reduce weight for shipping and to make the coupons easy to sort.
  • Only send coupons that are expired by two months or less. This allows for mail time and sorting once the coupons arrive on base. 
  • Sort coupons into two categories: food and non-food items. Pet coupons are considered non-food.
  • Place sorted coupons into zipper plastic bags and label them with food or non-food.
  • The Post Office will require you to fill out a customs form. Just ask and they will help you with it!
  • Shipping the coupons does not require extra postage for overseas shipping since it will be to an APO or FPO address.
To take this project to the next level, consider setting up drop boxes in your community. The library is a good place to start. For example, Madame Deals currently has four drop box locations at various businesses in our area.

Sending coupons to overseas military families is a great chance to be charitable without having to spend a lot of money.

No comments: