Sunday, September 12, 2010

Don't Throw Away Those Expired Coupons!

I have been blogging about ways that I have found to save money and today I want to change gears slightly and talk about how we can help our men and women in uniform save money.  You can really make a difference in the lives of so many in such a simple way.

Did you know that the military families can use expired coupons in the military PX/BX and commissary stores?  If you did then you're an exception as most American's who would like to show their support for our troops don't know of this very simple method.  So do not throw away expired coupons!  They're still good overseas for up to six months after the expiration date.  I would like to thank the manufacturers for offering this to our military overseas as it makes a big difference in their standard of living.

Every few weeks I go through my coupons and sort out the ones that have expired (not more than two months past expiration date) and the coupons that I likely will not use and put them in a plastic zip lock bag until I get enough to stuff into a USPS Express Mail envelope.  I have found that using the USPS Express Mail envelope is the cheapest way to mail them since it ends up costing only $4.95 no matter how many I pack into the envelope.  If that is a little too much for your budget then think about sending some via regular USPS mail and spend as little as 44 cents, plus the cost of the envelope and your time.

This would be great thing for a group of you to do or as a church sponsored activity or a school project as a way of showing our fighting men and women that we are thinking about them and their families.  You can not possibly imagine how good it makes them feel to know that they are supported and not forgotten.  Believe me I know first hand.

Now where to mail your coupons:

You can choose to send your coupons to a co-op that collects and then forwards the coupons to the community centers overseas.  Here is a link to a good article on the process:  "Expired Coupons Help Military Families".  There are a number of organizations that you can find on the Internet that coordinate the processing distribution of expired coupons to the military or have helpful resources that you can use. 

Or if you prefer you can send them directly to the bases overseas yourself.  One of my favorite sites is run by fellow blogger Michelle Jones; check out her web page on expired coupons at  where she also lists some bases that you can send coupons too.  If possible it is a good idea to contact whoever you're sending coupons too and make sure they need what you're sending them.  You certainly don't want to send them and not have them used because they have too many already.  A quick advance note to the base would be one way of making a preliminary inquiry and first contact.  Once you've established contact you can adopt a base and help to keep them supplied with coupons.