Today being 4th of July got me thinking about things and how our freedom in the United States is directly related to the soldiers who are out there fighting for us everyday. This of course got me to thinking about ways to thank them which leads me to todays post on how to use expired coupons. Some of you may not know that expired coupons up to six months past their expiration date can be donated to our soldiers and their families for their use. Military families stationed overseas are often living on one income and money can be scarce. To me this is an excellent reuse idea. Most of the time you will have to pay postage but their are some websites that can help you with that if you want to donate but cannot afford the postage.
The following websites will help you on your mission to help our soldiers:
1. Coupons To Troops http://www.couponstotroops.com/ The following was copied and pasted off their website:
ABOUT US :Founded in 2009, CouponsToTroops was created to help spread awareness that US military families who are stationed overseas can use coupons, up to 6 months past their expiration date.The inspiration for our website came from a letter that appeared in Dear Abby’s advice column in February 2009. A reader had written in, saying that she had just begun couponing but every week there were so many more than her family could use so she was wondering what she could do with the extra coupons. Lesley, a moderator at HotCouponWorld.com , and the chairperson for her husband’s Marine Corps League’s overseas coupon project wasted no time in sending a letter of her own to Dear Abby, mentioning the 6 month expired policy on overseas bases. Imagine her glee when she received a phone call from Dear Abby’s people letting her know that her letter would be published in the column in early June. One phone call later, this time to Heidi and Julie, owners of HotCouponWorld and each a military spouse as well, and CouponsToTroops was born. Our website went live just days before the Dear Abby column was published in papers all over the country. Even though Lesley’s letter didn’t specifically mention CouponsToTroops by name, it didn’t take long at all for people to find our website and contact us, hoping that we could give them an address of an overseas family to mail their coupons directly to.Based on the response those first few days, the focus of our site shifted slightly. In addition to spreading the word about the coupons being able to be used for 6 months past their expiration date, we began putting families and organizations here in the US in touch with families stationed overseas. Fast forward to the present and our list of overseas families continues to grow on a daily basis, and we’re proud that we’ve been able to provide such an easy way for Americans to show their support to all of the overseas military families in the CouponsToTroops database.Whether you have extra and expired coupons to send or whether you are stationed overseas and interested in being on the receiving end, having coupons delivered right to your mailbox, we invite you to be a part of CouponsToTroops!
The following was copied and pasted from the OCPNET website: What is OCP? Our program serves military families by assisting you to forward “manufacturer’s coupons” to overseas military bases. These bundles of coupons are placed on tables, at the PX/ BX and Commissary, or handed out for use by military members and families on base. This helps the family save valuable dollars and stretch their budget. This is not a tax-deductible charity. This is a patriotic charity. You are supporting the service person and their family by sending coupons that you do not use, and all of the extra ones that you can find, to them. The service pay rates are no longer below the poverty level, but they are in no way great when you have a family. Our military service families appreciate your assistance.
3. http://www.grocerysavingtips.com/expiredgrocerycoupons.htm Follow this link to get a list of military bases that you can send your coupons to.
4. Troopons http://www.supportourtroops.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1435 I copied the FAQs off the Troopon website so you can get a feel for what some sites want you to.
Frequently Asked Questions. (FAQs)
Are We still doing this? Yes, if you see this page, we are still doing this.
This is patriotic, but not tax-deductible. You’ll get your benefit by feeling good now, and when you meet God, not when you file with the taxman.
No Minimum Donation Size. A million grains of sand make a big beach.
Watch Your Dates!
- Match the expiration dates to the shipping addresses very carefully so they’re routed to the proper location.
- Expired coupons are not valid for use on U.S. bases Please keep in mind that there is travel time to bases overseas, whether you’re sending to families here or abroad, think about leaving a couple of months available for usage.
Clip Out Your Coupons.
- We can’t clip them for you and the bases will not accept them because they don’t have the manpower.
- Save people at the base time (they’re doing quite enough for all of us already!)
- Save on your postage (why pay to ship all the rest of that sheet of paper?)
- Only “Manufacturer’s Coupons” can be used.
- They can be from the newspaper, dispensers in grocery stores, tear-pads, and elsewhere as long as they state “Manufacturer’s Coupon” on them.
- No assistance vouchers.
- No food stamps.
- No store coupons.
- No restaurant coupons.
- No Internet coupons.
Sort & Pack the Coupons.
- Pack them separated in sandwich or quart-size plastic bags.
- Bases usually have a grocery store and a department store.
- Separate food, baby products, and non-food coupons to help the base volunteers and personnel send them to the right stores.
- Don’t use rubber bands, paper clips, etc…
Mark the Bags.
- Write “food,” “baby,” “non-food” on the outside of each bag.
- Write the approximate value on the outside of the bag.
- Use the maximum value printed on any “buy one, get one free” offers.
- If none is printed, estimate.
What is “Food”?
- Food can be eaten or drank by humans for nourishment.
- Chewing gum and mints are considered food.
What is non-food?
- Housewares, animal food, vitamins, etc…are not food.
Why put the value of coupons on the bag?
- So that we can allocate the amounts among the various bases according to their sizes and needs.
- So that we can track how much good is happening by all us little people.
Does SOT ship coupons to individual military families?
- No. All of the shipments go to the base stores at which all of the surrounding families will end up anyway. It would be far too expensive and administratively difficult to split out and ship to millions of individual addresses. It would be impossible to estimate and control the proper quantity to individual addresses, and the bulk of them would be wasted be wasted.
Why do you deem it best to ship only to military stores?
- It is by far the most efficient method. We can ship in bulk, which saves tremendously on shipping cost. Everyone wants charities to have low overhead and this is one smart way to do it. Families can use what they need while they are at the store and put back what they did not use so that the next shopper may use them. Everyone goes to these stores anyway to do their shopping, and these stores are where the coupons need to end up.
- Further, by dealing only at the store level we are able to ship more to stores which tell us they need more, pause shipments to stores that say they have too much, and send less to stores that tell us they need less. This could not possibly be affordably done at the individual level.
Can off-base families use these coupons?
- Absolutely. Most of the off-base families go on base to do their shopping. And so the coupons will be right there at the store where they are needed. Everyone wants charities to maintain low overhead and avoid waste. Shipping to the store allows us to concentrate the resource where will be found by everybody going there whether they come from on-base or off-base. Postage and shipping to thousands of addresses around bases, multiplied by hundreds of bases, would be astronomically expensive and use up funds that could be spent on other wonderful SupportOurTroops.Org programs benefiting active-duty military. So whether one lives off-base or on-base they can use the Troopons program because they will find the Troopons located at the on-base store.
Can people take coupons from the store to use off-base?
- That is up to the policies set by your local base store. Once delivered to the store by SOT, ownership is relinquished and the use of these coupons by the store is without restriction. SupportOurTroops.Org does not believe it needs to micromanage matters after delivery and that such decisions are best made within the military community. SOT just gets its hands on as much stuff as it can and pushes over to the military.
- Once it is in the military’s hands, the military is best to determine particular aspects of its use.
- We do not sell coupons . And this is not an offer to buy coupons. This transfer program is void where prohibited.
- We also try not to accept coupons from companies or products wanting to prohibit free transfer of their coupons to military families. In the opinion of many such a practice would be un-American. But to assist implementing the wishes of a company or product wanting their coupons not to be given to military families, we will upon notice post a list of such companies and products on this webpage to notify all good Americans participating in the Troopons program of that company’s position and behavior in order to assist in avoiding collection of those types of coupons..
The following Helpful coupon sites helped me compile this post, they also have useful coupon information too!: