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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What do you do with your Expired Coupons?

It’s a new month which means new coupons but it also means time to clear out expired ones.  What do you do with your expired coupons?  I hope you are not throwing them away!

Our military overseas can use expired coupons at their Commissary and Exchanges for up to 6 months past the expiration date.   If you know of a family stationed overseas you can send to them directly and most share their coupons with other families.  It is important to note that state side military CAN NOT USE EXPIRED COUPONS at their Commissaries and Exchanges. 

If you don’t have anyone particular there are two online groups that you can connect with. 

Coups For Troops is an organization where you can either send your expired coupons in bulk to their clearing house or you can adopt a family through their Direct Mail option.

Overseas Coupon  Program is an organization where you can choose from numerous overseas bases and posts and send to their coordinator who will distribute the coupons.

I went through Overseas Coupon  Program and adopted an Army post  in Okinawa, Japan.  A couple of months ago I received the sweetest letter from someone stationed there, thanking me for sending my expireds and telling me how much it has helped their family.  It truly made my day and brought tears to my eyes!

A few things to know: 
  • Please cut out your coupons, do not send whole, uncut inserts unless you are sending to a specific family and they have requested them this way.  If you are sending to a coordinator, they sort the coupons by “FOOD” and “NONFOOD” to help distribute the coupons between the commissary and the Exchange. I keep (2) Ziploc bags taped to my desk, one marked FOOD and one marked NONFOOD so that when I am pulling out expired coupons it makes it quick and easy to just drop them in the appropriate bag; this prevents any time consuming sorting later when I’m ready to mail.

  • They cannot use store specific coupons or catalinas for specific stores such as Target or Walgreens.  They also cannot use restaurant coupons. 
  •  Don’t staple the coupons.  It creates unnecessary work for them to remove all the staples.
  • You will need to fill out a customs form (unless you are able to send in a regular envelope).  Check out this post on Expired Coupons for directions on filling out the customs form.  You can get the form at your local post office.

There may be more organizations that I’m not aware of so if you know of other groups please tell me in the comments below so I can be sure to pass this information on.  Also, I’d love to hear from you that send your coupons overseas so please leave me a comment!

I personally absorb all costs with sending my coupons.  I will not ask them to help pay or reimburse me for the costs of shipping the coupons to them.  This is, in my opinion, one small way I am supporting our military.  Reading through various coupon forums, it appears not everyone feels this way as I see many posts requesting that the recipient pay the shipping costs. I have been approached by several saying that they would send me their expired coupons so I can send them to my adopted post IF I SEND THEM MONEY TO COVER THEIR COSTS.  I do not and will not participate in that way.  I will gladly include any expired coupons with my own but I feel you can pay to send them to me.  That’s just me and my opinion, but it is one I feel very strongly about!

If you are interested in sending your expireds to me, just email me at!

So as you are pulling out your expired coupons, please consider sharing them with our overseas military!