Whether in good economic times or bad, there are always people around who use coupons. Some coupons don’t have an expiration date, but most do. Many people think that once a coupon expires it can no longer be used. I recently found out this is not the case at all.
Expired Coupons Can Be Used – The Overseas Coupon Program
I was reading my email update from A Thrifty Mom when I got to her post about what to do with expired coupons. I could hardly believe my eyes. Overseas U.S. military bases can accept and use expired coupons! Individuals and groups can collect their expired coupons, bundle them and then send them off to any number of participated military bases for the use of U.S. military personnel. This helps military personnel and their families make their money stretch a littler further as well.
The recipients of the coupons are those military personnel and their family members who get them from others on the base involved with the program or pick them up right in the PX or Commissary. These are the places military personnel and their families go to make purchases of food and other supplies while on base.
The coupons need to be no more than two months expired when they are mailed to the base. Before mailing, they need to be bundled into two groupings: food and non-food. Its best to bundle them in baggies or envelopes before mailing them.
The Overseas Coupon Program website has many links that have great information about how to mail the coupons, tips and tricks and how to get your donations recorded. Mailing coupons is not a tax-deductible donation, but it is a patriotic one. The organization had sponsorship once and is seeking it again. If obtained, an awards program will once again be enacted for coupon donors.
The Overseas Coupon Program has a listing of all participating bases, their mailing addresses and all the information you need to participate. To participate in the program as a donor, you must first send in an email to officially ‘adopt’ the base of your choice. Japan, Korea, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Germany and the U.K. are just some of the places with participating military bases. All the necessary instructions about the easy process of signing up and adopting a base are on The Overseas Coupon Program base list page.
More Than Expired Coupons
When cutting out coupons, the ones you will not use can also be cut and then put aside for the military bases project. For example, if you don’t drink coffee you can clip and save all of those coupons for submission to your adopted base. When you make your expired coupon bundles for the military bases, you can easily add the coupons for the items you don’t purchase. The coupons don’t need to be expired for them to be useful on the bases.
Hardcore couponers regularly clean out their stash and may even make a party of coupon clipping and exchanging. The same concept could be applied to pulling out the expired and unwanted coupons, bundling and mailing them. Any group may adopt a base as a whole and may have get-togethers to help make the tedious process of sifting through coupons a little more enjoyable. This may also help keep the donations rolling in to the bases on a regular basis.
Expired Coupons? A Thrifty Mom. June 22, 2009 (repost). http://athriftymom.com/2009/06/expired-coupons/
Oversees Coupon Program. http://www.ocpnet.org/