The best thing about coupons is the savings that you can get. When you use them, they help tremendously – especially when matched with a sale. But what do you do with them when they’re expired? Are they of any value to anyone before you add them to the recycling pile? Yes!
A great place to send your expired coupons is to our troops. Military families are able to use expired coupons for up to six months, so once you are done with them, why not help someone else! A few tips on donation:
- You will want to make sure that your coupons are no more than three months expired when you mail them. It can take up to six weeks for military families to receive your coupons and you want them to have time to use the savings.
- Not all programs accept printable coupons.
- Please do not send store coupon, restaurant coupons, food stamps or assistance vouchers.
Two great programs that you may want to donate to are Coups For Troops and Troopons. Here is what you need to know:
- Overseas military families can use only manufacturer coupons (internet printed included). Some military bases allow restaurant coupons, so you may want to ask before sending. Please do not send store coupons.
- You may choose between adopting a family or a one-time donation.
- For the direct mail, they recommend you send your package once a month, more often is fine. This is specifically for if you are adopting a family.
- If you are sending more than a standard envelope, they strongly recommend the flat rate boxes rather than regular postage. You can pack them full and it still costs the same!
- They provide these coupons as a service to the families who serve in our military. For no reason should they be asked to pay for postage to receive these coupons from you. If you can’t afford to mail the coupons, contact them and they can offer suggestions. If they learn that you are seeking reimbursement from your military families for postage (please don’t do that!), you will be removed from this program.
- Fill out the Contact Form to adopt a military family.
- You should be able to find Drop-Off locations here and Mail-In Satellite locations here.
There are very specific instructions for participating in Troopons, so make sure that you’re familiar.
- Cut out the coupons. Acceptable coupons include newspaper coupons, tearpads and blinkie coupons among others. They must say “manufacturer’s coupon.”
- Sort coupons into two piles by status: a. Expired. Not expired more than 2 months. (e.g. if today’s date is 3/1/2013, you would cut out coupons with an expiration date that is not older than 1/1/2013. b. Unexpired. At least two months of life left.
- Sort each of those two piles into four piles by type: a. Food items b. Non-food items c. Baby food/items d. Pet items (like dog food)
- Stuff them into plastic baggies.
- Write the status (Expired or Unexpired) and the type (food, non-food, baby, or pet) on them.
- Total the retail savings of the baggies and write it on them. This helps them track the value of the overall program.
- Mail them to SOT as follows: Support Our Troops® P.O. Box 70 Daytona Beach, FL 32115-0070
This is a great way to pay it forward to our troops, so make your coupons last a little bit longer and help someone else!
Ready for more? Check out a list of other Couponing Tips here!