Send Expired Coupons Overseas for Military Personnel

What do you do with your expired coupons? Toss them in the trash? I mean, they’re no good, right? Well, that’s what I used to think too until I starting chatting with Catherine of Cat’s Muse. Catherine taught me all about expired coupons and the benefit for our overseas military.

When I had a reader request on this topic a while back, I immediately knew Catherine should be the one to explain this for everyone considering she is currently a military wife and mother stationed overseas! Catherine shares AAFES coupon matches, and other great goodies for those of us state-side at Cat’s Muse!

These questions will give you an understanding of the value in sending your expired coupons away, and also how to go about doing it! So, Catherine…

Why is it important to send expired coupons overseas?

We do not have access to a Sunday paper to get coupon inserts. As of right now, these are the most readily available type of coupons out there.

Can all military personnel use expired coupons? Or, is it just for military personnel overseas?

Expired coupons can only be used by members of the military who are stationed overseas, and even then only those who have access to a commissary or PX/BX or other military facility that accepts expired coupons. If unaware whether your store accepts expired coupons, be sure to ask a store manager.

What types of expired coupons can be used?

Any manufacturer coupons coming from Sunday inserts, home mailers, grocery store mailers (although no store coupons), internet printables. I have also found that some bases will allow the use of expired catalinas as well, but others will not. So, don’t send these unless you know the person you are sending them to can use them.

How long are the expired coupons valid to be used and redeemed?

Coupons are valid for up to 6 months past the expiration date.

So, if you can use the coupons for up to 6 months, how “expired” should our coupons be to consider sending them overseas?

If you are sending them to an individual you know will use them right away, then they are probably OK for 3 months past the expiration. But, if you are sending them to a sorting point on a military facility then try to keep those coupons at 1-2 months at most past the expiration date. Those facilities often need times to sort and distribute the coupons. And, depending on the shipping method, it can take even longer to receive at the military facility (Priority mail can take 1 to 3 weeks, parcel post up to 8 weeks or more).

What is the best way to prepare coupons for sending? Should I clip them all or send whole inserts?

You can send a whole lot more coupons for your postage money if you clip them first. They are also a lot easier to sort this way. If you are sending them to an individual, check with them first to see if they are ok with inserts. If you are sending coupons to a military facility they prefer that you clip them first. Many of them have sorting and distributions in place that makes it much easier to pass along clipped coupons.

Should they be organized sorted in any specific way, i.e., organize by product, separate in envelopes, etc.?

I find it helpful when people sort the coupons into food & non food categories. This seems to make them faster to sort as well. Some also staple multiple coupons together which also makes them easier to find as well. As far as how to sort them, I’ve had people use everything from construction paper to plastic bags to envelopes they all seem to work. I think that people use
what’s handy for them.

What is the best way to mail (US Post office, FedEx, etc).

I don’t know if it’s the best way, but it’s the only way right now unless people want to pay international air mail rates. Use the US Post Office. We have what are called military zip codes that allow the postage to be the same and many times less for people who are stateside to ship to us here. Be prepared to fill out a customs label if you are sending a large amount of coupons in a large envelop or box.

Do you know of any other resources (other than your site) we can visit to find out more on expired coupons for our military?

Hot Coupon World has a thread that lists people who are looking for expired coupons here. I have participated in this & the response has been wonderful to the point where I have asked to be removed until I can get caught up.

Also, the Overseas Coupon Program helps to coordinate sending coupons as well. You can find more information at the site here.

Finally, and probably the most important would be to check with your local USO to see if they have a coupon program in place. The USO really does a lot for those of us who are stationed overseas. Many of the USO locations also take donated items to send to the troops as well. Their website with loads of resources can be found here.

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Cat, thanks so much for all this great information! This reminds me that I need to mail you a pack of expireds this week too!

Were you familiar with this program? Do you send your expired coupons to overseas military?

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on January 19, 2009

18 Comments

  • BrandyEllen - January 19, 2009 @ 6:47 pm
    1

    That is really awesome! I often toss away expired coupons or ones I can not use myself. I will have to read more about this!

    Thanks,
    Brandyellen

  • Miriam - January 19, 2009 @ 7:30 pm
    2

    I’d heard very vaguely that military people could use expired coupons, but this is by far the best, most informative information I’ve heard yet! I’ve been tossing all my expired/won’t use coupons into the recycling… I will check this out to see if I can pass them along! Thank you (both!).

  • Catherine - January 19, 2009 @ 9:25 pm
    3

    Thanks, Andrea, for helping to get out the word on expired coupons to those of us in the military & civilians. I really appreciated the opportunity to share a "snack" with your readers!

  • Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net - January 19, 2009 @ 9:40 pm
    4

    Cat – thanks so much for your help with this!!! :-)

  • Anonymous - January 20, 2009 @ 1:31 am
    5

    I have used this program when we were stationed overseas and now donate my leftover coupons to my local VFW and they send them overseas for me with a larger batch. Saves me postage.

  • Marianne Thomas - January 20, 2009 @ 4:08 am
    6

    Andrea, thanks for posting this. I knew about this program (for goodness sakes, I spent a few years shopping Military PXs!} but haven’t been diligently saving my expired q’s. I’ve got a bunch waiting to get sorted – now I know exactly what to do with them.

    Thanks!

  • one frugal lady - January 21, 2009 @ 12:32 am
    7

    There is actually a drop-off place in my town for these. I guess they take a massive pile and send it out all together! They totally treat me like royalty there too, because I’m such a coupon nerd, I always bring in about 5 pounds of expired coupons… thanks for spreading the word. This is way better than the trash can!

  • Anonymous - January 21, 2009 @ 7:58 pm
    8
  • Anonymous - January 21, 2009 @ 8:09 pm
    9

    OK, I screwed up that last address.

    3600 Terminal Drive
    Vandalia, OH 45377

  • Kim - January 22, 2009 @ 1:16 am
    10

    Thanks for the info! We lived in Okinawa for 3 years and getting the coupons was great. But I had forgotten all about it – you’ve inspired me to ask my Brother and SIL if they can use mine them since they’re in Japan!

  • The Stilwells - January 22, 2009 @ 6:13 pm
    11

    Good to know. I will be starting an envelope with expired coupons whenever I “purge” my box and send them off afterwards.

  • Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net - January 23, 2009 @ 2:58 am
    12

    I am SO EXCITED to hear all of your feedback on this!!!

    @Kristen – thanks for that address :-)

  • Kitchy - January 24, 2010 @ 8:56 pm
    13

    Hi, Andrea……this is really great news to me…im poor and maybe in my own little way …i can help…i even collect all the box top and try to give to a school near to where we lived.I am really excited to save all the expired coupons.Thank you!

    • Andrea Deckard - January 24, 2010 @ 11:09 pm
      13.1

      Kitchy, you know every little bit helps them. Thanks for considering sending them over!

  • Sheryl George - October 15, 2010 @ 7:00 am
    14

    I think more people should bring this to the attention of others ~ I didn’t even know this existed :-(

    Glad that you posted this ~ it is a very easy way to help our Military families out that are away from home :-)

  • FrugalFather - November 18, 2010 @ 8:31 pm
    15

    Hello Andrea,

    It has almost been 2 years since you published this post, but as I can see from the comments it is still a relevant subject with you readers.

    I am a disabled Veteran and retired from the US Army and a fellow blogger and on all those levels I can tell you that there is still a great need for expired coupons and they are very much appreciated by military families.

    You have written an excellent article and if you would like to see what I have written on the subject please visit my blog at http://www.PennyPinchersPal.com

    FrugalFather

  • Lesley - May 22, 2011 @ 4:18 pm
    16

    :0) I’m Lesley and not only am I one that maintains the list at HotCouponWorld that Catherine mentioned but since this was originally posted, HotCouponWorld has created a sister site called http://www.CouponsToTroops.com which is all about sending coupons.

    We strongly encourage people to send their coupons overseas directly to a specific family – that way you know that your coupons are reaching someone who will use them and/or share them with others who will use them. While we don’t list any military family’s address on the site, we will happily put you in touch with a military family from our contact list. All you’ll have to do is email us at [email protected]. By that same note, if any military families are stationed overseas and would like to be added to our contact list, please email us for more information on that!!!

    :0)

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