Saturday, April 9, 2011

Putting Unused Coupons to Good Use

I was actually going to write this earlier, especially when it looked like those in the military would go without pay, but luckily it has worked out.

Those of you who get coupons probably pitch them once they have expired. They may even be some of you who don't even use the coupons that come in the paper and pitch them when you get them. DON'T! You can actually put your coupons, even the expired ones to good use. There is a program called Overseas Coupon Program that lets you send those unused and expired coupons to military families overseas.

The program is really easy. You can go onto the base listings to see which ones are accepting the coupons. Then you fill out an application to "adopt" the base. You can then start sending them your coupons. They don't accept printed coupons and there are a few other restrictions, but they accept a majority of coupons. The Commissary and PX will allow coupons to have expired over 2 months prior, but OCP asks that the coupons you send have an expiration date of 2 months or less.

I do believe there are some posts in the U.S. that you can also mail to, and if you live near one you should find out. I know from personal experience that you live on a shoestring budget when you are part of the military. It gets even harder when you have a spouse overseas and you can't contact them on a regular basis. I can't imagine how difficult it can be for the families living overseas and away from the rest of their family back in the U.S.

As OCP states, this is not a tax deductible donation but a patriotic donation. So, take a little time at the end of the month and set aside the coupons that have expired or that you won't use and put them to good use. Help out our military families who have so much they already have to deal with.

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