9.28.2011

Coupons to Troops

Did you know that our US military families who are stationed overseas are able to use expired coupons up to six months past their expiration date?  I had no idea!  Apparently, the commissaries on base have an agreement with the manufacturers that allow the use of expired coupons on overseas bases.

After doing a little bit of research on various organizations that work to help people here in the States get their coupons to the military personnel overseas, I landed at Coupons to Troops.  This amazing site matches overseas military families with generous families here in the US who are willing to mail their expired and unwanted coupons directly to them.  My favorite part about this is that YOU, the coupon sender, are matched directly to a certain, specific FAMILY, to be the coupon receivers.  Not only do the families get the coupons much quicker this way, as opposed to the coupons first being sent to a collection point and then being forwarded onto a base, but you get the benefit of knowing that your coupons are helping a real live family, not sitting in the corner of some collection point, forgotten about.  

In addition, many of the other organizations that I found require that you divide the coupons into category before you send them, put them in zip-top plastic bags (NO PAPER CLIPS!  NO RUBBER BANDS!), and tally up the total value of the coupons and write it on the outside of the bag.  Yeesh!  Can you imagine sitting and adding up the value of all of the coupons??  Hello, waste of time! 

My experience thus far with Coupons to Troops, albeit brief, has been so positive: Last Thursday, I signed up to receive a family to "adopt."  On Friday, I received an email from Coupons to Troops saying that I had been matched with a family stationed in Japan, and that they would be in contact with me.  By Sunday, the family emailed me with their address, so earlier today, I sent out my first round of coupons to my new gal pal in Japan! 

I did end up organizing the coupons into categories, because that's just who I am ;)  I packaged each category into recycled envelopes (read: ones I had gotten in the mail and dug out of our paper recycling bin) and put them all into a large envelope to mail.  It weighed just under 16oz, which meant two wonderful things: 1) I didn't have to fill out a much-loathed customs form, and 2) it cost just $5.95 to ship.  (My $6 spent on shipping versus potentially hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of savings for a family(ies) stationed far away from the comforts of home in a foreign country seems rather superfluous).  I'm thinking I'll send a package over once or twice a month, depending on how many coupons I accumulate.  My gal in Japan explained to me that their base, like many overseas military bases, has a "coupon train," so that any coupons that people receive that they personally don't use can be put to good use by someone else on the base.  So even though my family doesn't have any pets or babies, somebody on that base will be blessed by my sending those coupons!

Interested?  You can head over to the Coupons to Troops website and fill out the submission form on the left hand side to be matched to a family. Let me know if you do; I'm so pumped about this!

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing CouponsToTroops with your readers. You touched on each and every one of the advantages to using us to get you started on sending coupons overseas - the ease of signing up - the simplicity of getting your coupons packaged up and sent and the one-to-one contact with the family you'll be helping!!

    We are constantly adding new military families to our contact list, so we invite anyone to come on over and sign up for your own family!!!

    :) Lesley
    admin@couponstotroops.com

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  2. We are a military family in Guam and appreciate being matched up with families through CouponstoTroops due to the wonderful efforts of Leslie Parkinson. I am thankful for the coupons and for the support that I feel from the families. Not only are they blessing our family, but many others as I pass on coupons we don't use to other military families. It is a huge blessing and I would like to encourage others to get involved.

    christine_duplissey@yahoo.com

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  3. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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