How Your Coupons Help the Troops
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How Your Coupons Help the Troops

Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2012 at 9:28 am
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What can you do with an expired coupon?  I think most people probably just toss them into a recycle bin.  Wait!  Did you know that your expired coupons can be used to help out the troops?  Suddenly, those old, expired coupons just got a whole lot more valuable!

I have to admit, I only recently found out about the “Coupons to Troops” website.  What a wonderful idea!  It gives details about how you can take your expired coupons and send them overseas to military families who are able to use them (even though the expiration date has passed).

The website has an easy to find calendar that shows you exactly how old a coupon can be and still be useful for a military family.  Coupons can be used up to six months past their expiration date, (but it is recommended that you do not send any that are over 30 days expired).  You can help the troops with your old coupons.

Military families that are living overseas are able to use expired coupons at the Commissaries and Exchanges that are located on a base.  They have difficulty finding coupons because, unlike you and me, the families living on military bases are not getting a daily newspaper sent to them that is filled with ad inserts that contain coupons.  Your expired coupons can help a military family, who is living on one income, to make ends meet.

There are some rules about how to send coupons to the troops.  They have to be manufacturers coupons.  You have to sort them into two categories before you send them.  Those categories are: Food and Non-Food.

Food would be anything that can be eaten by humans that will provide calories.  Everything else is Non-Food.  Slim-Fast would be Food.  Vitamins would be Non-Food.  It has been suggested that you should use a baggie to separate the Food coupons from the Non-Food coupons.  Avoid using a rubber band or paper clip for that.

Don’t send expired coupons for fast food restaurants.  Military families won’t be able to use those at the Commissaries and Exchanges.  Fast food places that are incredibly common in the United States are not necessarily going to be found in other countries around the world anyway.  For more information, check out Coups For Troops. It is a good place to start if you want to find an address that you can send your expired coupons to.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.