Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Donate Your Expired Coupons

Many people don't realize that their expired coupons can still be used! Military families stationed oversees are able to use coupons for up to 6 months past their expiration date!

Each month, I collect expired coupons from people all over the country and mail them off to the military base in Ansbach, Germany. I go through a site called the Overseas Coupon Program. They keep listings of bases that can take donations. Each month I send them the total dollar value of the coupons donated. Here's how it works:

Mail me all of your expired coupons, or any coupons that you won't be using and don't mind getting rid of. My mailing address is:

Cherie Searles
183 Bolton Center Rd
Bolton, CT 06043

Please make sure you have correct postage! I sometimes get envelopes with postage still due.

Here are the guidelines as to what is and is not accepted on the base:

  • Accepted: manufacturer's coupons
  • Accepted: printable coupons
  • Not Accepted: manufacturer's coupons for a Free item. Buy 1 Get 1 is ok.
  • Not Accepted: coupons only redeemable at a specific store (i.e., Target, Publix, etc)
  • Not Accepted: coupons that are more than 2-3 months past expiration date
  • Not Accepted: coupons for restaurants
  • Not Accepted: mail in rebate forms

When I receive the coupons I sort them into two groups:
  • Group One includes all food items
  • Group Two includes all non-food items. This group also includes vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter medications and pet foods.
Most military bases have a Commissary and a PX. Food items are sold in the Commissary and non-food items are sold in the PX. I keep a total of the dollar value because the Overseas Coupon Program keeps track of the value of coupons being sent to each base. If they see a base that could use some extra help they let everyone know.

I only accept coupons that are 2-3 months past expiration date because it takes me a while to total them all. Then, it takes a while for them to get to the base through the mail. Once they get to the base they are sorted and distributed to needy families by volunteers. It can take a while from the time I get them to the time they get into the hands of the families that need them so I try to send them out as soon as possible.

Each month I post the total value of coupons donated that month. I list overall totals as well as individual totals for each person that sends me coupons. If you have a blog or website, please send me a note along with your coupons and I will be happy to link to you in that post. Please make sure you send the site address along with your coupons. That's the easiest way for me to make sure that you're getting credit. Also, please make sure your name is on the envelope or in a note inside if you would like credit. Sometimes I get envelopes filled with coupons but there's no name or return address. If you don't have your name included somewhere I'll list your donation as from "anonymous."

Click here to see totals from past months.

If you have any other questions please feel free to email me at

I do not require that you have the coupons sorted or even clipped. I'm willing to do all of that for you. If you have some extra time and would like to sort and clip I won't complain, though! :) If you send me coupons for a specific store or restaurants or any others that are not acceptable on base I'll just throw them away. They will not be counted towards your personal total. I don't mind culling these as I go, but it may save you some postage if you do this ahead of time.

After much consideration I've decided to add a donations button here. I want to be absolutely clear: Monetary donations are NOT required in order to participate in this program!! I am happy to accept your expired coupons and send them out without a monetary donation. Having said that, I've decided to offer my readers the option of donating because over the past couple of months I've had more and more people sending me their coupons. $3,000+ in coupons weigh an awful lot and it's getting more and more expensive to mail them out. If you have a spare dollar here or there I would be extremely grateful if you would consider donating to hep defray the cost of postage.

Thanks so much!

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