I love couponing, saving money and getting a good deal. Each week I collect the Sunday coupon inserts from several friends and family members and even after I’ve clipped all the coupons I need for the week or might need in the upcoming weeks, there’s still an over abundance of perfectly good coupons left over. I used to toss the, in the recycling until I found out about an amazing non-profit organization called Coups for Troops that allows you to donate expired coupons.
Coups for Troops connects people and groups across the country who have extra coupons with military families overseas who can use coupons at the military grocery store on their base. These military families can even use coupons 6 months expired! This is a terrific program that helps save families tons of money on their grocery bills, while only costing you just a few dollars.
Adopt a Military family or base
Coups for Troops has two main ways in which you can donate coupons. The first is adopting a family overseas and then sending packages of coupons periodically. This is the easiest method for me. I have a location on my bookcase at work where I store all of my unused coupons. I keep mine at work because this is where I’m most organized and I also have a few friends who bring me their coupon inserts. Every month or so, I pack up all of the coupons in a free box provided by post office and mail them to my adopted family in Germany. Each shipment costs about $6 and it only takes a few minutes, including filling out a short customs form. By now, the postal workers know what I’m sending when they see me coming with my box and are all prepared.
Coupon Collection Centers
Another option for donating coupons is to mail or drop off inserts to a collection area. There are people and community groups scattered across the country and these dedicated people clip, sort and mail large boxes of coupons overseas to several families or bases. You can find address of collection locations on the website. I’ve sent coupons to a few different groups when I’ve had an overabundance or been between adopted families.
The process is quite simple. Just email Coups to Troops and let them know you’re interested in adopting a family (no need to contact them if you just want to send a box within the US to a group listed on their site). Coups for Troops is maintained by only a few (very sweet!) volunteers so it might take a couple days for them to respond to you. Be patient and also check your spam folder. They will provide you with the name and mailing address of a family in need of coupons. They also send a group email so you will have that person’s contact email. Ask them how they would like their coupons-either clipped or full inserts. My current family is ok with full inserts; my last preferred all coupons to be clipped. That’s it! Have fun with it. Ask the family a bit about themselves, like where they are stationed, branch of military, etc. And of course, share something about yourself, too. I always try to send a little card of thanks along with my package but it’s not necessary.
All the ‘rules’ for sending coupons are listed on the website. I’ve really enjoyed learning where my coupons are going and about the family I’ve adopted.
If you adopt a family, or are already involved in Coups for Troops, let me know! I’d love to hear about your experience!