How to send coupons to the troops overseas

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If you’re a coupon clipper, chances are sometimes you clip too much and are left with excess coupons that you can’t use.

Rather than letting those unused coupons languish until they get tossed in the recycle bin, why not send them overseas to help the brave men and women of our military and their families?

Read more: The Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act —A financial safety net for the troops

The troops want you…to send them expired coupons!

Military families who are stationed overseas buy their groceries from the commissary on base. Fortunately, those commissaries will accept manufacturer’s coupons up to six months after the printed expiration date.

If you want to send your old coupons to help these military families, there’s a great organization called Overseas Coupon Program (OCP) that maintains a list of U.S. military bases abroad that need coupons.

Get an overview of the program here.

Once you get familiar with the OCP site, you can select a military base for ‘adoption,’ which means you and/or your group will send them your expired coupons on a regular basis.

Here’s a quick select list of some U.S. military bases abroad that are waiting to be adopted. There are many more, so be sure to click-through to the OCP site for the complete list.

Base location Service branch Mailing address

Alconbury, U.K.

U.S. Air Force RAF Alconbury 423 ABS/DPF APO AE 09470

Ansbach, Germany

U.S. Army

CAFAP

ACS – 235th BSB

Unit 28614

APO AE 09177

Atsugi, Japan U.S. Navy

U.S. Naval Air Facility

Navy FSC

PSC 477 Box 32

FPO AP 96306

Bamburg, Germany

U.S. Army

USAG Bamburg

IMEU-BAM-MWR-ACS

Army Emergency Relief

APO AE 09139 

Helpful hints if you’re going to send coupons

  • Manufacturer’s coupons only! No store-specific coupons please.
  • Coupons can be up to six months old, though you should account for travel time overseas. Therefore, a good rule is not to send anything older than three months old.
  • Make sure the expiration date is clearly displayed. If it’s cut off by accident, it won’t work.
  • Consider sorting coupons into groups: Food, household items, toiletries, etc.
  • Be sure to use air mail postage.

Read more: Buying a car—A lesson in auto finance for the troops

WATCH: Here’s a walkthrough of the coupon process

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