Coupons To Troops is dedicated to help spread awareness that our US military families who are stationed overseas are able to use expired coupons up to 6 months past their expiration date. Our goal is to help those families who sacrifice so much for our country receive those coupons and help them save money. Since 2009, we have been matching overseas families with generous families and groups here in US willing to mail their expired and unwanted coupons directly to our military families across the oceans.
Why can our overseas Military families use expired coupons?
Since coupons are not readily available overseas, like they are here, commissaries have an agreement with the manufacturers that allow the use of expired coupons on overseas bases. (Exception: Even though bases in Alaska and Hawaii are technically considered to be overseas, they do NOT allow the use of expired coupons there.)
There are several groups and websites about sending coupons overseas – how is CouponsToTroops different?
Some groups say ‘Adopt a Base’ and provide you with an address on base to mail to them, often a Family Support Center. Other groups are a collection point and ask you to mail your coupons to a location here in the US, where they will repackage and mail them overseas.
We are one of the few websites that from Day 1, have recommended sending directly to a military family. The most important reasons for that are because when you send coupons directly to a family overseas, the coupons arrive much quicker than when they go through any other avenue, and you know that your coupons are getting right into the hands of the families who will use the coupons, and you are more likely of receiving an acknowledgement that your coupons have been received
When you ‘Adopt a Base’ or mail to a collection point, your envelope or box is one of hundreds or even thousands, and you may never know if your coupons are getting to the families in time for them to actually use them. The Adopt A Base program takes extra time and effort as it is required to sort your coupons by category, tally up the values and then report in to them. CouponsToTroops does NOT require you to tally up the values to report to us and it is not required to sort the coupons. If you are mailing a large quantity, we suggest sorting as it makes it easier on your family to go through but it is not required!
When you go through a group that acts as collection point, they ask you to mail to them (either to a central location or to one of their branch locations) so that they can repackage them and then mail them overseas. This way actually ends up costing more in postage overall since the same coupons are going through the USPS twice (once from you to them and once from them to the families.)
Another disadvantage to the other groups is that often there is a lack of manpower available to physically handle the coupons quickly and too often the boxes and envelopes sit in a pile in a backroom waiting to be processed by staff and volunteers. Coupons can not help our military families save money if they are not being received before that 6 month expiration point is reached.
How do I Request a Family?
To request a family, please email us or fill out our submission form and we’ll forward your request on to one of our military families, asking them to reply to you to provide their mailing address. When you request a family, you can even specify if you have a preference for a family from a particular branch of service or stationed on a particular base or country.
Why doesn’t CouponsToTroops just give us their mailing address?
For privacy reasons, we do not give out any personal information of our families. Your match-up notification from us will tell you their first name, the country that they are in, and if it is filling a specific request, the branch of service and base. It is then up to the military family to supply their mailing address, email address and whatever other information they are comfortable giving out.
What do I do if I don’t hear back from my family?
Unfortunately this does happen. Often times, you’ll be matched with a family where one spouse is deployed, leaving the other behind to raise the children, tend to household duties, etc so they are not always readily available to answer emails immediately. There’s also times where your family does respond promptly, but their email goes right into your spam folder. Either way, we think the families deserve a second chance to get in touch with you.
First step should be to double-check your spam folder.
Second step would be to email us after 3 or 4 days to let us know that you are still waiting for your family to contact you. We will send a follow up email to your family, asking them again to mail their information to you. If our follow-up request does not yield a reply, we will then match you up with a new family.
Who pays for the postage?
You are responsible for the postage to mail your coupons overseas to a family. But please note that mailing to a family with an APO/FPO military address or stationed in Guam or Puerto Rico (both US territories) will cost you domestic postage rates, NOT international postal rates.
What is the best way to mail my coupons?
Answers vary, based on the amount of coupons that you’ll be mailing.
For a small envelope of coupons, weighing less than 1 ounce, will only cost you 1) 44¢ postage stamp.
For large quantities of coupons, it’s always a good idea to check with your local post office to compare rates of sending via First Class against Priority Mail.
Priority mail is an option! Priority mail offers several different sizes of Flat-Rate envelopes and boxes. Flat Rate Prices range from $4.95 to $14.95. There is a special “America Supports You” large flatrate box, used exclusively for mailing to a APO/FPO military address for only $12.95, a $2.00 discount. (This special box can NOT be used for mailing to families stationed in either Guam or Puerto Rico.)
Priority mail will ensure that your family will receive the coupons faster than if they were mailed via First Class. Often Priority mail packages are received in about a week, where First Class Mail can take up to a few months!
What kind of coupons can I send?
The families can use manufacturers coupons, and military store coupons for up to 6 months past the expiration date. Store coupons, such as Target, Walgreens, JCPenney, Old Navy, etc. cannot be used.
Printable coupons (coupons printed off the internet) CAN also be used, up to 6 months past the expiration.
What if I have more coupons than one family could possibly use?
All of our families have a plan in place to share all of their extra coupons with other families on base. Some participate in coupons swaps, some join coupon trains that travel all over the base, some drop them off at drop-boxes around base (at the family support center, at the library, at the commissary, etc.) Some families even volunteer with groups that take your coupons to the commissary and literally tape the coupons to the products on the shelves. Even though you may be mailing to just one family, you can be assured that your coupons can reach many, many families.
You also have the option to request to be matched up with multiple families, if you wish. Postal costs should be considered though, because depending on how many coupons you’ll be sending, it MAY cost less postage to mail 2 larger package/box than to mail several smaller packages/boxes. But we leave that decision of mailing to one or more families completely up to you.
I’m stationed overseas – how can I sign up to receive coupons?
Simply email us or fill out our Sign up form and after getting a few key pieces of information from you, we will get you started. In peak signup times, there may be a slight delay before you receive your first email match-up request to reply to, but we will begin matching you as soon as possible.
Will I be matched up with only 1 family?
No, you will be matched up with more than 1 family. As we have no way of knowing how many coupons or how often a family will be mailing to you, we will match you with multiple senders. By doing so, you should be receiving packages of varying quantities, on a regular basis, plus having multiple senders will offer you a wider selection of coupons being received.
What if my senders aren’t sending me enough coupons and I could use more?
We are only an email away! If you find that you need more coupons than you are receiving from your senders, please let us know and we’ll match you up with a few more families.
What if my senders are sending me so many coupons that I am overwhelmed?
If this is the case, email us to let us know and we’ll contact some of your senders, letting them know you’d like to cut back and ask them if they’d be interested in being matched to a new family.
What happens when I PCS?
When it’s getting close to your DEROS, and you’ll be coming back stateside, we’ll notify your senders and ask them if they’d like to continue sending to a different family and match them up accordingly. If you’ll be moving to another overseas duty station, we’ll work with your senders, asking them to either mail to another family temporarily, or just hold their coupons until you are settled on your new base.