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- Overseas military commissaries accept coupons up to six months after their expiration date.
- If you have a family member who is serving overseas or you just want to provide a helping hand, you can send your coupons, even expired ones, through a special program.
- This only works with manufacturer coupons, so make certain that your coupons are the right type before you send them or try using them.
If you or a family member is in the military and stationed overseas, then you’re probably looking for ways to save money. One of the most convenient places to shop for overseas military personnel is the military commissary.
You want to save money, so you make certain to clip your coupons, but it is possible to use expired coupons at military commissaries overseas?
It is! In fact, the overseas commissaries of both the army and the navy routinely accept coupons that have been expired for up to six months.
- Key Takeaways
- No More Worrying About Expired Coupons
- Make Sure Your Coupons Are Convenient to Use
- Send Your Coupons Overseas
- For Those Stationed Overseas
- Commissary Rewards
- Using Expired Coupons
- Be on the Lookout for Case Lot Sales
No More Worrying About Expired Coupons
Whether you are a heavy coupon clipper or just take advantage of the occasional deal, you’ve probably experienced the sinking feeling that comes with realizing that your coupon is expired.
However, your missed opportunity may be a great chance to help out a military family that is stationed overseas. Alternatively, if you are shopping at an overseas military commissary, you can probably still use that coupon.
Keep in mind that overseas commissaries only accept manufacturer’s coupons. This means that you cannot use coupons that are printed from the Internet, store coupons or coupons for restaurants.
If you are in the States and discover that you have expired manufacturer’s coupons, it’s nice to know that you can send them along to a family that can still use them. However, it’s recommended that you don’t delay. It’s necessary to gather your coupons, mail them, allow time for the commissaries to receive and process them and give the military family time to use them. You only have six months to get it all done, so it’s best not to put it off.
Make Sure Your Coupons Are Convenient to Use
Families in the U.S. who want to send coupons to overseas commissaries do so to help military families. A few considerations make it easier for the commissaries and military families to receive and use the coupons.
Make it easy for those who process and distribute the coupons by individually clipping each coupon rather than sending a sheet of unclipped coupons that will probably just get recycled. Try to sort each coupon into one of four categories. Typically, these are:
- Food (for human consumption)
- Non-food items
Place each coupon category into separate sandwich-sized plastic bags. Using paper clips or rubber bands generally is not as helpful. On the outside of each bag, place a label that notes whether the coupons are expired or unexpired, the category of the coupons and an estimate of the value of all of the coupons in the bag.
Send Your Coupons Overseas
While you can send your coupons directly to overseas military commissaries, these facilities usually have limited manpower for sorting and distributing them. That’s why you may want to mail your coupons to an organization like “Support Our Troops” or ECOM, an acronym for “Expired Coupons for Overseas Military.” Both of these have Facebook pages at which you can find the latest contact info.
For Those Stationed Overseas
Regardless of where they are stationed, many military families look for ways to save money on common, everyday expenses. Most of them are able to shop at the military commissary, and these provide a welcome connection to home.
Many families are shocked by the prices that they find at the commissary when they are initially stationed in a foreign country. You might see prices like five dollars for a small container of strawberries, a head of lettuce for $7.29 or five pieces of fresh asparagus that cost $5.99.
For the budget-conscious, it’s easy to get a severe attack of sticker shock.
Thankfully, commissaries do extend a tax-free benefit to their customers. This does help with saving money, but most families need a bit more of a helping hand.
The good news is that there are many ways to save money at overseas military commissaries, including using expired coupons.
Many service members and their families are devoted to the Commissary Rewards program. It makes saving money incredibly easy because it is entirely electronic.
All you have to do is enroll in the program via the website or app. These are also the resources that you will use to clip electronic coupons, which are digitally stored in your Commissary Rewards membership. If you can scroll and click, you can definitely save a lot of money at the commissary with this program.
When you check out at the register, simply have the cashier scan your rewards card. Any saved coupons are automatically applied to your purchases.
If you prefer paper coupons or want to make certain that you aren’t missing out on any savings opportunities, be sure to visit the front of the store each time. Booklets of coupons usually are available.
Using Expired Coupons
Always keep in mind that military commissaries overseas accept coupons up to six months after their expiration date. The front of the commissary is a great place to find bins that are loaded with coupons that are free for the taking. Coupon bins also may be found at various locations within on-base housing and in the library.
Be on the Lookout for Case Lot Sales
Every year, commissaries host one or more Case Lot Sales. If you like to stock up on items at inexpensive prices, these are your best opportunities.
During these sales, ordinary items like shampoo, snacks, toilet paper, laundry detergent and much more are offered at substantial discounts.
Also, don’t overlook the bulk item aisle at the commissary. It’s usually hidden in a corner or somewhere in the middle of the Commissary. It’s a small section, but it offers great discounts on many products that your family uses in large quantities.
Ask for New Items
Is there a product that your family loves and regularly uses but that you can’t find at the Commissary? This is a problem for many families stationed overseas. Usually, it means that they have to travel to other stores to pick up one or two items that they need, wasting time and money.
Make things more convenient for yourself by visiting the customer service desk at the Commissary to ask them to stock your favorite items. Typically, they are exceptionally accommodating, and this will make your life much easier.
Ask for Price Matching
Many families don’t realize that the Commissary will price match with local off-base stores. The Commissary makes it exceptionally easy by accepting verbal price challenges on identical items when the price difference is $10 or less. They honor this price match immediately at the cash register, so it’s super-easy to participate.
If the price difference is more than $10, just bring along an ad that shows the identical item at a lower price. The Commissary will match it at the customer service desk.
As long as they are manufacturer’s coupons, military commissaries overseas will honor coupons if they expired no longer than six months ago.
You can mail your coupons directly to the Commissary, but it can be even more helpful to send them to an organization like Support Our Troops or Expired Coupons for Overseas Military for more expedited processing.
Prices at the Commissary can be expensive, so it’s important to look for ways to save money. These may include joining Commissary Rewards, asking for price matching, using coupons and remaining alert for Case Lot Sales.