Even though we often think about our men and women in uniform, we don’t often think about the families they have to support wherever it is that they are stationed. Jessy, my friend since we were 5, is a military housewife living abroad. To help support her family she has turned to couponing. She is going to be my guest blogger today in the hopes that she can inspire you to support military families by sending your expired or unwanted coupons abroad.
By: Jessy Furniel
I’ve recently started practicing the art of couponing. Yes, it is an art. As a military
housewife, overseas, and with a growing toddler in this economy, I have to justify every
single penny spent, and this is what got me to try using coupons.
Before I truly understood just how couponing worked, a regular shopping trip would eat up a huge chunk of our monthly budget. It wasn’t until I accidentally stumbled across a sale that “couponer lightbulb” in me turned on.
My favorite brand of toothpaste was on sale for $2.99, from a regular price of $4.13. I had already found a few coupons worth $2.50 for any 2. Since they were out of stock, it took 3 trips before I was able to get this deal, but I did it! Long story short, I bought 13 tubes of toothpaste at $2.99 with six coupons of $2.50 for any 2 and one for $1 for any 1. This purchase was worth $53.69, but on sale it was $38.87.
After coupons, I paid: $22.87. That was a savings of 57%!
That was my initiation to couponing. From that point on, I made it my mission to collect
manufacturer’s coupons for all my purchases on base. My dream come true would be
to be able to get all of my groceries for free but due to the nature of the available coupons, that’s probably never going to happen.
I have been blessed to start receiving expired coupons in the mail from USA. Overseas military are allowed to use manufacturer coupons up to 6 months after their expiration date, in both the Commissary (military supermarket) and BX/PX/NEX (military shop store). It is a great perk! I have also joined a local military coupon group, an online coupon forum, and have subscribed to the major coupons sites.
The trick is to have the coupons handy when things go on sale. Not to clear shelves, but to make my grocery trip as cost-effective as possible. Hey, remember I’m a stay-at-home Mommy with a growing toddler, a husband, and dogs to take care of!
I must admit, I have had difficulty falling asleep thinking about my coupons and trying
to figure out what the good deals are. I no longer feel shy nor am I ever ashamed of this. Yes, the beginning of this journey is a tad overwhelming, but slowly I’m getting to a happy medium.
It also feels great to have the support of my husband, who now asks if I have a coupon
whenever he is picking up or paying for anything at the store, as I try to help support our family.
Coupons are my new BFF. I’m already saving a minimum of 30% on my grocery bill and
all thanks to donated expired manufacturers coupons.
If you’d like to support military families stationed overseas by helping them receive expired or unwanted manufacturers coupons, you may do it through Coupons to Troops, the Overseas Coupon Program, or you can mail your coupons to Expired Coupons for Overseas Military at either:
o PO Box 720336, Norman, OK 73070
o ATTN: Jamie Sheehan, PO Box 261, Glen Mills, PA 19342
You can also contact Nancy Willis at Project Coupon via email at : firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that coupons are money. So please don’t throw them away and mail them!