Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Expired coupons...Use, Donate or Pitch them?

Well, it is that time of month for me. At the beginning of each new month, I pull all my expired coupons out of my coupon organizer. It takes me a good chunk of time, but I spend a couple evenings pulling. But, unfortunately, it has to be done. And, I have found, once a month works the best for me.

There are a couple reasons I am writing this article. The first is regarding using old coupons. I hear people talk about this all the time, and I am going to tell you, that yes, expired coupons WILL scan through at the check out lane!!!!! BUT, BUT, BUT...I am also telling you this for a very important reason. You need to clean your coupon file out often so as not to let this happen.

Why, may you ask, shouldn't use this expired coupon? Often times, it is exactly the same as the new coupon that came out and then you can use (2) coupons and get even more great deals. This is true, but the fact is and remains, you are then stealing! I have heard people say, well, the company still gets the same hit whether a new or old coupon. And, I have heard still others say that these grocery stores make enough money. I don't agree with either of these statements.

First, when you submit an expired manufacturer coupon to your local grocery they, in turn, have to submit it to that manufacturer. My understanding is that once a week ( I believe ) the manufacturers come pick their coupons up and also need a copy of all items sold to make sure the products did get purchased. BUT, the manufacturer will NOT reimburse your grocer if the coupon is expired. So, in essense, the grocery store then has to eat the loss. And, if you are lucky enough to have a store that doubles coupons, they are already paying for that coupon, and now they will have to pay the manufacturers part, too.

So, before you use that expired coupon, ask yourself? Would you stick a product in your pocket and try to literally steal it? Hopefully, the answer is no! Then, you should not be using expired coupons, either.

Figure out what is the easiest method for you to pull the expired coupons. Once a month, every time you add new ones? It doesn't matter, but whatever is the easiest. And, if you are using the grocery game, rest assured, she only tells you to pull VALID coupons. So, even if your file isn't completely cleaned out, you should be OK.

So, what should you do with all those expired coupons? I have a pile full each month. Well, thanks to an article Heather wrote on Freebies 4 Mom, I am now donating my expired coupons to our overseas Military families. Their bases can accept expired coupons for up to 2 months after the expiration date. And, as my previous article on donating for free portrayed, I love giving through easy and low cost methods. I will have to pay for an envelope and shipping once a month, but it is a cheap way to help support our military families! Click here to read about the Overseas Coupon Program, and highly suggest you pick a base to sponsor.

Finally, your third alternative is to pitch them. Although I hope you don't choose this route, I do understand it is a time saver and the easiest. If you do, try to recycle those used coupons, if possible!! :-)

Happy Couponing!

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Thanks for the great tip. I didn't know you could donate your coupons. I just cleaned out my January Coupons and pitched them. I will be sure to send February's expired coupons.

Thanks again!