DEAR ABBY: Please tell "Thrifty Shopper in New Jersey" (Feb. 28) she can send coupons left over from her coupon swap to an overseas military base. Several organizations on base, including the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (www.nmcrs.org) and the Fleet and Family Support Centers, collect and distribute coupons. Because of the costs of living overseas, coupons can be vital to military families. Thank you, Abby, for your support of us throughout the years.
— NAVY WIFE IN JAPAN
DEAR NAVY WIFE: No, thank you for the valuable information. Readers, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) recommends that people not send coupons that are more than three months beyond their expiration date. Manufacturers require commissaries to return coupons within six months of expiration. Coupons older than six months by the time they make it to the manufacturer will not be honored. Therefore, the value of the coupon comes out of the commissary budget. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: There's a wonderful Web site called the Overseas Coupon Program. On this site, people can adopt a military base in the branch of service and location of their choice. It's a very easy way to help military personnel and their families. For details, go to ocpnet.org.
— LINDA L., WINNSBORO, TEXAS
DEAR ABBY: Suggest that nice lady offer the coupons on FreeCycle.org. It is a listing board for unwanted or unneeded items. Its purpose is to keep things out of landfills. Listing is free, and all the items must be free. She can join the group in her area and maybe it will start a trend of coupon sharing. In these times of money woes, we can all benefit by saving some money at the grocery store.
Thanks for all the years of enjoyment, Abby. I am glad my first time writing to you isn't because I have a problem, but to help someone. God bless!
— L.B. IN NANUET, N.Y.
DEAR ABBY: "Thrifty" should visit www.afullcup.com. It's a large group of online coupon swappers that lists hundreds of online coupons as well as runs swaps via "snail" mail. They also offer information for people who want to learn how to use coupons to their fullest potential. That way, "Thrifty Shopper" can expand her swap and also find herself some great deals.
— JODY S., PENGILLY, MINN.
DEAR ABBY: Since military families overseas don't have much access to coupons like we do here and because prices are so high overseas, coupons are very much appreciated.
Many military groups such as the Marine Corps League, American Legion and VFW, and service organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary and not to mention church groups, senior centers, etc. around the country have coupon projects in which they collect coupons from within the community and send them to military bases overseas.
"Thrifty Shopper" should inquire within her local community to see if there is a group involved in such a program. I am the coordinator for our local Marine Corps League coupon project. We have a Web site that gives more information, including how anyone can start a project in their own community. Visit www.couponproject.zoomshare.com for more information.
— L. PARKINSON, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.