, Muskogee, OK


March 4, 2014

How to handle unused coupons

My recent column on “coupon fairies” – people who leave unwanted coupons on store shelves for others to pick up – generated a lot of comments from readers and retailers alike. Not surprisingly, the store employees that wrote in were grateful that the issue of unwanted coupons littering shelves and refrigerator cases was addressed. Many consumers wrote with suggestions on what to do with extra, unwanted coupons:

Dear Jill:

I just read your article about coupon fairies, and I wanted to share an idea with these generous souls that will allow them to still help others with the coupons they have left over. Many churches have a food pantry or food drives during different times of the year. Donate your coupons to a local church and allow them to use them to stock their pantries to serve the less fortunate in our communities. Keep that giving spirit alive!

— Amy B.

Dear Jill:

A local home for victims of domestic violence collects unwanted coupons in our area too. They prefer that the coupons not be cut as their wards cut coupons. They are always in need of donations & this is a small way to help.

— Gwen R.

Dear Jill:

I read your column every Sunday. Thank you for all the useful tips. I enjoyed your column about the coupon fairies. We also had coupon fairies here. The stores here let it be known they did not want the fairies leaving coupons all over the store. So I take my unwanted and expired coupons to my local VFW for the Ladies Auxiliary. They then send these to our military bases overseas for the men and women and families in the military. Manufacturers will honor these expired coupons for six months after the expiration date for our military personnel overseas. I find this very rewarding and a win-win way to help. I get rid of all the coupons I don’t use, plus all of my expired coupons and I am also helping people and supporting our troops.

—  Jean B.

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