Sometimes the most interesting things happen. Just this morning, I was sorting coupons and explaining to my daughter that we throw away the ones for things that they don't sell at the commissary, because our overseas AAFES exchange doesn't accept expired coupons. Overseas Commissaries accept coupons for six months past their expiration. As a result, there are entire volunteer groups who send expired coupons to overseas military bases. This is a tremendous help to those of us who don't have any other access to coupons and are trying to save on our food bills. Since these lovely volunteers don't know what the commissaries carry, and often don't have much information about the program as a whole, we get a good number of coupons for things that we can't get or items not stocked at the commissary, such as makeup and other non-food items.
In the past, there has been confusion and misinformation about whether overseas Exchanges accepted expired coupons in the same way as overseas Commissary stores. The clear answer was that neither the Navy Exchange (NEX) or AAFES accepted expired coupons. Well, not anymore! I was sitting in the bowling alley today, eating a sandwich before doing my shopping, and the Armed Forces Network station playing had a commercial for the AAFES coupon policy. It clearly stated that overseas AAFES locations could accept coupons for six months past their expiration date.
As soon as I got home, I hopped on the internet and discovered that the AAFES policy has changed since I last wrote about it in June 2011. Overseas AAFES stores can now accept coupons up to six months past their expiration dates. Then, just in case, I checked the NEX website, too, and guess what? Overseas NEX locations are now accepting coupons up to six months past their expiration date, too. (You have to scroll down quite a bit to get to the coupon part of the customer service policies.)
Look, you can see them here:
Shazaam! I actually went to my recycling bin and dug out some coupons that I can use at the Exchange. This is great news for all overseas military folks who shop at AAFES or the NEX. Spread the word to all your couponing friends!