Expired coupons helping military families overseas

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by Brandy Aguilar, Special projects

azfamily.com

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 7:03 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 23 at 1:38 PM

PHOENIX -- Some would call Kerri Gillette an extreme couponer. She saves her family hundreds of dollars every month. But now the Snowflake resident’s savvy coupon tactics are helping families overseas.
 
“I'm just cheap,” Gillette said. “I don't like to pay full price for anything.”
 
Gillette is a bargain shopper. She never leaves home without her coupon book.

“I buy between 10 and 20 papers depending on how many inserts I know are going to be out there that week and also printables,” Gillette explained.

She said clipping coupons can save her up to $150 a week on food to household products. These were huge discounts that caught the eye of her friend Kristie Blackman on Facebook.
  
“Kristie's like, ‘Hey, by the way, I just found out our commissary, which is like your grocery store, actually accepts expired ones, up to six months expired,’” Gillette said.
 
So, instead of throwing out her expired coupons, Gillette is now sending them to military families like Blackman’s at an army post in Vilseck, Germany.

“It's kind of insane of how big it's got in the last couple months,” Gillette continued. "It just started with helping her and now it's helping so many other people."

Those include U.S. Army spouses Katie Lampson and Dawn Sorensen.
 
“This coupon is for $2 off shampoo and it expired January 2012,” Lampson said.

The ladies found using the expired coupons saves them more than a just a few dollars every month.
 
“I will be saving $8.25 with all the coupons I’ve got today,” Sorensen said. “On average I save $20 to $25 each trip which is about $50 to $100 a month.”

“Savings is savings and it's definitely worthwhile, even if it's just a little bit,” Lampson said.

It's that little bit of help that Gillette and others provide by sending over the expired coupons that can go a long way in a struggling economy.
 
“It means a great deal that you all think about us and can send them to us and help us save money while over here,” Sorensen said.

“I really want it to grow,” Gillette said. “I really want it to be more than that base. I want to do it all over.”

If you're interested in sending expired coupons to the military families in Vilseck, Germany, you can email Gillette at kerri@benefitintelligence.com or send them to her employer, Benefit Intelligence.

 
Benefit Intelligence
Attn. Kerri Gillette
224 S. Main
Snowflake, AZ 85937

Benefit Intelligence
Attn. Kerri Gillette
4862 E. Baseline Suite #101
Mesa, AZ 85206

Benefit Intelligence
Attn. Kerri Gillette
805 South Court
Safford, AZ  85546

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