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How to send expired coupons to the Military

Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 11:24 AM
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

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Did you know that you can send your expired coupons to the Military? Military personnel and their families around the world shop at on-base stores called Commissaries, and can use coupons up to six month past their expiration date.

This means that you don't have to throw out all of your expired coupons! You can actually put those expired coupons to good use by sending them out to military families. Here's how to do it: 

1. Visit The Overseas Program website

2. Choose a Base from the "Base List." 

3. Follow the instructions on the "Adoption" page in order to adopt a base.

4. Mail your expired coupons off to the base that you adopted, by using the instructions on the "Mailing" page.

That's it! It's pretty simple! And if you really want to make an impact, pull together a group of couponers in your area and donate your expired coupons together! This is a great way to give back, and an easy way at that! 

Crystal Collins is an Atlanta local, adventurer, a health advocate and thrifty as can be. Check her out on her blog at


Tax season scams target seniors online

Published: Friday, January 27, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

            Tax season scams target seniors online

Tax season is upon us, which means it’s also tax scam time. As more and more seniors plug into technology, they’re falling victim to scammers who target older adults. A local expert explains how to recognize scams and keep yourself and your loved ones safe during tax time.

Why seniors?

Anyone can fall victim to a scam, and indeed, people in all age groups do. However, according to the National Council on Aging, those 65 and over are at the most risk for becoming victims of financial scams.

Why? “Seniors are easy targets for a number of reasons,” explained Marianne Bailey of Kettering. Bailey’s business, The Senior Tutor, empowers older adults to embrace technology, as well as stay safe from scammers. Generally speaking, the older generation’s mindset is, “if they feel like they have done something wrong, they want to correct this as soon as possible. When scammers are yelling at them, this confuses them, and they rush to do the right thing without thinking that someone might actually be scamming them.”

In addition, younger people more familiar with technology often know which red flags to watch for, whereas a senior may not.

Last, but certainly not least, “seniors also have the most expendable money in all the age groups,” Bailey said. Although a growing number of seniors are on fixed incomes, the National Council on Aging indicates that the perception of wealth is all that matters to scammers.

Commonly used scams

Scammers strike all year long, but tax season is a good time to be especially wary. According to the Ohio Attorney General’s office, more than 1,400 IRS scams were reported in the first two months of 2016 alone. Most were IRS phone and email scams or identity theft.

Bailey said, “The biggest IRS scam is a phone scam where a person will receive a phone call from an ‘IRS agent,’ who will be very demanding. They will tell the person that they owe past taxes and that these and past fees are due immediately. They often threaten to call the police have them arrested, deported or licenses revoked if these fees are not paid immediately, usually by prepaid debit card or a wire transfer.

“This urgency created by the scammer scares the person into thinking impending doom is upon them,” Bailey said.

However, as more seniors become savvy to the phone scams and also go online, the threat is changing. “Sometimes these threats come in from email and more recently, via social-media outlets,” Bailey saidd. “The scammers will usually spoof their caller ID, create fake badges and ID numbers in order to convince their targets they are indeed the IRS. They even have detailed information about them such as name, address and often relatives’ names.

“All this information can be obtained about people on various social media websites, such as Facebook. Scammers will also email official looking documents to people on IRS letterhead, making them believe the scam even more. This is called a phishing email.”

Red flags

If you receive a call, email or social media message from someone claiming to be the IRS, think before you panic. The IRS does not call or email taxpayers, and it definitely doesn’t Facebook them. “The IRS will not call you to ask for your information. They already know all your information,” Bailey said. “They will not call you and demand payment. They will snail-mail you a letter telling you what you owe, and give you a chance to question and refute their claim.”

Also be wary of language used by the person contacting you. “If a message is urgent, or sounds too good to be true, take great caution in this,” Bailey advised. “Anytime anyone contacts you demanding money, or threatening to call authorities, hang up. Do not give them any of your contact or banking information. The IRS or other financial institutions simply do not operate this way.”

Help for victims

Unfortunately, scammers are extremely experienced in financial crimes, and people do fall victim. What should you do if you or an older relative have been scammed? First of all, don’t be embarrassed. Both Bailey and the National Council on Aging suggested that financial crime is underreported for that reason.

If you or someone you know receives one of these messages, report it to both the U.S. Treasury and Federal Trade Commission, Bailey said. You should also choose a reputable accountant to prepare your taxes – often they will catch an instance of scamming if there’s something off with their client’s financial status. Your local law enforcement agency can direct you further as well.

Also, be sure to avoid giving out personal information – contact info, Social Security and banking info, and relatives’ names – online, and if you do e-file your taxes, use a reputable, well-known website with an encrypted server.



Marianne Bailey, The Senior Tutor



Community Action Partnership Dayton

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

719 S. Main St., Dayton


The Job Center Montgomery County

1111 S. Edwin C. Moses Blvd., Dayton


The AARP Foundation (several locations in the Miami Valley, contact for one nearest you)

888-OUR-AARP (888-687-2277)

10,000 cases of Eggo waffles recalled

Published: Monday, September 19, 2016 @ 9:20 PM
Updated: Monday, September 19, 2016 @ 9:20 PM

Kellogg's is recalling about 10,000 cases of its Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles due to a possible listeria contamination, according to a notice on the Eggo website

The recalled waffles were sold in 25 states, including Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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Recalled products come in a 10 count box, have the UPC code 280040370 and a best if used by date of Nov. 21, 2017 or Nov. 22, 2017. 

"The recall is a result of routine tests that the company conducts which identified the potential for contamination," the notice said. "As soon as the company learned of a potential concern, it moved quickly to identify any foods that might be impacted and resolve the issue."

Listeria can cause severe illness, including fever, headaches, stiffness, nausea and abdominal pain. It is most dangerous for young children, the elderly and pregnant women. 

There have been no reports of illness to date.

Affected customers  are asked to discard the product and contact the company or a full refund by calling  1-800-962-1413, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Eastern Time or by going to for more contact information.

No other Eggo products are affected.

Consumer experts warn of hackers

Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 3:05 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 3:05 PM

            Consumer experts warn of hackers

At least one billion dollars have been stolen worldwide by an international theft ring.

Today, we talked to local experts about how you can keep your money safe.

There are steps you can take right now to protect yourself, plus what the banks, credit unions, and credit card companies are doing to protect you.

How to save money on Disney

Published: Monday, February 23, 2015 @ 3:14 PM
Updated: Monday, February 23, 2015 @ 3:14 PM

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With the news that Disney has raised admission prices to all of its parks, I want to tell you the best ways I know to save money when you want to visit the Mouse!

Saving money on Disney is tough, but possible

Well, now it's official. The cost of a trip to the Magic Kingdom is going up to $105 a day for Magic Kingdom. The other Orlando parks that are less popular are $97 a day. (Disneyland is $99.)

Unfortunately, the cost is the cost with the price of Disney parks. There's not a lot you can do to save, unless you're military. What you've got to do is try to save on where you stay and where you eat.

I recommend that you buy The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World as a starting point. They'll tell you all kinds of money and time-saving tips that the parks don't want you to know. That's the key to getting the best value out of a trip.

For example, it's so important to know how to navigate the parks: What order to go to things, where to go first when you arrive, what time of day to arrive. Knowing that makes a trip so much more enjoyable.

For my money, I say make sure you take ponchos from the dollar store with you for afternoon and evening thundershowers instead of buying overpriced ones for $10 at the park. Sure, they won't have cute characters on them, but they'll help you keep more of those other kinds of "characters" in your wallet.

Two other websites you need to know about too: also features a lot of info on how to save on the experience. And if you want to stay on the property, try renting a timeshare. has resources for both owners and potential renters.

When should you plan your Disney trip?

Fall is the best time for Florida vacations each year. That's the time of year that Walt Disney World offers discounts to Florida residents that fill the parks with daytrippers. That creates some traffic, but not as much as you would have encountered over the summer.

The real time to book, though, is during the first two weeks of December. Almost nobody goes on vacation at that time.