Ever wondered what those girl scouts use the cookie cash for?
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A girl scout cookie going into a piggy bank
Credit: Girl Scouts, Getty Images / travenian / moodboard

Girl Scout cookie season is back, and we're pretty excited. The cookie season officially runs from January to April, with the details depending on your area. While you can find out where Girl Scouts are selling cookies in your area on the Girl Scouts website, you can also buy them from DoorDash this year, making it easier than ever to get your Samoa or Trefoil fix.

All of the proceeds from Girl Scout cookie sales stay local, according to the Girl Scouts website. It's a major part of the five skills Girl Scouts learn from selling the cookies, which include goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. A part of learning money management means "creating a budget to fund the experiences they want to share as a troop," which could mean a big community project, a camping trip or even a donation to a charity the scouts want to support.

If you want to break it down by the numbers, 76% of the total cost of a box of Thin Mints stays with the Girl Scout troop you bought it from—24% goes toward baker costs and the other costs associated with distributing the cookies to troops. Another 22% of the total box goes toward troop proceeds and "girl rewards," meaning the patches and little gifts scouts receive for selling certain amounts of cookies.

The rest of the money—that's 54%—can be used for programs, volunteer support or training, financial assistance and other services. Those numbers may vary slightly depending on the regional Girl Scouts council in your area, as Vox reports. The cost of a box of cookies is also set by the regional councils, but a common price point is $5 per box or $6 per box of Toffee-tastics, which are gluten-free.

The programs and projects that Girl Scouts take up run the gamut from mailing Valentine's cards to folks living in senior living communities to helping people register to vote or even donating boxes of cookies to shelters for unhoused people. So for every box of Tagalongs you pick up, a few dollars might go to contributing to a food drive or subsidizing a Girl Scouts camping trip so that everyone, no matter their parents' income, can participate in a troop activity.

On a local level, some Girl Scout troops have used their cookie profits to make a big difference in their communities. One Girl Scouts robotics team in central Texas used their skills to 3D-print face shields for frontline workers who needed them. Another troop donated $1,000 in cookie sales to support COVID-19 research at the Gladstone Institutes in 2020.

No matter which cookie variety you gravitate toward, you can feel good about where the profits are headed the next time you snag a box. And if you can't decide which flavor to buy next, don't worry—we got an astrologer to figure out which flavor is best for your zodiac sign.