Off-topic Monday: Care packages

Hello, dear Posse folks!! I have a little off-topic post today for you. My son is off at college as a freshman, and we are not getting to see him as frequently as we’d like. So I wanted to send him a care package every so often to let him know we are thinking of him.

I’ve already packed one off to him: sending him things he’s specifically requested, with another treat or two tucked inside the package, but want to do more. Wanting to send him some chocolate goodies too, but the heat here right now is prohibitive.

If you have or have had a college student in your life, a family member in the military stationed elsewhere, or anyone living far from home, what have you put into care packages for them?

I thought I’d be sending something up his way once a week, but hadn’t realized how crowded our post office is here, and how much postage has gone up. I know it’s not that big a deal, but it does add up.

So please do share some good items to pack up to boost the spirits of those away from home. Thanks, and everyone have a good week!

  • tammy says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention that you can order a pick up at any address… just do it online. No need to go to the post office as long as you have a printer at home.

  • March says:

    Oh, I remember those days! I had two roommates who got AMAZING homemade cookies that were gone in a flash….. I do think the rise of the internet has somewhat lessened the thrill of the care package, because now you can order so many things off Amazon. So: I would stick to sending homemade treats that are therefore special, and/or things you know he loves and is maybe too broke to buy for himself. Re the post office tediousness: I don’t know how much the smallest one costs, but the PO has flat-rate boxes you can load up and not wait in line to mail them. The small one should fit in your mailbox.

  • Musette says:

    I’m with most of the folks on here – weekly seems a bit much. Every few weeks sounds fabbo – that way he’ll really appreciate it when it does come!

    And you know what? Write a note! Seriously! So much instant communication these days – what a novel idea to receive a LETTER! In the MAIL!


  • tammy says:

    Long time military care package alumni here!

    Beef jerky, sunflower seeds, nuts and other salty snacks tend to be favored by the guys, unless he has a known sweet tooth, of course!

    Things that are kind of pricey and not fun to spend his cash on.. deodorant, razors, body wash were always appreciated.

    Gift cards are probably your best bet, maybe a fun one you can reload monthly? Or if he’s a gamer and has Xbox, they have gift cards for their online games.

    May not make as much as a difference over a short distance, but mailing food separate from any kind of scented product is important, since the scent tends to permeate everything, especially food, and nobody wants candy that tastes like deodorant.

    Be sure and look into Flat Rate boxes, especially if you’re sending heavy things.

  • Jennifer S says:

    Weekly packages are so thoughtful, bless your heart, and yes….you will get shipping charge shock! I agree with sending them less often. Maybe send cards or letters more and slip a Visa card in from time to time.

  • Dina C. says:

    My mom used to send me homemade cookies (gone in one sitting!), a plastic jar of peanut butter and package of crackers, jar of pre-sweeted Kool-Aid mix. All stuff I could use in my dorm room for late night snacks. Pairs of pretty socks.

  • springpansy says:

    Monthly is a good idea. He’ll be fine as soon as he makes a couple of friends. I always baked a favorite treat then froze it and sent (at least, it started off frozen). I also packed some extras like socks, coffee cards, VISA gift cards, a note, maybe something practical like a spray-n-wash stick or a flashlight or a warm hat once it got cold. It was all much more than I ever got!

  • Taxi says:

    A weekly box may be a bit much, especially if he has to go to the campus post office or dorm office to collect it. Monthly or every 3 weeks might be better. My college freshman liked the mini-fridge I ordered & had delivered to her room.
    I included Visa gift cards with some letters for off-campus meals, etc. I also posted pics on Facebook when one of the pets did something cute or funny. I also had edible bouquets delivered occasionally.

  • Filomena says:

    I would say a little of all the above-mentioned, plus maybe a gift card to some extra cash.

  • Ingeborg says:

    I’m not in the US and never received care packages from home during my time at university. However, having been through years with little cash as a young adult, I think I would say send your son’s favourite sweets, mints are perfect too (for when he has a lot of cramming to do!), tape flags/Post-it flags are good for certain studies, good pens, text markers in a variety of colours, postage stamps, a shower gel with a nice scent and perhaps a gift voucher at times?

    It does seem nearly too frequent to send something weekly, hopefully he will settle in and get busy and partly forget about home! And if you pay part of his cell phone bill, there’s no excuse for not calling to let you know how he is doing!

  • Luanne says:

    Smartfood Popcorn, Smarties (like M&M’s), a book of stamps, an Uno or Skipbo game, a few balloons, fancy-schmanzy post-it notes, Post-it flags, a guide book for their new city. Go through the dollar store, the pharmacy and the stationery store with an open mind.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Ann,
    M&Ms are always good because they don’t melt. When living in London in the 1990s Mum used to send me a monthly care package. It would have super Aussie stuff like Twisties, Tim Tams (and Arnotts biscuits), Vegemite and a bunch of postcards written by the family and friends. Postage was cheap back then and I know she loved getting all the stuff together as much as I loved getting the pack.
    Portia xx

  • Violet Aird says:

    Anything that reminds them of home. Homemade chocolate chip cookies, photos of family and pets, and Lush shower gel as a treat