Here's the link to the "Care Package Ideas" group on N4M too.
Here's the link for the USPS "If it fits, it ships".
Reposted with permission from PattiP:
Comment by PattiP 2 hours ago
1proudmama - I use USPS Large priority boxes(click&ship). They give you a $2 discount shipping to FPO addresses too. I fill out all info - including the customs form - online. My son asks for hot sauces & spices. I put each hot sauce bottle in a baggie & wrap bubble wrap around it, then make sure to pack them where they'll get the most cushioning when shipping & getting dropped(literally) on the ship. I also put a piece of bubble wrap(small bubbles) on the bottom & top of the box & stuff it full so the contents aren't shifting around. I've also sent homemade cookies wrapped & in a plastic container...again, well cushioned - that is the key! I also just sent my son 2 pairs of Old Navy flip flops(2/$5) for the shower - someone stole his last time out(why???...) & he had to buy cheap $2 ones from the ship store that were really bad & really didn't last more than a few showers. Also MIO's drink enhancers to flavor the water - they drink a ton as its 100+ degrees in the engine rooms. Protein bars, jerky, gum, snack crackers(Lances), hard candy. I even smooshed a small rectangular shaped pillow for the rack(he's in top rack & can kind of sit up to be on his laptop) for head/back support. It has taken just 2 weeks to get to the ship even when they were out - although other moms have said their packages have sat in Chicago for weeks & weeks before finally being sent on....so you never really know.
thanks so much for your input on shipping care packages. I know how much they appreciate us sending packages. Great ideas! He won't be going out to sea for quite some time but I love getting info on what works, and I know others will appreciate it too. Thanks for setting up file!
I use the flat rate boxes from the post office. The trick is to fill it up and making sure it weighs more than it costs to send. The post office will tell you what it costs to send. No matter what it weighs, it will only cost a certain amount. We sent gum, jerky, candy, plastic jars of hot sausages and chips ( which my son could only get at home), juice. Sometimes cans of food (ravioli, beefaroni, ) just to get weight. This is while he was in goose creek. Hope this helps!
I sent plenty packages while my sailor was in school - when he was in GC I would send about 1 a month! (I think it was more for me than for him lol! Made me feel closer to him.) When he got to NY for proto I didn't send them as often since he was in an apartment and had more items readily available. (maybe every couple of months.)
I included lots of protein bars, gum, MIO flavors for water, flavored sunflower seeds, vienna sausages (all sorts of flavors - the hotter the better!). He's not a big candy/sweets person so I skipped that. Also did flavored chips.
Now that he's in VA I haven't sent any yet - just a few gift cards and it's still easy since he's in an apartment. I'm waiting for him to deploy & then I'll be figuring that one out!
The USPS flat rate boxes are definitely the way to go - just make sure to tape them up well!
thanks for the ideas!
And here's a link for tips on sending care packages:
Mine requests a specific Lip Balm.. So I send a few of those every month using the Flat rate boxes as well. Our favorite is the Gaming box.. (WHich is a large flat rate box) She has requested Protein shakes and snack type items.. Every month is different or at least I try to make it different.
I have also used Amazon to ship Snack Packs (free shipping with Prime). They have different variety of snack packs as well.
New product to ship to your sailor - Birthday Cake Idea
I came across Duncan Hines new Perfect Size for 1 desserts. I found it on our Neighborhood WM grocery shelf. 4 individual pouches - bake in a microwave mug. It just needs 3 Tbs of water or milk, and you may add in other things. - I bought the caramel cake one for my son and he said it was really good.
I had a plastic microwave mug my eldest daughter no longer wanted, and some older metal measuring spoons that I shipped to my son with some of his clothes. I ended up having to take the pouches out of the box and flattened it so he would have the directions. I think it was about $2.49 for a box, which is more than a cake mix, but when you can't bake a cake for their birthday. - I contemplated sending a candle but wasn't sure that would be allowed and didn't know if he had matches. (I sent cookies for his actual b'day because I ran out of room - so this was part of his Halloween care pkg.)