Friday, November 10, 2006

Veterans Day

We're headed to a local parade honoring soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division this morning.
Yesterday we used our $20 in Target pharmacy gift cards (from a prescription transfer coupon) to put together care packages for two soldiers serving in Iraq. I've found the cheapest way to send these is through USPS Priority Mail flat rate boxes or envelopes. An envelope costs $4, and you'd be surprised how much you can fit into (and still seal) those! In one, we stuffed a tube of Norweigan hand cream, a resealable package of beef jerky, bags of trail mix, two boxes' worth of Propel Fitness Water flavoring single serving packets. Include things which are relatively flat and compressible. DVDs are good, too. For bigger packages we use the $8 Flat Rate Boxes and include anything we want, even canned goods.

I might save money by using my own packaging and Parcel Post; Priority Mail flat rate boxes are so easy and free of charge. However, I always feel like I'm getting my money's worth when I can pack them so full of goodies.

5 comments:

Sandy said...

I came here via Common Room. Can you answer a question for me regarding the flat rate boxes? Do you buy them at the P.O. and then take them home to pack them? I've spent a small fortune shipping things to my son in college and kept looking for information on flat rate shipping but can't find it at our P.O.

Great idea on the care packages. Thanks for any information you can provide.

Sandy

Meredith said...

Sandy, just ask at the postal counter. They will know what you are talking about. The flat rate boxes are provided free of charge. Ours has a display in the lobby with both the square and rectangular boxes, marked flat rate, the cardboard flat rate envelopes, and the larger, non-flat-rate white Tyvek envelopes for other Priority Mail packages. You can take them home, pack them, and pay for the postage whenever you are ready to mail them, either at the counter or the new self-serve machines 24 hours a day in the lobby.
You can also go to www.usps.com and have all sorts of Priority Mail supplies sent directly to your home for a very small handling fee. If you have a high speed connection and good printer, you can do all your postage from home through their website, too.

Sandy said...

Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

When my brother was in Iraq, I would send him packages all the time. Since I was sending it to a Army base, the shipping is really inexpensive. I think i sent a 16 pound package for around $9. Next time, I would ask your local post office how much sending it regular would cost.

Meredith said...

You're right--you are charged for domestic mail even though the package is going to Iraq. However, I always have the PO weigh the package and tell me which way is cheapest to send it. 9 times out of 10, I'm saving money by using the Priority Mail. I guess I just have heavy items!