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College Care Packages


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What's with the ads?

#1 Miss Peregrine

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 06:45 PM

I got a packet in the mail today offering care packages of treats delivered strategically throughout the semester. Included was a printed card with a quote from a residence hall staff member saying how sad the students are when they don't get a package but their roommates do. How left out they feel.

I am laughing at it and at the same time I am irritated at the peer pressure. :lol:

This is just a lighthearted thread. I did not know I would be receiving solicitations like this. First kid in college. :)

#2 Lori D.

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 06:58 PM

Congrats on your first college student! :)

 

Much more fun -- and more personally meaningful to the student -- to make your own care package! See these past threads:

Pre-planned and paid care packages?

Care packages

College care packages

College care package?

College care package ideas for acquaintance

College care package

Care packages -- am I the odd one here?

 

Roommate care package ideas please :)

Valentine care package for college niece

Finals care packages?

Something creative for college care packages or graduation gifts?

Care package issue for student abroad -- ideas, please?

Shipping homemade rice kris pie treats in college care packages?

 

 

And, re: the care package advertisement/mailer… My student received mailers from colleges all through his college career, and even now that he graduated this spring!  :tongue_smilie: Everyone's out to make a buck off of you when you have a student in college...


Edited by Lori D., 09 July 2016 - 07:01 PM.

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#3 Tita Gidge

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 06:59 PM

:lol:  My mom was of the pre-Pinterest days, but she puts that entire website to shame.

 

When we were in college she'd send weekly cards with grocery store "gift cards" (they were pre-paid paper things), a newspaper clipping, and the crossword puzzle. She's the crazy Asian lady who collects recyclables so she always had enough for all of us. Each month we'd receive a box of food, things from "home" that we couldn't buy locally like dried shrimp and decent noodles. My dad says he spent as much on postage as he did on tuition. But to be fair, we were all on scholarships LOL.

 

I had friends who didn't receive anything, ever, not in four years.


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#4 Kinsa

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 07:00 PM

Yeah, I'm a rather lame mama. My kids get a box of treats at Halloween for fall semester, and one for Easter for spring semester. That's all I can manage to get done. LOL
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#5 Pawz4me

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 07:03 PM

I gave him a credit card to use and told him to buy whatever he needs. ;) 


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#6 Miss Peregrine

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 07:05 PM

Congrats on your first college student! :)

Much more fun -- and more personally meaningful to the student -- to make your own care package! See these past threads:
Pre-planned and paid care packages?
Care packages
College care packages
College care package?
College care package ideas for acquaintance
College care package
Care packages -- am I the odd one here?

Roommate care package ideas please :)
Valentine care package for college niece
Finals care packages?
Something creative for college care packages or graduation gifts?
Care package issue for student abroad -- ideas, please?
Shipping homemade rice kris pie treats in college care packages?


And, re: the care package advertisement/mailer… My student received mailers from colleges all through his college career, and even now that he graduated this spring! :tongue_smilie: Everyone's out to make a buck off of you when you have a student in college...


Wow! Thanks for the links! I think my Littles would have more fun putting out own together.
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#7 RKWAcademy

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 07:24 PM

That's such an odd solicitation to receive.  However, when I went off to college, I would have liked to receive care packages.  It's not that I couldn't get things I needed, it was more the thought.  My grandmother (and I suppose my mother to some extent) sent many to my sister that were more than just homemade cookies.  She'd include nice notes and trinkets that my sister might need.  It was a lovely gesture that I enjoyed participating in, as well, because I missed her more than I'd ever have admitted.  My grandmother had a stroke before I went to college so I never received any.  It must have impacted me since I remember it so vividly 20+ years later.  It sounds selfish of me now that I'm typing it, but the feeling was more of a miss-you-love-you-knock-em-dead sentiment that I missed out on. 

 

Still!  It's a nice gesture but something I'd put together to send to my kid not hire out.  So many people out to make a buck through guilt. Times are so different now than when I went to college.  Kids now have instant ability to text mom to say "SOS Send more Ramen Noodles".  


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#8 Miss Peregrine

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:00 PM

That's such an odd solicitation to receive. However, when I went off to college, I would have liked to receive care packages. It's not that I couldn't get things I needed, it was more the thought. My grandmother (and I suppose my mother to some extent) sent many to my sister that were more than just homemade cookies. She'd include nice notes and trinkets that my sister might need. It was a lovely gesture that I enjoyed participating in, as well, because I missed her more than I'd ever have admitted. My grandmother had a stroke before I went to college so I never received any. It must have impacted me since I remember it so vividly 20+ years later. It sounds selfish of me now that I'm typing it, but the feeling was more of a miss-you-love-you-knock-em-dead sentiment that I missed out on.

Still! It's a nice gesture but something I'd put together to send to my kid not hire out. So many people out to make a buck through guilt. Times are so different now than when I went to college. Kids now have instant ability to text mom to say "SOS Send more Ramen Noodles".

Aww, I'm sorry you missed out on those from your grandmother. I don't think it sounds selfish. :grouphug:

Edited by Miss Peregrine, 09 July 2016 - 08:00 PM.

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#9 MedicMom

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:02 PM

My grandmother sent me care packages on a fairly regular basis.
I can't tell you how crazy excited I was to see the little slip in my mailbox telling me I had a package.
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#10 Kassia

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:04 PM

Yeah, I'm a rather lame mama. My kids get a box of treats at Halloween for fall semester, and one for Easter for spring semester. That's all I can manage to get done. LOL

 

I am even lamer...I have never sent a care package!  Oops!


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#11 Kassia

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:06 PM

My parents never sent me care package, but my roommate's parents sent her big ones and made sure they sent enough for me.  So sweet!  

 

Now I'm feeling kind of guilty for not sending them to my own kids.  They go to college 3 hours away and come home pretty frequently.

 

 


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#12 ThisIsTheDay

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:21 PM

I've read very closely the details of the packages sent by my dd's school. They are tiny little packages of mostly garbage and waaaaaay overpriced. No guilt! Besides, the stuff I take to my kid would make anyone else wish they had a mom like me. :D


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#13 Seasider

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:43 PM

I am not the queen of care packages since postal rates have gotten so high. However, this is where you really get your money's worth out of an Amazon prime account. It's easy to directly send occasional treats and needs that way.

if I mailed anything personally, it would be a restaurant gift card in a letter.

I found that staying in touch via texting is the best thing. If they haven't already, those texts will start coming at odd times as your new college student takes on collegiate-style sleep habits. Answering texts promptly has been a good relationship builder here.
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#14 creekland

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:51 PM

When we first got those I was unsure and opted out (sending our own packages once in a while).  I later asked my boys if they "felt left out" and was told "absolutely not!"  They prefer homemade packages (theirs or others) and one even told me that the prepackaged ones caused a bit of joking rather than "happiness."  I never worried about the solicitations afterward - and I always made sure to send enough for my guys to share with friends.  I don't bake goodies, but my guys love food from home like the special types of chips and things we get living in "comfort food central."  One friend even offered to pay us to send a box to him!  We sent extra and declined payment...


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#15 Annie G

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:59 PM

I lovingly put together a couple of care packages for dd and after about the third one she kindly asked me to stop. She lived about a third of a mile away in a school owned house and dragging a package home along with her backpack loaded with books and a laptop...in the snow...was not a treat for her.  But a couple of times I called the local pizza place when I knew she was up late hosting a study group and surprise pizza delivery was always a big hit. 


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#16 Quill

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 09:04 PM

Those astonished me when I got them as well. They made a last-ditch effort before Final Exams, too.

I did send DD several Care packages, but put them together myself and timed them the way I thought was best. I loved making up Care Packages. :)
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#17 Tita Gidge

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 09:11 PM

I gave him a credit card to use and told him to buy whatever he needs. ;)

 

I would have rather had that than the crossword puzzles my mom sent :lol:


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#18 Tita Gidge

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 09:12 PM

I lovingly put together a couple of care packages for dd and after about the third one she kindly asked me to stop. She lived about a third of a mile away in a school owned house and dragging a package home along with her backpack loaded with books and a laptop...in the snow...was not a treat for her.  But a couple of times I called the local pizza place when I knew she was up late hosting a study group and surprise pizza delivery was always a big hit. 

 

I have one leaving for college this year, and my youngest sister is returning to college.

 

I love this idea and I plan to use it. :hurray: I think it's safe to assume they'd want me to thank you!


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#19 StephanieZ

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 09:49 PM

I did some great care packages for my dd last year via Amazon. I just sent stuff Prime. Once, for exam week, I filled an entire Pantry box of stuff for her. Even filling the Pantry box, with oodles of snacks, it wasn't very expensive. Maybe $50 that time, but of course most times I just sent a couple things. (Love Prime Shipping!) One time, I sent Shari's Berries -- a box of chocolate covered strawberries. :) Anyway, she loved the treats, and by DIY'ing it, I could make sure to send things special for her. (Cheese, a lot of cheese, lol.)

 

I had a thought for this year . . . She'll be living in a house. I'm thinking of wrapping up 10-20 boxes as gifts, and numbering each box 1-20 (or whatever). And then putting them all in a couple bins that I'll move in with her to her house. Then at home, I'll keep a list of what is in each numbered box. When she gets a cold, I'll tell her to open Box 12 (in which will be a bunch of hard candies, some Emergen-C, some tissues with aloe) . . . When she's cramming for a test, box 5-8 might be filled with favorite snacks (SmartFood, beef jerky, etc.) Other ideas are a bag of tootsie pops, a pop-corn kit, etc . . . Anyway, I have 3 weeks to go, so I better get ordering on Amazon. I'm kinda' excited about it. It'll be fun to have something to super fast tell her to do to make her smile when she's having a rough day. :) I'll probably put $20 cash in a couple boxes with instructions to "Go to Publix and spend ALL this money only on ice cream and toppings!" 


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#20 Ali in OR

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 11:47 PM

Our bible study group put together care packages twice this year for the kids from our church who are in college (mostly kids of everyone in the group except us!). We got flat-rate boxes from the post office and everyone contributed something for each box--mostly homemade treats but one family did gift cards (Starbucks, Panera) and we did Halloween candy in the fall and movie-theater-box candy in the spring. Just wanted to mention that the flat-rate boxes were great--fairly inexpensive ($5-$7??) and they fit everything.

 

I had lots of fun one year doing an "Easter basket" type gift package for my sister who was studying in England. I was able to convert some money to pounds  which I put in Easter eggs for her. She loved the package of Oreos which they didn't have there, and also her favorite gum that they didn't have. I really enjoyed putting it together and it was a huge spirit lifter for her when she got it--total surprise. I'm sure I'll love doing a few for my girls when they're in college.


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#21 J-rap

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 02:44 AM

That marketing scheme drives me crazy!  Ours said something like, "Imagine how sad your student will be if all of her roommates and friends receive one of our care packages and she doesn't."  I told my dd right away that she wouldn't be getting one!  ha :)  I just hate that tactic, plus those care packages are usually junk.  

 

I do send my dd little surprises throughout the year, especially if I know she needs something, like mittens and tea in the winter.  I don't think I've ever sent her a final's week package, although maybe I told her to go ahead and charge a Starbucks coffee to my credit card.


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#22 Night Elf

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 06:29 AM

My dd going to college in the fall saw that note from her school about premade care packages and freaked out. She told me under absolutely no terms was I to do that. We did one care package for her girlfriend away last year. I don't know if her parents sent her any. I'm an awful baker, but we made chocolate chocolate chip muffins and included those. They were much appreciated.

 

I don't know what to put in care packages. I want it to be more than just food which she will have an abundance of in school with an unlimited meal plan. Plus they have a credit card like that to use at food kiosks around campus that we'll keep filled. She doesn't need quarters for laundry because the machines take those cards. She isn't into socks or puzzles. I guess I'll just send notes as that is more fun to get than emails.


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#23 Jane in NC

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 07:03 AM

When my son was in college, I was the fearless sender of homemade baked goods.  But one thing that is hard to send is a cake with frosting.  I sent my son cocoa bundt cakes with a dusting of confectioners sugar and tried the cupcake in a canning jar thing.  But if your student really loves cake with frosting, many colleges have a birthday baked good delivery option. 

 

My son attended a residential LAC (almost all students reside on campus unless they are studying abroad) so his care packages were often gifts to the suite.  My son was treated to a number of meals by families that lived closer than us.  The least I could do was reciprocate with chocolate chip cookies or bags of "gourmet" popcorn.


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#24 Murphy101

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 10:36 AM

I was so annoyed by the campus advertising for prepaid care packages that there's no way I'll do them. There was a sheet explaining the different ones they offer, but most of the packet was guilt tripping about how awful it is to be the kid who doesn't get a care package. My kids are poor, they are used to not getting what everyone else does and we've worked damned hard to get them to college, so play that pity violin for someone else. It just really did not go over well with me.

I'm planning to do care packages for mine, but I doubt it will look like the ones the college is sending. Some I will mail and some I will drive out to deliver.

I'm planning a "sick" package. All the stuff sick people need but young people don't tend to keep on hand. Plus some entertainment for sick time, like a DVD.

A household package. Knitting dish towels, and some household things. (They have ditched the dorms in favor of saving some money in an apartment, so I figure our sam's and Costco membership will send some things their way.)

Movie box. Some DVDs or movie gift certs, big box candies, microwave popcorn

Of course, birthday boxes.

A finals box with treats and stress relievers.

Holiday boxes.

(ETA: oh and gift cards to local restaurants, especially cafes and donut shops. Even though my boys don't drink soda or coffee or tea - it's a social thing to be able to afford to go out with everyone to study or hang out once in a while.)

I doubt I'll go more than a month without seeing one of them in person, so I'm not going to feel too awful about not sending expensive care packages. Most of the care packages content will be our effort to help them financially. I'm slowly stock piling stuff as I find it on sale or couponing or whatever.

Edited by Murphy101, 10 July 2016 - 10:39 AM.

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#25 Cinder

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 10:47 AM

Mine live at home so no care packages here. lol. The one year ds1 lived in an apartment he did come home about once a week to do laundry and I'd try to be sure I had extra food to send back with him. Real food as he was surviving on pizza and Panda Express. (He worked at PE so his meals at work were free.)

 

 

Our bible study group put together care packages twice this year for the kids from our church who are in college (mostly kids of everyone in the group except us!). We got flat-rate boxes from the post office and everyone contributed something for each box--mostly homemade treats but one family did gift cards (Starbucks, Panera) and we did Halloween candy in the fall and movie-theater-box candy in the spring. Just wanted to mention that the flat-rate boxes were great--fairly inexpensive ($5-$7??) and they fit everything.

 

Re: flat rate boxes. Love 'em, but they cost a bit more than this. The medium is now $13.45 and the large is $18.75. The small is $6.80 but hardly holds anything. These boxes are a good option if you're sending heavy items, though. And they go Priority with tracking.



#26 Ethel Mertz

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 05:26 PM

My mother sent me fresh tomatoes in a tin. Tomato sauce, anyone?  :confused1:



#27 Ali in OR

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 05:36 PM

Mine live at home so no care packages here. lol. The one year ds1 lived in an apartment he did come home about once a week to do laundry and I'd try to be sure I had extra food to send back with him. Real food as he was surviving on pizza and Panda Express. (He worked at PE so his meals at work were free.)

 

 

 

Re: flat rate boxes. Love 'em, but they cost a bit more than this. The medium is now $13.45 and the large is $18.75. The small is $6.80 but hardly holds anything. These boxes are a good option if you're sending heavy items, though. And they go Priority with tracking.

 

We must have done smalls. We didn't send huge bulky stuff, and the baked goods were small amounts, not full batches, but still it was pretty amazing how much we fit in.  I know the girl at Brown cost a little more because she was out of region and everyone else was up and down the west coast. Our cost for the 1 box we covered was $7 I think.



#28 Cinder

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 06:05 PM

We must have done smalls. We didn't send huge bulky stuff, and the baked goods were small amounts, not full batches, but still it was pretty amazing how much we fit in.  I know the girl at Brown cost a little more because she was out of region and everyone else was up and down the west coast. Our cost for the 1 box we covered was $7 I think.

 

If this was several years ago then I'll bet you used medium boxes. I can remember them being about $8 at some point. Then they jumped up to 10, then 11 . . . I didn't realize how much more they are now. But the smalls are really small--not much bigger than a paperback.

 

Or maybe you used a different service? The flat rate boxes don't have different prices based on region like the regular mail does.