Saturday, August 1, 2009

July Any Soldier

I actually got my July Any Soldier package sent off a week ago, but haven't managed a spare minute to talk about it.

The soldier to whom I sent my June care package took his name off the list after I had already purchased most of the stuff. So I was forced to find someone who was looking for the stuff I had on the website. I decided to send the package to someone who was looking for anything. As his post said that they did not have access to a PX, I figure they can probably use personal hygiene supplies.

This is what I sent:

And what it cost:

Free Stuff:
(1) Books: While I was at the beach, I looked in our "Summer Beach Reading" box and found duplicates of these two books. My mother puts together the box, and she said I could have them.
(2) Dove Bar: Used my free chocolate coupon.
(3) Sample package of Overnight Pads: Randomly sent to me in the mail. As I have said before, I use natracare products myself, so I passed these along.

Paid Stuff (all prices include tax):
(1) Shampoo and Conditioner: Was able to get these at Rite-Aid for $1.18 each.
(2) Toothbrushes: Also on sale at Rite-Aid for $1.02.
(3) Toothpaste: $.55. I've never heard of the brand, but it's made in the US, so it should be OK.
(4) Brush: $1.00 at my local grocery store. Not on sale.
(5) Pantiliners: $1.02 at CVS. Used $1 in extrabucks and got $ .84 in extrabucks back.
(6) Tampons: $4.35. On sale at Winn-Dixie at 2 for the price of one. Works out to about $.11 per tampon, which seems to be about as cheap as you can get (in June I paid $4.36 for 40 Walgreens tampons).
(7) Cards: $1.08. Michaels in Lafayette has a ton of cute cards for very cheap.

I'd like to tell you that I only spent $10.20 this month. But what actually happened is that I got so caught up with getting a good deal that I way overspent. Instead of just getting what I needed for this month, I decided to stock up. So, additionally, I have 8 more bottles of shampoo and conditioner, four more sets of toothbrushes, and 9 more packages of cute cards.

I am particularly mad at myself about the cards. Michaels had a sign up advertising them at 10 for $10. Of course, they were really $1 each, no matter how many you buy. But their advertising got me thinking "These cards are so cute. And I never come here. So I should get all 10 so that I have plenty to send." So I ended up spending 1/4 of my budgeted money (this month it was $40, including shipping) on fripperies, and I did not have enough left over to send soap and deodorant this month. I only had enough stuff to fill a medium flat rate box, not a large. And I was happy to get the discount for shipping to the APO address and for using the USPS website; it meant that I only went over budget $2.

On the positive side, though, I have stuff to send this month. Since my cat needs dental surgery (estimate 1K !!!), I'll need to pare my budget down to practically nothing this month. I am planning to pay only for shipping; to use only what I have and what I can find for free.

One more look at July's shipment, all packaged and ready to go:

Even though I feel a bit discouraged because I did not send all that I would have liked, I hope the soldiers will enjoy it. At the end of the day, I think it's better to do the little bit I can, even if it does not seem like very much, and leave the effects in God's hands.


  1. That is really cool. I was just talking about sending stuff to Any Soilder. I'd like to put a package together and send one. I'm sure they could use just about anything!
    I figure I could buy here and there when its on sale at Walgreens.

    I didn't even think about the books. I can a few good reading books from work.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    $1K on cat dental surgery? Ouch. Good luck tightening the budget strings to cover that. (I would do anything for my cats, too)

  2. This is a good thing to do. I like that you're using things that don't cost you a lot, but will mean a lot to a soldier. I do a lot of shopping where I buy one get one free type of thing. This would be a great thing to do with some of my "free" things. Thanks!