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Topic: Mailing Food

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Subject: Mailing Food
Date Posted: 12/1/2010 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 23
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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone here knew how to ship food through the mail? I know this is an odd request, but there must be a way with Christmas coming I wanted to know. To be more specific, it would be baked goods like cookies. I would be interested in knowing price ranges(?), how to pack it, etc.

If anyone could help me, I'd really, really appreciate it!! THanks a bunch!
Hannah

Date Posted: 12/1/2010 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2009
Posts: 916
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Price ranges will depend on how much your package weighs and what class of service you ship it (i.e. Express mail for overnight, Priority mail, parcel post, UPS, FedEx - air surface, etc.).  If the cookies shift alot in their container you may experience breakage.  I'd look into a cookie tin or Tupperware type containers to package cookies in.  I know when I've ordered cookies from commercial retailers each cookie is typically individually wrapped and I'm sure that helps to package the bundle more securely to avoid them slipping around and promote freshness by being sealed.

Maybe this gets some ideas for your project.

Date Posted: 12/1/2010 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Alot depends on the types of food you are interested in shipping Hannah.  Some items, such as alcohol, are not allowed USPS.  Otherwise the main concerns are perishability and fragility.  Personally, I love the USPS flat rate boxes...just fill with favorite local food items and send.  Flat Rate boxes travel Priority Mail, so they go just about everywhere in a few days so perishability isn't a major concern. 

We frequently ship local food items, boxed mixes, teas & coffee, processed meat (jerky & pepperoni in original sealed packaging), and chocolates.  Syrup, honey, and jams also travel well in bubble wrap when carefully placed within the package.  Sometimes I assemble a gift basket and then box the basket intact for shipping.  Other times I just fill a box with loose items, mixed with buffer materials.

We send home baked cookies to DS (just choose less-fragile varieties).  I then cut squares of Saran wrap and wrap each cookie individually (or doubles back to back).  This helps freshness and adds cushioning.  I then place the cookies (or other small items) inside a smaller box to protect them from shifting contents inside the larger box.  So far, the only problem has been cookie staleness if DS doesn't pick up his package from the post office promptly.

Date Posted: 12/1/2010 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 23
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THank you!! That helps a lot lol. I was concerned that they wouldn't let me ship them, but I'm like there MUST be a way  : )

Thanks a bunch!

Hannah

Date Posted: 12/2/2010 3:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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There is a postage calculator on usps.com that is very helpful Obviously they can't go media mail, but the other classes of service are fine. Make sure to use lots of plastic wrap :)

 

Priority Mail will probably be the easiest thing, since you get the free boxes and they'll be shipped quickly. If you know the weight, or if you are doing flat rate, you can buy the postage from usps.com and get a discount on postage plus free DC plus avoid the lines at the post office! 

Date Posted: 12/4/2010 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2007
Posts: 5,230
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I've not had to ship cookies but have read somewhere to use unseasoned/unbuttered plain popped popcorn for cushioning & to pack the cookies in layers with some something to seperate each layer. Wrapping each cookie in plastic wrap sounds like a chore but I think it would be worth it.

Date Posted: 12/4/2010 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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"...Wrapping each cookie in plastic wrap sounds like a chore but I think it would be worth it."    Wrapping isn't as much a chore as cutting the d@*# saran wrap crying

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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If it were not allowed to ship food through the mail, think of all the disappointed college kids and military!