Self-care package ideas
April 11, 2017 7:06 PM   Subscribe

I've had to curtail my social life because of an illness (see previous question). Right now my M.O. is to go to work, get through the day, and go home and rest.

At first it was nice to have a few evenings at home to relax, but now despite plenty of books, things to watch on netflix, sketchbooks and other materials, I'm starting to dread going home and killing time until I can fall asleep.

One thing that really perks me up is getting stuff in the mail. Inexpensive monthly boxes, random things from Amazon. If I can find a way to do it at a reasonable price it would be fun to get something in the mail every week or so. Ideas?
posted by bunderful to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
How about eBay? You can buy "lots" of whatever and get a random unsorted box full of potential treasures. People also sell junk drawers, which can be full of interesting surprises.
posted by acidic at 7:26 PM on April 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ok so I know you can buy things off Amazon and I'm sure you'll get a billion suggestions about that. But! Another way to do it at a reasonable price, if you're feeling up to it, is to write letters! Sometimes you get letters back!
posted by aniola at 7:26 PM on April 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Pingame! I really enjoy scrolling through the latest art pins on Instagram and buying whichever ones pique my interest. A lot of designers and illustrators have been creating them, and it's a more affordable, wearable alternative to buying prints (though tiny prints or resin castings are also fun to collect if you have somewhere to display them).

The pins are usually an average of $10 to $15 each with shipping—so inexpensive. Pin collecting definitely kept me engaged and occupied through some long months last year, and it makes for a unique tiny art display.

See also: ordering T-shirts with unique illustrations, geeky T-shirts from fandoms you love, etc.
posted by limeonaire at 7:36 PM on April 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I can't stop "Try the World" from giving me subscription boxes. I think I payed for one or two, canceled and ever since then I get monthly "come back for 5 dollars!" Or "try this month free!" I'm really good about making sure I cancel again once it's been shipped for the month so I don't accidently end up paying for the next month. I think I've gotten about 5 free boxes at this point.
posted by raccoon409 at 7:41 PM on April 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

you didn't update your last question - is it a contagious illness? If not, can you invite people over instead of going out?
posted by AFABulous at 8:10 PM on April 11, 2017

Best answer is the clue. I am unfortunately contagious.
posted by bunderful at 8:13 PM on April 11, 2017

I would totally offer my friends small amounts of money to buy me random stuff online or irl to mail to me. Bonus if it's Pete I don't get to see enough of.
posted by advicepig at 8:26 PM on April 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

People, not Pete. I fear what Pete would send me.
posted by advicepig at 8:30 PM on April 11, 2017 [11 favorites]

On mobile so can't link, but Bobcat In A Box is a robot that you give keywords for search and some money to, and it mails you as many packages as it has the budget for. I have used it for a bithday gift/prank and it's fantastic. You will literally get a package every day if you set it up that way. Only thing is, it takes a couple weeks to kick in.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:06 PM on April 11, 2017 [7 favorites]

These are things to buy that I find can really take up a lot of research/hunt/shop/enjoy time: nice fountain pens (what color, which ink, check out and his videos), stickers to put on your computer or notebook, flowers/plants for your garden/indoor space especially from a local gardening store, the perfect hand painted piece of art from etsy to go above the sofa, a watch that is clever and functional, which little craft hobby should you start (perler beads, adult coloring books), what fun and interesting spices you can cook with (yay Penzey's) or delicious beans you can eat (seriously, check out Rancho Gordo for beans), go to a store and pick out the absolutely most perfect smelling candle for your bathroom/living room/bedroom, look for the perfect storage solution for that annoying bunch of things that get tangled up somewhere like jewerly or kitchen utensils or scarves (did you know there are scarf hangers??).
posted by ellerhodes at 9:13 PM on April 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

There is an app called Wish. It's like crack. I'm sorry I even told you about it but they have things like herb scissors for $1! and silicone food wraps for $2 for 6! The same stuff from amazon but 1/10th the price.

Seriously though, don't sign up, you've been warned.
posted by fshgrl at 10:47 PM on April 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

I asked a similar question in 2007 and the best answer was to set up a PO Box and ask people on the Internet to send me mail. I got tons of letters from Mefites & other folk and the PO Box came in handy for other things. Maybe try that?
posted by divabat at 12:35 AM on April 12, 2017 [5 favorites]

I went on Ali Express about three months ago and bought myself something like twenty small items for a dollar or two each. Things like hairclips, badges, scarves, pens, etc. And then I forgot I'd done it. The items started arriving about a week ago, and I've had little random packages in the mail almost every day since. And because I can't remember what I ordered, it's so much fun opening them up.
posted by lollusc at 3:19 AM on April 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

There is also Bobcat in a Box which will send you random, low priced things from ebay and Amazon.
posted by nalyd at 3:33 AM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the great suggestions! I've signed up for Bobcat in a Box.
posted by bunderful at 5:30 AM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Have you tried Postcrossing? You send a postcard to the person Postcrossing gives you, and when they receive the postcard someone else sends you a postcard. I've been doing it for years, it's fun and nice to get something other than bills in the mail. You get postcards from all over the world. In their forums you can also join in swaps, round robins, gift exchanges etc and get different things that way as well.
posted by Lay Off The Books at 9:21 AM on April 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I don't know what your hobbies or budget are but Cozy Blue has a great embroidery kit of the month and it's reasonably priced (IMO).
posted by freezer cake at 10:12 AM on April 12, 2017

New Hobby Box! You can get a subscription or buy boxes for specific hobbies. I got my friend the lock picking one and she loved it.
posted by Owl of Athena at 12:35 PM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

There is an app called Wish. It's like crack. I'm sorry I even told you about it but they have things like herb scissors for $1! and silicone food wraps for $2 for 6! The same stuff from amazon but 1/10th the price.

Seriously though, don't sign up, you've been warned.

Seriously, don't sign up to this. I did, after reading this comment, and my credit card details seem to have been sold on to a million scammers, who started with small sums I didn't catch soon after I used Wish, and last week they drained my account entirely (thousands of dollars over a few hours).

I don't know for sure it was Wish-related, but I've since seen a lot of reports online where other people had the same experience right after using Wish for the first time too.
posted by lollusc at 12:04 AM on April 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

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