College Care Package Ideas for Every Budget
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Got a new college student?
There’s no better feeling for a homesick college student than getting mail from home. It’s even more exciting when it comes in a box!
Between the cost of shipping and the items inside, sending care packages can get pretty expensive. Thankfully, you don’t need to break the bank to brighten a college student’s day! Send a little cheer with one of these care package ideas for every budget.
Fancy College Care Packages (from $12.99)
If you want to indulge your college student with a little splurge (or if Grandma is buying), spoil your recipient with one of these more extravagant options.
1. Hangry Kit
Starting at $24.99, these Hangry Kits are a little spendy. They are ready-made if you’re crunched for time though, and they ship for free with Amazon Prime. While it’s great that you won’t need to stand in line at the post office or pay for shipping with this option, the truth is, they had us at “hangry.”
At $12.99 a pair, the cost of filling a care package with these Notes to Self Socks will quickly add up. Their cheerful affirmations would be such a fun morale-booster for a homesick college student, though!
Spoil your college student with a nail collection from ella + mila. Ranging in price from $18 – $80, their nail collections are vegan and 7-free.
Hip Tip: For a more affordable option, check out the beauty section at Target to curate your own collection of nail colors for your college student!
4. Fan Chest
Starting at $59, a gift box from Fan Chest would be a total splurge! What a cool inaugural care package this would be for your incoming freshman, though. Send a box filled with gear featuring your recipient’s college logo, or choose from their favorite NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL team.
Hip Tip: Consider building a more budget-friendly fan chest by shopping at the college bookstore and choosing your own items to box up.
Your college student will be the envy of her dorm when she gets up to $250 worth of beauty and lifestyle products in this FabFitFun Box! Although these boxes are regularly priced at $49.99, keep your eyes open for promo codes. We’ve seen them go for as low as $29.99! To learn more, read all about our experience with FabFitFun.
Frugal College Care Packages (from $3.50)
Send your college student a little pick-me-up with one of these more affordable options.
Target usually offers several different beauty boxes every month, and we’ve seen them go for as low as $3.50! When that happens, buy one of each that month, and you’ll have 3 individual care packages boxed up and ready to send – easy peasy!
Walmart also sells boxes full of fun beauty and personal care items! Regularly priced between $9 and $10, we’ve seen them go for as low as $5. Choose from themes like eyes, lips, and hair (they even make one for the guys, too)!
3. Box of socks
4. Gift Cards
It’s easy to control the budget with this option, too, because you get to choose the amount of the gift card. Plus, you can ship a gift card for much less than it costs to send a big box of goodies! Try searching Raise.com to see if you can get the gift card you want to send at a discounted rate!
Imagine your college student’s surprise when they have to buy razors for the first time and realize how expensive they are. Now imagine their gratitude when free razors just show up in the mail! For $5, you can send the Ultimate Shave Starter Kit from Dollar Shave Club. Keep the subscription going with shipments every 2 months, or cancel at any time!
Cheryl’s Cookies runs frequent promotions allowing you to snag a 6-cookie sampler, PLUS a $10 reward card for just $9.99 shipped! Your college student’s cookie care package will arrive with a $10 reward card to use towards a future Cheryl’s purchase, so they can enjoy treats both now and later!
Join Love With Food’s Snack Smart, Do Good Club for only $7.99 a month, and send your college student snacks made with real ingredients and no added chemicals. Keep the snacks coming for your college student by continuing with a monthly subscription, or cancel any time!
8. Seasonal decorations
Consider filling a box with some fun & frugal decorations for their dorm room. Cruise the aisles at Dollar Tree or check out Bullseye’s Playground at Target for affordable seasonal decor. Put together a themed box for the next holiday on the calendar!
10. Box of Sunshine
Brighten someone’s day with a cheery box full of yellow items and our free downloadable card! You can completely customize the Box of Sunshine to fit your budget and the preferences of your recipient.
Consider sending a different color-themed box every month! Get reddy for midterms, orange you glad we love you so much, a little something out of the blue, we’re pinking of you… you get the idea! 😉
Frugal College Care Packages ($0)
No budget at all? We’ve got you. Let your favorite college student know you’re thinking about them by scoring some freebies and sending them their way!
Head on over to RewardSurvey.com to earn a FREE magazine subscription for your college student! Simply complete a survey and redeem the reward points earned for a FREE subscription! Choose from 20 titles such as People, Sports Illustrated, and Travel & Leisure.
Start setting aside all of those freebies you’ve been scoring from couponing and following our freebie posts. If you’ve been following Hip2Save for a while now, you may already have a stash of freebies in your stockpile! Use them to make your college student a hand-selected beauty or snack box, and pay only the cost of shipping it out to them!
3. Handwritten encouragement
College students love getting mail of any kind – and it doesn’t have to come in a box! For the cost of a postage stamp, you can send your love in a handwritten letter, homemade card, or even a postcard to brighten your college student’s day. Get younger siblings and other family members in on the act, and stuff their mailbox full of good cheer with multiple messages on the same day!