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How to Create College Care Packages for Under $100

Personal Insights

College is fun. However, there are a few days that require a little extra hard work. Midterms in particular can be one of the most stressful and lonely times for a college student on a limited budget. Care packages are great all the time, but with exams coming up, this is the perfect opportunity to send a little love.

Delicious Care Packages

The most common (and perhaps most appreciated!) care package contains something that smells amazing and tastes even better. There are the classics: homemade cookies, favorite candies, peanut butter and other non-perishables. Or branch out and send a box full of less exciting but always appreciated “adult” food – common ingredients such as spices, bread, and maybe a recipe book.

Amazon Prime has some great “Pantry” options as well, or personalize it with a favorite sauce or brand that might be out of budget for a hungry student. Gift cards to favorite restaurants can be a nice reprieve, too.

Sensible Care Packages

While the thank-you text might not come quite as fast after a sensible care package, when the moment of need arrives, no one will be rolling their eyes. Hygiene products are an expense that some students may see as a luxury, so pack a box of the basics: deodorant, toothpaste and a new brush, combs, razors, shampoo and soap. Some simple over-the-counter medicines and vitamins will come in handy as well.

Care packages can also be used to resupply everyday items. Headphones break, chargers wear out, and USB drives get lost, and it never hurts to have extras. Basic things like paper clips, pens, post-it-notes and notebooks are in constant demand. In addition, it won’t break the bank to send a few of these often-used items.  Even a fresh pillowcase can make a homesick student feel better.

Fun Care Packages

And of course, keep the fun in functional! Why not include that special novelty t-shirt with a favorite character on it? Silly socks and little toys are great, too. Maybe pick up a few items with the school’s logo or mascot. Give them something fresh to wear to the ball games.

Or, instead of decorating the student, why not help them gussy up the room? Fall decorations, orange Halloween lights, something spooky or autumnal to add a little flavor will make the dorm feel less like a cell and more like home. Little candles and framed pictures don’t cost much, and they can mean a lot.

Pay attention the next time you speak to them and find out what movies they enjoyed lately and send a copy with some popcorn and candy for a movie night. If that’s too old-school, why not pay for an online subscription for a few months? Or dig through the closet and send something they might have forgotten, like a frisbee, a skateboard, or a baseball glove. Include a handwritten note and maybe a few extra dollars and make that package a winner.

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