Inside: Discover the best military care package ideas for your deployed service member when they’re close to coming home.
You did it! The end of deployment is in sight and you are finally ready to put together your last set of deployment care package ideas. I like to call this ‘the coming home soon’ care package.
I love the last care package of a deployment because of what it represents: after months of separation, it’s one of the last steps before my husband comes home.
There is something incredibly satisfying about taping that last box shut and filling out that last customs form. It’s when you can finally let yourself get excited about homecoming!
But as excited as you are, you also know that you don’t want to break the bank on this homecoming care package.
Saving money on a homecoming care package.
Maybe you’re saving for something fun when your spouse comes home or maybe Murphy’s Law struck over the past few months and you had some unexpected expenses. Whatever the reason, remember that your last deployment care package idea does not have to be expensive to be meaningful.
post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase I may receive a small commission
1. Pick a fun theme and care package design.
Decorating your care package makes it extra special without adding a lot of expensive items. The extra time and attention you spend on your box helps it convey just how excited you are for homecoming.
Homecoming care package themes could be sassy sayings or puns, like “orange you glad deployment is almost over.” They could also focus on your hometown or an upcoming vacation. You can purchase your care package decorations online or try your hand at decorating it yourself. If you do go the DIY route, be careful because the cost of supplies could really add up quickly!
2. Send what you already have.
I look for deployment care package ideas every single time I’m at the store, picking up extra items when they’re on sale or back in stock. By the last care package, I have enough extra supplies to fill a box without even stepping foot in a store.
If you’re anything like me, odds are you’ve also collected a stash of care package goodies. While it may be tempting to run out and get all sorts of fun items, make use of that stash and fill your last care package right from your own house. This keeps you from spending extra money and helps you clean out your pantry!
3. Skip over-shopping.
If you do need to buy things for your homecoming care package, don’t go overboard. This is your last care package of deployment so only purchase what you’re able to send in this last box. Your loved one’s time away is limited so they likely don’t need as many snacks or toiletries as they did during the first month of deployment. Keep that in mind when shopping, even though I’m sure they’d LOVE the extra package of cookies.
4. Keep the items simple and useful.
Be as strategic as possible with your last care package by selecting contents that your loved one will both enjoy and use before returning home. Smaller versions of their favorite items (including individual snack packs or travel-sized toiletries) will still be appreciated, but either get used during the remaining time overseas or fit nicely into a backpack for the journey home.
Your last care package is also a great time to send some useful travel items; mini toiletries, a sleep mask or earplugs are inexpensive items that will definitely come in handy as your loved one begins their journey home.
5. Sending a smaller box.
I am a major fan of the large flat rate box for sending care packages, but filling them can get pricey! Sending a smaller box (like a medium or small flat rate box) reduces shipping cost and forces you to send fewer items. You can still decorate these smaller boxes and fill them with thoughtful items, but they’ll be cheaper!
6. Pay attention to shipping deadlines.
If your loved one is preparing to return home, they should have a mail cutoff date. Pay attention to and respect that date so that your care package has the best chance of making it to them before they head home. All of your cost-saving steps won’t matter if your loved one never actually gets their homecoming care package.
Homecoming care packages are so exciting because they mean the end of deployment is near, but don’t let your excitement convince you to break the bank. There are quite a few ways to save money on these last care packages without taking away from the impact of the box. Enjoy creating this last care package and then turn your attention to homecoming!
More deployment care package ideas.
- How to make a welcome home ‘beer cake’ for homecoming
- 6 military homecoming outfit ideas that will make your service member swoon
- Deployment homecoming checklist for military spouses
- Printable welcome home banner for military families