Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for College Students

By Razille Mae Biaca / July 21, 2022 /

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and we’re all getting excited about it. With all the love and chemistry in the air, it’s important not to forget to buy a special present for that special someone. It's always a great idea to surprise the people you care for and get them something that will make their day. If this person of yours is a college student, they'll be especially thrilled if you hit the bull's eye and get them an unforgettable present just the way they like it. But, you may be worried that this will affect your monthly budget and you won't be able to afford to buy something truly amazing.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your valentine happy. There are so many great gifts you can find that are inexpensive, original, and unique. And, if you still haven’t decided what to get to that special someone, we’re here to help. This article will share the best inexpensive Valentine’s Day gift ideas for college students for you to draw inspiration from.

Let’s get started.

Best Inexpensive Gifts for Students

Below, you’ll find our selection of the best inexpensive gifts that any college student would be happy to receive. Take a look at the list and keep your valentine in mind. Try deciding which gift they’d like the most and what would truly make them happy.

  • Something to Drink at the Next College Party

College students are usually party animals and love spending their free time drinking and having fun with their friends. That means that they're bound to be pleasantly surprised if you get them a bottle of spirits according to their taste and preferences. Naturally, you don't have the budget to go wild and get some antique wine or rare scotch.  But, you can find an affordable bottle of whiskey or even a whiskey gift box with other items they may like.

After all, college students aren’t that picky when it comes to drinks as long as they’re having fun.

  • Something to Keep Them Warm

Valentine's is mid-winter and you want to show your valentine you're worried about their well-being. Keeping them warm and cozy is something you feel responsible for. But, when you're not around, there are things that can fill your spot.

So, get creative and get them a pair of soft socks, a nice scarf, a cozy blanket, a scented candle, or a hot chocolate mix. They’ll be excited to see what you’ve got lined up for those nights you two are spending apart.

  • Something for their Sweet Tooth

Everybody loves chocolate, right? And, if your valentine has a sweet tooth, you can get them a box of heart-shaped chocolates to sweeten their grueling college days. They can keep it in their dorm rooms and take a piece whenever they feel tired or down.

  • Something for their Self-Care Routine

College students have so many days that are filled with stress and pressure. They’re always in a rush to get to class, have a quick meal, and go back to studying. In this rush, they tend to forget to take a moment to breathe and take care of themselves.

This is why it's your job to remind them to do so. So, create a self-care box for them. You can throw in the things that will make them feel better — a bath bomb, a book from an author they love, mindfulness quotes, a diary to write in, or even a list of outdoor places you two could go and visit together. It's inexpensive but so thoughtful that they'll definitely be going to love it.

  • Something for the Coffee Lovers

College students are no strangers to coffee either. But, it's not just because it keeps them awake when they need to study and pull an all-nighter. Most of them simply enjoy the experience of drinking this amazing beverage and would be thrilled if you'd give them something to make this experience even more enjoyable.

You could buy them a gift card for their favorite coffee shop, a coffee mug with a note on it, or even a gift box for coffee lovers that would combine several things they’d very much enjoy. 

  • Something to Improve their Grades

We know how much college students struggle to keep their grades up and achieve the academic success they’ve set. You could use this Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to help them reach those goals easily and with way less stress.

You could get them a personalized notebook for note-keeping, a gift card to buy an essay online when they're facing a tight deadline, a Pomodoro timer, motivational posters, or noise-canceling headphones. 

  • Something for their Dorm Room

Is your valentine staying in a dorm? If so, try thinking of the things they'd love to see in their dorm room that would make it more appealing and comfortable. It could be anything they'd feel good about — a small indoor plant that's easy to maintain, a modern-looking poster, a wire memo board, or even a to-do whiteboard for all their plans.

Keep it simple and make sure it’s something that would fit anyone’s taste, in case they have roommates with a specific eye for details.

  • Something to Keep them Motivated

It's important for college students to stay motivated and focused on their studies. That's the only way they'll pass all their exams without the added stress and spend their college years relaxed. So, getting them a gift that will boost this motivation is a great idea.

It could be „dream big" sticker sheets, motivational posters, a bracelet with a motivational quote, affirmations set, a great mason jar for their dreams and ideas, or a box with encouraging messages you've handwritten.

  • Something to Help them Sleep Better

Sleep deprivation is a major issue for college students. Some sleep poorly for the lack of time while others feel stressed and suffer from more serious insomnia. Show your valentine you'd like to help them sleep better and feel more energized every single day.

You could buy them a herbal tea mixture for better sleeping, an aromatherapy diffuser, a sleep mask, a white noise machine, or a relaxing bedtime reading. Take your pick and show them it's not that difficult to sleep better.

You could make this gift even more romantic and get them a pair of PJs with a romantic note. Or, you could get matching PJs for the two of you and plan a romantic night to wear them.

  • Something for their Excercise Sessions

Physical activity is another major issue for so many students. It's either hard to find the time, or they lack the energy, or they don't know where or how to start. But, staying physically active is important for both physical and mental health. So, give them a gift that will inspire them to start or keep exercising regularly.

You can find a ton of inexpensive gifts with such a purpose — an ab wheel, yoga mat, a balance board, or a training journal. You could even offer to start exercising together and keep each other motivated and dedicated to being healthier.

  • Something for their Creativity

College students should all have a hobby something they enjoy doing out of pure creativity. Even when it seems like there’s no time to practice a hobby, you should inspire and support your valentine to pursue one. 

And, as an extra push in the right direction, you can get them a gift they'd use for their hobby. It could be sheets of paper for drawing or painting, a Polaroid camera for taking pictures, cooking set for cooking lovers, a pair of dance shoes, or some gardening tools. Hopefully, you know them well enough to assume what hobby they'd like to invest themselves in so you can get them just the right gift.

  • Something to Boost Their Confidence

You want your valentine to look and feel great, right? Why not get them something that will boost their confidence and make them feel better about themselves? 

Choose a fragrance that would fit them perfectly or a cool accessory such as a belt or a colorful bowtie. Maybe they'd enjoy wearing a quirky hat or a classy scarf. Think about the small details that would show their personality, match their style, boost their self-image, and simply make them feel better in their own skin.

Don’t forget to tell them just how good they look or how much you love seeing them happy and radiant.

  • Something to Remember Forever

Finally, you need to remember that things come and go. But, experiences are forever. So, consider creating an experience around your Valentine’s Day gift and give your valentine something they'll cherish as a memory. You could take them to a concert, a show, or a play. You can plan a trip to a mountain, national park, or lake. You could suggest a road trip and create a map for all your exciting stops.

This would truly be a great present for any college student with an adventurous spirit.

Gestures to Show You Care

Choosing the perfect present is one part of the deal, but there’s more to making someone happy. You need to think about all the accompanying gestures that will make your gift even more amazing and memorable.

This is why we’ve created this additional list with ideas on how to make your inexpensive gift shine with love and care. Here’s what you should combine it with.

  • Handmade Card

Cards are lovely and we all love receiving them and reading the thoughtful words written by someone who cares for us. But, handmade cards show even greater affection and truly make any gift more special and complete. 

So, try making a card from scratch. This DIY project will show you’re willing to invest all the energy and creativity that you have to create a special memory for you and your valentine.

  • A Poem

Writing a short poem that goes along with the present will amaze the recipient for sure. It will show not only that you care for them, but that they are an inspiration for you. Write a short poem and choose your tone romantic, witty, thoughtful, or emotional.

  • Personalized Gift Wrap

Gift wrap is another chance for you to show how much you care. Personalizing the gift wrap will excite the person receiving it and create an introduction to the main part of the gift. Plus, it will show you've invested time and energy into creating this unique gift for them.

  • A Balloon 

Imagine showing up to your date with the amazing gift you hand-picked for your valentine. Now, imagine a balloon floating above the gift and your satisfied face looking at the person you care for. They'd love seeing you still have that child within you and you've put in the effort to awaken theirs as well.

You can pick a balloon with a nice note or something simple that would symbolize how you feel about them. You should choose a helium-filled balloon for the best effect and enjoy seeing the reaction of your valentine.

  • A Picture of the Two of You

Whatever gift you pick, adding a picture of you and your valentine will be the perfect final touch. Make sure it's a picture of the two of you that they don't have. Try taking it in advance and don't share it with them. This way, they'll be surprised and touched by the planning and time you took to prepare it all.

Final Thoughts

Valentine’s is a wonderful time of the year when you get to celebrate love, partnership, and mutual support. By getting your valentine a perfect gift, you’re showing you care for them and want them to stay in your life.

Hopefully, the inexpensive gift ideas we’ve shared above will inspire you and help you decide what to get your valentine. Hurry up, and choose the perfect present for this college student you’re trying to impress!

Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at WritingUniverse and Grab My Essay, where you can find college essay examples. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.