12 Frugal Graduation Gift Ideas for High School and College Graduates
It’s hard to believe graduation season is here already! I was driving past a local high school the other day with my window rolled down and I swore I could smell the Senioritis. Graduation season is officially in the air! All of that hard work is coming to an end for many young men and women. In just a few short weeks, they will sit in their acetate robes in the blazing sun on football fields all across this land and pretend to listen to a variety of long speeches. I have sat through four myself, from junior high school all the way up to my graduate degree I received last year.
We have a couple high school graduations to attend this year and it got me thinking about some of the gifts I have received that meant a lot to me and did not cost a lot of money. Since this is BeingFrugal.net, I thought I would share a few and also give some related coupons that may be helpful.
Gifts for High School Graduates
- Homemade “Life Hurts” First-Aid Kit. I was given one when I graduated and I used it all the way through college. I remember I used all the Ibuprofen, band aids, and Neosporin first, so it may be worth stuffing the kit with extra.
- A Gift From The Heart. Write a journal full of advice you wish you had received when you went away to college. Or perhaps a personalized scrap book so they can chronicle their college experience.
- Pre-Paid Calling Card. With the popularity of cell phones, this one may be a dying breed. But I still think it is a very useful gift in case the kid either doesn’t have a cell phone, or their car breaks down and they are not in cell phone range.
- Dollar Bill Wrapping Paper. My Aunt actually wrapped a book with dollar bills. It still sticks out in my head as one of the more creative and fun gifts I have ever received. I just wish the book had been an Atlas!
- Movie Passes. Many movie theaters offer discounts this time of year on gift cards. Always a popular gift.
- Book Bag / Backpack. After 4 years of high school, most student’s backpacks are pretty much shot, at least mine was. My parents gave me a nice JanSport backpack that lasted me all the way through college and graduate school. They only cost around $25.
- College Spirit Gift. If the student already has their college picked out, a clock or poster from that college makes a fun and inexpensive gift.
- Bathroom Kit. Stock it with shampoo, soap, hand towels, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, etc. As a receiver of one of these, it was a not only very convenient but saved me so much time when I was trying to get ready to go off to college.
- Funny, Yet Useful Gifts. A case of Top Ramen or microwave popcorn comes to mind.
Gifts for College Graduates
- Organizer/Planner. Any 22-year old entering the “real’ world is going to have to get organized real quick! A nice touch is to have it engraved with the date of the graduation ceremony.
- Inspirational Book. My parents gave me “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss, and wrote a nice personal note on the inside front cover. I still take a look at that book, and what they wrote to me, when I need a little pick-me up.
- Engraved Pocket Watch. Not necessarily a frugal gift, but certainly one that I cherish and will become a family heirloom when I pass it down to my son.
What thoughtful, but relatively inexpensive graduation gift have you either gave or received? Please add to my list by commenting below!
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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