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!
Here are some online coupons that may help you when shopping for the graduate in your life.
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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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