Thrifty Graduation Gifts

Any ideas for thrifty graduation gifts?



For an inexpensive graduation present

For an inexpensive graduation present, I like to buy a paper thesaurus or something that the grad likes and wrap it in $1 bills. If they are taking a class trip to someplace like Hawaii, it is fun to wrap a bottle of sun blocker with them, too!


Alouette - Wasilla, AK (12/01/2000)

By admin2


Some ideas for thrifty graduation gifts? If the student is going away to college and will be dorming or living in an apartment, these would be appropriate: bathroom and dish towels, a place setting or two, a sheet set, a comforter, and pre-paid phone cards. The linens and sheets can be found at discount stores or even dollar stores. The pre-paid phone cards can be bought online (shop around) and are much cheaper than the ones you buy at some stores.

How about a nice stationery set, with a colorful gel pen or two (they cost about $1 each) and some colorful stationery? Don't forget postage stamps, too. The post office has lots of pretty ones.

If the graduate has a car, how about making up an emergency first aid kit for the car? It could fit in the glove box, and could have a few band-aids, a small tube of antibiotic cream, a package of aspirin, a few cotton balls, a small gauze roll, some cough drops, etc. Pack it all in a heavy-duty ziploc bag, then make a pretty page insert using your computer to slip inside the bag. The page insert could have something like "First Aid Kit" printed on it, and have some colorful graphics, or list the contents of the bag, or list some useful first aid instructions (which you could probably find on the net, and then copy).


You might also make a car emergency kit -- road flares, emergency "send assistance" sign, a can of fix-a-flat, windshield washer fluid, lock de-icer, a quart of oil, etc. Put it all in a plastic storage box with a lid.

Movie passes to the local cinema might be a good idea, too. In our area, if you buy $25 of movie "bucks" at General Cinema (redeemable as cash to buy tickets or concessions), you also get a free movie pass. Or how about an Entertainment booklet? There are lots of coupons the new graduate could use.

If you are very close to the graduate, how about a "coupon" for an outing with you? You can do this frugally, see a matinee movie together, then go for an ice cream sundae, or coffee and dessert afterward. Arrange to pick up the graduate at his or her convenience. Or plan to do an activity together that the graduate likes, like hiking, biking, miniature golf, etc.


There's lots more ideas, but I don't think the gift has to be expensive or something fancy -- perhaps the gift of "your" time spent with him or her would be most appreciated by the graduate.

Ness - Lakeview, NY (12/01/2000)

By admin2

Thrifty Graduation Gifts

If it is your boyfriend, you could make a box that had all the things that represent you and him individually and as a couple. You can put movie tickets, letters, cards, pictures, videos, etc. You could decorate it on the outside with pictures of y'all and pictures of what represents him.

I did this for my boyfriend for his 18th birthday and he absolutely loved it. It turned out so cute! It was kinda pricey for me because I put 18 of his favorite things in it, but you could always make it cheap. Things you make are always better than things you buy! I hope I helped! (05/16/2005)

By Poppy

Thrifty Graduation Gifts

Last year I took giant laundry bags, filled them with a bunch of airfilled water balloons, and then in one giant balloon stuffed a bunch of items and wrote on the balloon in Sharpi what each meant.

  • Tylenol-to get rid of the hangover
  • granola bar-late night study snack
  • popcorn-because college kids can't cook
  • individual packet of detergent-first load of laundry on me
  • bubbles- to stay grounded and remain a kid at heart
  • self addressed stamped evelope-when you get lonely write me

I also found books or movies at the thrift store that had to do with growing up or moving and edited them a little. For instance, one book was called "Rooster Goes To School", and I crossed out rooster on every page and wrote a friends name and crossed off school on every page and put the name of the college my friend was going to, and then on every picture pasted his head on the rooster's.

It was kind of corny, but cute, and a little something extra to put in the bottom of the laundry basket. I think the sight of me carrying around ten of these things in my car (we all know everyone schedules their parties in the same damn weekend) was the funniest thing though. Anyway, hope I can outdo myself this year when the rest of my friends graduate. (05/14/2007)

By Caitlynn

Thrifty Graduation Gifts

If the gift recipient will be away from home for college make them several "I Need Cookies" postcards. These postcards should be addressed to you, the gift giver, and pre-stamped. There should also be a space for the recipient to write in their address, so you know where to send the cookies. When you receive these postcards the following semester, be prepared to bake the cookies and mail them off at the post office. For a sample postcard, Google in "I need cookies postcard". (05/23/2007)

By Becky

Thrifty Graduation Gifts

Stationery with their name and university colors. (12/07/2007)

By Kat


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