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Frugal Graduation Gift Ideas

Category Graduation
Graduation Gift
An inexpensive present can be both useful and meaningful. This guide contains frugal graduation gift ideas.
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June 6, 2007

It's graduation time, and I found out in the last minute that my niece was graduating and wanted us to come. A gift was in order but the budget was not!

So I put together a metallic gift bag, on hand from my collection (gotten at a yard sale!). I filled it with tissue paper (99 Cent store) I had stashed and put in a book on colleges I had meant to give her and a book on English usage I had gotten a while ago for gift purposes. I added a ring I had, in a little decorative box, and an Armenian necklace I picked up at a folk faire! (And I put in a card from my card collection and wrote Happy Graduation in calligraphy).

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Total outlay $20 for necklace, everything else was on hand, and I made a gift tag out of a promotional tag for Star Wars that came in with the newspaper (I covered the side with ads with white sticky labels and wrote her name on it). And it was all color coordinated, white and red! Hoorah! The penny pincher pulls it off again!

By Pamphyila from Los Angeles

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
May 7, 2009

What "thrifty" graduation gift (under $25 or so) would your teenage son or daughter be most happy with? We have lots of friends graduating this year and want to give something, but something useful!

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I'm fine with writing a check. Would most kids be okay with that? Any more creative tips? What did your son receive that he was really happy with? I can always hit Bath and Body for the girls. Thanks!

By cjirby from Longview, TX

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Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
May 23, 20070 found this helpful
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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".

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May 15, 20090 found this helpful
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My daughter graduated from high school a year ago and went away to college in the fall. She received lots of graduation gifts, mostly cash or checks. She liked the money best as she could use it for living expenses and gas money while at college. It was great for us to as she didn't need as much money from us that first semester. We too had several relatives and friends with kids graduating, we sent $25 checks to each of them.

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May 15, 20090 found this helpful
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I have gotten to giving tool sets. I make sure it has a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, and if possible hangers. Anyone (boy or girl) could use this in a dorm room or apartment. My daughter uses hers all the time and loves it. You can usually get them for about $20. Hope that helps.

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May 15, 20090 found this helpful
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When my four sons graduated from high school, they liked the cash most of all. But one gift that each of them received that they each put to good use was a laundry bag, filled with a roll of quarters, laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and a couple of packs of hangers. This gift was one more thing we did not have to worry about getting when sending them off to college.

Another area to think about is a gift card to Barnes & Nobles or find out where the recipient is going to college and get a gift card to their bookstore. We did this for a couple of times and the kids truly appreciated it.

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January 5, 20010 found this helpful

I know it is only January, but it's time to start thinking of graduation gifts for high school seniors. Does anyone have any nice, but thrifty ideas on gifts besides money? Thanks.

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Anonymous
January 7, 20010 found this helpful
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When my grandaughter graduated from high school, I made her a grandmother remembers book, starting with her grandfather and I in high school, pictures of her Mom and Dad when they were young, going up through the years, and then going on to her baby pictures, when she started school, etc. It was a big hit, she loved it, and makes a nice keep sake. Her two sisters can hardly wait to get theirs. - Lizzie

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January 16, 20010 found this helpful
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Most college students that will be living in a dorm will need a "shower bucket" to carry items to and from the community bathroom.

I bought myself a mini rectangular crate, and I put all my shower stuff in this. It should be large enough to handle a shampoo and creme rinse bottle, but still be small enough to fit on a narrow bench or even hang on a hook.

Be creative and see how you can organize what your favorite college student might need to grab on the way to the shower.

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May 6, 20050 found this helpful

My sister and I are both graduating this year. I need ideas for presents to get her without spending a lot of money?

Kystal

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 6, 20050 found this helpful

How about a backpack with stuff for her upcoming college career. Get stuff from school bookstore by ordering on-line, and also check the college itself, which may have pens, pencils, little giveaway stuff. new PJ, robe, flip-flops, and a basket to carry her shower stuff in if she's going to live in a dorm. Any dorm accesories, furniture will be appreciated. A good dictionary and/or thesaurus p[erhaps. Since you are graduating, too, what sort of things would YOU like to get?

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May 6, 20050 found this helpful

If the two of you will be going to different colleges, etc. you could get her a calling card with lots of minutes so the two of you can stay in touch. My daughter is my only child but is VERY close to my sister's only child. When my daughter graduated, I made her a photo album of her life and ended it with her graduation pictures. It had lots of pictures of my nephew and her together through the years. I simply took old family photos gathered from different family members and scanned them off. You could make your sister a photo album of pics of the two of you. Congrats on your graduation!

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 6, 20050 found this helpful

Beach towels, smoke alarms, things for moving out, moving on.......

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 7, 20050 found this helpful

What about an electronic organizer? If she's going to be hitting college or even the workforce they're great. They have all your appointments, contact info, calculator, etc in one place and you can pick them up starting around $15. I have one and I love it. It even sets off an alarm an hour before each of my appt's and my husbands only paid $18 for it. Good luck to you both and congratulations!

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 7, 20050 found this helpful

Bailey,

If your sister likes bath & body products, candles, or jewelry, my website, www.forgetmenotaromas.com has some nice things to offer that won't cost you an arm & a leg to get. We can also custom label it with your own special note to your sister.

Marla

http://www.forgetmenotaromas.com - Our scents leave lasting impressions.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 7, 20050 found this helpful

You could assemble a photo album with all her school pictures from kindergarten to senior year. If you're more creatively inclined you could make a lovely scrapbook. Your sister will love it!

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 16, 20050 found this helpful

It might sound boring, but a small toolkit (Sears, Home Depot, etc.--approx. $40) is something that will definately be used at some point in time.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 4, 20050 found this helpful

I'm looking for my own sister who is graduating high school and going on to university - I found some great home appliances she doesn't have which she'll need... like a mini-fridge for $100USD. Home appliances are the best suggestion i got for a google search of "graduation presents" :)

bobx11 at gmail.com

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 10, 20050 found this helpful

If you and your sister are going to be living in college dorm rooms- a great gift idea is a cute robe and shower flips- community bathrooms can be a real pain and it would be more comfortable getting out of the shower and running back to your room in a robe instead of a towel (think how embarassing if it fell off!)

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 5, 20050 found this helpful

My sister is graduating this year also and I've been having a hard time thinking of gift ideas as well. One idea I thought of was to make a gift basket with things to make her dorm room more like home. I will include a comforter, rug, and maybe you could even include some framed pictures of family and friends. Good luck!

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 20, 20080 found this helpful

Condoms(!) and a realistic discussion on pregnancy prevention by an older sister. If she is anything like my sister she will be starting to experiment with her sexuality, her new found freedom and not having a parent or someone older to guide her, she will need protection. Plus a gift certificate to her favorite clothing store so she can buy some fly summer stuff.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 7, 20080 found this helpful

You can never get enough money when going to college. Other than that a lab top would be a great idea, always useful in college. Another idea, my aunt crochets everyone a blanket and puts it in a plastic bin and she puts some other things in the bin as well. I don't remember what else because it's been a while since my brothers graduated. I have 7 days before I get mine. My mom is currently putting together a basket for me. She bought a laundry basket and then filled it with bright colored towels and rags, oven mits, laundry soap, a roll of quarters for laundry, envelopes, deodorant, some food and candy.

I'm not sure what else because I didn't dig through it yet. Some kind of medicine would also be a good idea. Then you can throw in a card with it with some money in it if you choose. Make sure the card is unique and interesting though because usually when I receive a lot of cards, as I will be in a week, they are all pretty boring and some are the same card even. Go for the humorous ones or even the ones that make music. If other graduates are anything like me they will take the money out of the cards if any and not read the cards unless eye appealing and funny.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 18, 2009

I have four graduates on my list this year. Can anyone help me with homemade gift ideas? I'm on a tight budget but would like to reward them with something useful and nice.

By suzieq71 from Horton, AL

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May 18, 20090 found this helpful

Though not fully homemade, and I don't know how "inexpensive" it is; I think a tool kit is always a good gift for college bound kids. You could start with a plastic shoebox, and include a hammer, some screwdrivers, and a wrench. You might also include some of the "Command" adhesive hooks, some duct tape, and some white glue. The tools need not be "good" ones (as in: dollar store is OK). During move-in week, when someone is trying to assemble furniture or other dorm goods, your gift recipient will be the "hero" (or heroine) for having the tools needed.

If your budget is a little bigger; stores like Walmart have preassembled tool kits (in colors) for less than 20 dollars.

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May 18, 20090 found this helpful

i would give a college graduate cash or a gift card even a gift card for gas would be nice.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 30, 2013

I need high school graduation gift ideas for both boys and girls who will not be living in a dorm, but will continue to live at home after graduation.

By Lee Ann S.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 31, 2012

Can someone help me choose a college graduation gift for my 21 year old son? I don't have a lot of money, so maybe up to $100.00 and that's pushing it.

By Kathie

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