High School Graduation Gifts that Won’t Break the Bank

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Graduation season is upon us. And before you go out shopping, consider a few frugal but fun tokens of congratulations:

  • Order contact cards with the graduate’s name, cell phone, facebook, and twitter handle. While the modern kid has gone techno, they still need a stylin’ way to exchange info when they don’t have an iPhone handy.
  • Give a grocery or restaurant gift card.
  • Make a care package coupon book, basically a promise to send a basket of goodies every month they are away at school. Start it off with a summer survival bag, including: sunscreen, soda, chips, and a movie gift card.
  • Give him or her a copy of The Total Money Makeover. What better time to get good money habits than before you’ve made too big a mess of your finances?
  • Wrap up a basic cookbook and a starter utensil set.

What’s YOUR favorite money-saving method? Share it with us.

Feel free to share your graduation gift ideas, but you are not required to comment or post about my topic. Simply share whatever YOU do to save money.

Post the permalink to your favorite money saving idea in Mr. Linky below or leave a comment. In the interests of sharing solid frugal advice, please do not post giveaways, deal posts, or affiliate links. Tell us a money saving concept that helps you stay in the black. And please, link back to Lifeasmom.com so that your readers know where to find the party.


Next week: Ideas for the College Graduate – When Real Life Begins!

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  1. Today’s our daughter’s last day of school and we always buy her favourite teachers (usually science, art, gym) $10 gift cards from our locally owned coffee shop. We get to show our appreciation to the often forgotten specials teachers and support a local business 🙂

  2. Anyone have any cute, clever ideas on a graduation gift for someone (female) who just finished dental hygienist school?

  3. I love the contact card idea, that is great a idea! I would love to have some my self! I love frugal ideas!

  4. My son is graduating high school this year, 2010 and he got one check for that amount, $20.10. It took me a second to figure out why the odd amount, but then I thought that was very clever!

  5. Those are great ideas! All the graduates I know this year would probably enjoy the grocery/restaurant cards the best.

  6. Someone has been asking me what should we give those that are homeschooled and have no plans for college; Here is what I have recieved and loved;

    Cash- even those of us that didnt go to college still find that cash is handy. Even if $5 is all you can spare it adds up, especially when you buy coffee 😉 My Aunt sent $3 we didnt know if there was some significance to that or all she could afford but it was very touching.

    Stationary- (know your teen) I LOVE to handwrite notes and letters. They werent your ordinary ones from Walmart but I could tell from the person that gave them to me, taht while she KNEW they were SO me, she didnt break a bank to get them.

    Hobby items – As I have MANY hobbies, this was an easy one, I recieved a quilt book, sewing needles, cross stitch floss, etc etc etc and was estastic about the collection I recieved.

    Books- Life FishMama suggested, I wish I had recieved Dave Ramsey… but I did recieve a few really good ones like- Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, etc. Again, know your teen if you dont, it may not be a good idea.

    When my sister graduated from homeschool, she plans on going to college, some of the things we did was-
    New jewelry- Sale Saved from Christmas
    Graduation frame-
    Other items she recieved-
    Clothing gift certificates
    gas card

    Anyway just a few idears

  7. One gift I got (and have given to every graduate since) is an umbrella with money tied inside of it. Using fishing line, tie one end to the inside support system and one end to the corner of a $1, $5, $10 bill. When they open the umbrella it looks like the bills are “raining” on them.

    It’s a fun way to give cash and it looks like a lot of money hanging there!!

  8. I gave the three graduates I knew shower caddies ($1 @ Dollar Store) filled with lots of toiletry items and some medicines/first aid stuff – all items I got for free over the year at walgreens. They were excited about all the body wash/lotion/razors/shaving cream/shampoo etc.. and I spent next to nothing. 🙂

  9. We give tool kits to high school graduates. As they go off on their own, they will all need screwdrivers, hammers, levels, etc.

  10. I have given a microwave container, I like the PMpered Chef one that you can cook soups etc in and has a strainer lid. I then add a measuring cup, spoons, and a can opener. So many forget things like measuring things they want to cook when they don’t like the dorm food or miss the hours. This has been a welcome gift that normally has not been duplicated.