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14 {Budget Friendly} Graduation Gift Ideas – Frugal Finds During Naptime

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On a budget, but still want to give a nice graduation gift? Here are some meaningful, inspirational gift ideas to give on any budget.

It’s that time of year again when 17 and 18 year olds all over the country are finishing up their last few days of school, and preparing to graduate from high school. You may have friends or family members that fall into that category this year, and are planning to attend their graduation ceremony. If so, graduation gifts are customary but you don’t have to break the bank to get a nice gift something simple such as a graduation lei might be a great gift without you breaking the bank. When picking out a graduation gift, try to get them something meaningful, useful, or inspirational. Customised gifts are also a very popular option. You can even find custom bobbleheads on websites like if you are looking for a humorous gift the graduate in your life will never forget! So, here are my top picks for graduation gifts for any budget.

On a budget, but still want to give a nice graduation gift? Here are some meaningful, inspirational gift ideas to give on any budget.

1. Tervis Tumbler with Lid {$10.99-$14.99} Whether the graduate is going to college or going into the workforce, they will need some caffeine at some point. The Tervis Tumblers hold both hot and cold beverages. There are a bunch of different designs from which to choose.

2. Anchor of Hope Christian Journal {$9.99} This journal includes a New Testament reading plan. These are always great gifts to help keep graduates grounded when they hit college, the military, or workforce. There are a lot of other devotional books/journals from which to choose.

3. Photo Gift {$10-$15} Personalized Photo gifts are always unique and thoughtful. If the graduate is going off to college, make a photo magnet or two with a memorable picture for the dorm room; a custom mouse pad for school work; or even a personalized notebook. If you’re looking to get someone a custom photo wallet, purse, necklace or keychain, Foto Portemonnaie is a great place to go for all things photo gift related!

4. Vera Bradley Zip ID Case {$12.00} These are great to have in college to keep student ID, driver’s license, keys, and some cash together.

5. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! {$9.70} It wouldn’t be a graduation gift guide without this timeless, classic book. It’s full of wisdom and a best seller each year.

6. The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice for Studying, Socializing, and Everything In Between {$11.94} An excellent, best-selling book that is full of advice on academics, relationships and lifestyle combined with guidance on how to deal with the questions young adults face.

7. One Line a Day Memory Book {$9.52} These memory books are always a really neat gift. These books have enough lines to enter the ups and downs of life for five years.

On a budget, but still want to give a nice graduation gift? Here are some meaningful, inspirational gift ideas to give on any budget.

8. 39-Piece Tool Kit {$19.76 and up} Whether going off to college or not, a tool kit is always good to have on hand. These can be kept in the trunk or in the dorm room. There is a guy version and a girl version of these kits.

9. Vera Bradley 20-Month Student Agenda {$18.00} Planners are a great gift. They can be used to keep track of appointments, assignments, schedules, and more. If going with this gift idea, try getting a planner for 20 months or more to last through the first year and a half of college.

10. Monogrammed Towels {$20-$30} Semester after semester, college students move from dorm room to dorm room (or apartment to apartment). Often times things can get lost in the move. Pick up a couple towels or a set like this here and have them monogrammed with their initials.

11. Gift Cards {$15 and up} Gift Cards are always a great way to go. I would recommend a gift card to a gas station, or Starbucks. If they are going off to college, the gas card will help them out on gas if they want to come home for a weekend. A Starbucks gift card will come in handy after late night study sessions or early morning work hours.

12. Basket of Essentials {$20 -$30} Pick up a shower caddy, and fill it with snacks, flip flops, their favorite scented body wash, and other essentials for the dorm room. This gift will definitely come in handy!

13. Jewelry {$20 and up} Jewelry is always a great gift. You can have it inscribed with a special verse, saying, or the year of graduation. You can also get different types of jewellery boxes to accompany the gift if you are looking to splurge a little more.

14. School/Team Apparel {$10-$20} Is the graduate going to college? If so, get a t-shirt, hat, or even a key chain with their new school.

Bonus Tip:: Don’t purchase a gift bag to wrap the gift in. They can cost almost as much as a storage bin, shower caddy, or other tote that can double as both a “gift bag” and something they can use in a dorm room.

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