College, High School, Mom to Mom, Parent to Parent

Make Budget-friendly Gifts for the Highschool Grad

Stretching your funds to give fun, budget-friendly gifts for those high school graduates can be easy!

So, how many grad parties have you been invited to this year?

Are you wracking your brain for gift ideas?

So you need gifts for your favorite grads?  Of course, good ol’ money is always welcomed by teenagers, but that can be expensive depending on the amount you plan on giving out.  Gift cards are easy too but again, unless you have a large amount of funds set aside (or you only have one or two grads to congratulate), this could be a strain on the budget too.

I had several graduates who I wanted to give a gift to but with my daughter graduating, I already had a lot of expense going into her graduation party. So I decided to make little gift bags to keep my budget intact.

Shop At Dollar Stores and Craft Stores

Buy things in multi-packs if possible to save on the expense. I did a lot of shopping at dollar stores to find deals they might offer. Also check out craft and hobby stores for things you can make to give your personal touch.

In addition, look for packaged note cards and then pick up some stickers from the scrapbook section.  You can then make gift cards with your own personal touch.

While you’re at it, pick up some gift bags and decorate them to coordinate with your note cards.  Then you can skip spending big bucks on individual pre-decorated bags, freeing up more money for what goes INSIDE the bag.

Office Supply Stores

If the graduate is planning on going to college, your local office supply store probably has a lot on sale now, which means spreading your funds even farther.  Buy up packages of pens and pencils, brightly colored Post-it Notes, and coordinating colorful binder clips.  Then these items can be split up into multiple gifts. If you pick up a nice spool of ribbon you can make some bundles of pens and pencils.  And then bunch together some Post-it’s and clips.

Put Together Little Gift Bags

Here’s a list of items that could go into a gift bag.

For Females

Purse-size perfume
Nail polish and Nail Files
Hand cream
Hand sanitizer
Lip balm
Individual eye shadow
Compact mirror
Kleenex (purse pack size)
Shaving cream and razors

For Guys

Shaving cream and razors
Car freshener
Nail clippers
Hand sanitizer
Lip balm

For all

Gift card / gift certificate
Car freshener
Mini flashlight
Hard candies
Granola bars
Protein bars
Snack packs – cookies, crackers, chips

How about a new favorite children’s book?  There are so many great ones out there and they might bring back some warm, childhood memories for the graduate.

For those who will be college bound

Post-it Notes
Index cards
Gift cards – fast food, coffee shops, etc.
Photo frames
String lights
Tide stick
Room fresheners

If you do want to give a little better gift, consider:


overnight bag (especially handy for someone college bound or going into the military)

car wash book or gift card

A variety of fast food or restaurant gift cards

Travel mug


Scented candles

Don’t forget to write a personal note of encouragement for the grad. After all, they have a big, wide world waiting for them.

Offer your words of wisdom and pray for their future to be rewarding and full of adventure.

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney


© 2017, Joanne. All rights reserved.

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