If you're like me, this time of year your mailbox is full of graduation announcements and party invitations. So, today I thought I would share 5 of the best graduation gift ideas I have used over the years. There's something for everyone's pocketbook whether it be friends or family. Let's get started!
1. An Old Time Footlocker
Yes, I said a footlocker! My son recieved one as a gift for graduation and still has and uses it today -- 7 years later! It has been used in a lot of different capacities over the years --
- for storage in his closet
- Placed at the end of his bed as a bench for putting on his shoes
- stood on end and used as a night table
- and used to pack and store his precious memorabilia each time he moved home at the end of the school year or when he moved out for good
His footlocker has been worth it's weight in gold over the years. They come in snazzy colors too like orange, blue and purple. You could even fill it with hangers, towels or paper products when you give it to your graduate. A lot of gifts rolled into one with this graduation gift idea!
2. Alarm Clock/ iDock
Going off to college? That means mom and dad won't be around to wake the graduate up in the morning. However, old style clock radios are a thing of the past since the invention of iPods, MP3 Players and iPhones. Consider giving a gift the graduate will truly use -- give them a combination alarm clock and docking station for charging their iPhone or iPod. The built in speaker will make sure they get up in the morning and their iPod/iPhone will be fully charged and ready for a day around campus.
This spacesaver design is perfect for college because you don't get a lot of space in a standard dorm room. This is my daughter's favorite accessory in her room -- couldn't live without it. It's a great gift idea that won't break the bank for a family member or close friend. They'll get a lot of use out of a gift like this!
3. Wallet with Gift Cards
Most stores and restaurants have gift cards these days. What better gift for a graduate (high school or college) that's on a budget than a handful of gift cards they can use anytime? Get a new wallet and fill it with $5, $10, $20 or more gift cards to at least 5 different places. Think fast food, big box store, iTunes, bookstore, pizza parlor or an Amazon.com Gift Card making the wallet bulge with opportunities!
Any budget conscience graduate would be happy to have a collection of gift cards that will make the money stretch a bit farther!
4. Coupon Keeper and Coupons
Teach a graduate the value of a dollar and smart shopping from the get go. Buy a coupon organizer and fill it with coupons cut out from the paper (manufacturer coupons will have the longest time til expiration). Don't forget to get coupons for pizza, fast food and other restaurants near campus.
Hide a $20 bill in along with the coupons and they'll think they struck gold just when they need it! This is a fun, inexpensive and very useful graduation gift idea!
5. Basket of Supplies
With this graduation gift idea, you can get very creative. Ask the mom what color(s) the graduate is using for their comforter or to decorate their room or apartment. Now, get a container but make it a useful container. Space is a premium in dorm rooms, apartments and shared houses. make your container do double duty by using things like:
- laundry basket
- clothes hamper
- backpack or book tote
- trash can
- bathroom or cleaning supply tote just to name a few.
Fill it with supplies the graduate can really use! Mix it up or go with a theme, either way the graduate will love not having to spend their budget money on these things for a while. Some ideas to include in the container:
- Laundry Time -- detergent, fabric softener sheets, hangers, a folding board, small folding drying rack and add a roll of quarters if they are in the dorms.
- Snack Time -- Microwave popcorn, peanuts, beef jerky, granola bars, rice cakes, Rice Krispy treats, bottled water, sport drink or juice, bag of candy, etc. Put it all in a stylish, reusable shopping bag for when they go to refill!
- Back To School -- Fill a book tote or back pack with supplies the graduate will need for classes -- pens, pencils, printer paper, erasers, printer ink, folders, highlighters, post it tabs, stapler & staples.
- Disposables -- Fill a clothes hamper with all sorts of disposables the graduate will be likely to need -- antibacterial wipes, paper plates, napkins, tissues, paper towels, band-aids, make-up remover cloths, antiseptic wipes and anything else you can think of.
Hopefully the wheels are turning now and you can come up with your own great graduation gift ideas or use one listed here. Either way -- Happy Graduation season!