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High School Graduation Gifts on a Budget

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Graduation season is here! It is so important to honor those special graduates in our lives, but it can get expensive too. I always want to celebrate graduations so we came up with some inexpensive gift ideas for graduation that won’t break the bank. Gifts on a budget are the best!  These are also great end of year gifts for students.

Check out our list of high school graduation gifts on a budget. It really helps when you can save money on gifts for many. Be sure to check out our Graduation Gift Basket ideas too!

High School Graduation Gifts on a budget

We happily receive announcements from friends and family that are graduating from preschool to high school.  While I wonder, how does it all happen so fast?  I am also thinking, how can I acknowledge them all?

While I realize that the gift of money is probably the most popular (and maybe the most desired), my budget is telling me to look for other options. I have some great inexpensive ideas to give graduation gifts on a budget.

High Schoo Graduation-gifts-on-a-budget














Most of the announcements I received this year are for high school graduations.  I thought I would share with you some other inexpensive gift options that are still very useful and all the suggestions are less than $15.

High School Graduation Gifts


















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Cheap graduation gift ideas

Graduation Gifts on A Budget

  • Journal book – for their notes, action items, bullet journals, and other thoughts with a sentiment written inside.
  • Travel Mug – with some coffee, tea, or hot chocolate packets. Nice for those study sessions they will be having in college.
  • Books – a finance book or local guidebook (if the recipient is going away to college).
  • Speaking of books, this cookbook could be super helpful!
  • Make your own book of recipes for them. Think of easy recipes that just take a few ingredients.

High School Graduation Gifts (2)


  • Framed Inspiration – take a favorite quote or inspiring poem and frame it.
  • Tote or sports bag – people always need these for the gym, beach, or hiking explorations.
  • Weekend getaway bag – something for them to take what they need on a weekend trip.
  • This mini hot pot cooker can help them save money by making a meal in their room.
  • Gift cards for ice cream or cool treats!

  • School supplies for college such as highlighters, pens and notebooks
  • Packs of gum and/or mints
  • Individually wrapped salty snacks like nuts or crackers. 
  • A gift of faux succulents.
  • Snack board – buy them a small cutting board and a grocery gift card to make their own charcuterie snack. 


cheap graduation gift idea

  • Gift Bag or Basket – with highlighters, post-its, and supplies from the dollar store. See our full article on this for ideas. 
  • Gift cards to fast food eateries near their home (or college). Dorm food gets old fast and it is a nice way to treat them to a meal out. Think coffee, sandwich and ice cream places.
  • A set of small holiday decorations so they can decorate their dorm room for the holidays.
  • Stationery or note cards.
  • Advice Jar – collect advice from friends and family on index cards and put them all in a jar to send off with the stude

INEXPENSIVE graduation gift ides

  • Battery-operated candles – so they can enjoy candlelight without flame.
  • If they are moving, get them a guidebook about their new city.
  • A small tool kit with the basics – screwdrivers, nails, and a hammer.
  • Slippers or slipper socks.
  • A stand for their phone or tablet.


Gift card gifts

  • A small jewelry box or valet box.
  • A tote bag for books or shopping
  • A small fan or heater.
  • Photo frames – a few of different sizes that can be hung
  • Make them a bracelet (see below)

Another fun gift idea is these DIY Charm bracelets – so easy and less than $10 if you have the tools.

DIY Charm Bracelet Tutorial

Acknowledging the accomplishment is really what it is about. There is no need to spend a lot of money to let someone know you are proud of them.

We hope you found this list of inexpensive graduation gift ideas helpful. We are all about saving you time while enjoying the moments. 

If you are not yet subscribing to my CELEBRATE THE SEASON newsletter, you can subscribe here. I share a few things that I don’t share here and I email you only once a week. I know how valuable your time is and respect that tremendously! There is always something to celebrate!

What are your suggestions for low-cost graduation gifts?

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