Memorable and Budget Friendly Gifts for High School Graduates

Discover 8 Thoughtful and Affordable High School Graduation Gifts to Cherish

As graduation season approaches, many are faced with choosing a gift that will be appreciated while not breaking your own budget. To help you navigate, here are some budget-friendly gift ideas that are both practical and meaningful. These items are not only affordable but also sure to be appreciated and remembered by the recipients every time they use them!

Lanyard/ID holder

Photo Credit: New Chic

Possibly the most prized possession at college is your ID. It is the magical key to pretty much everything. Some kids prefer a lanyard, some a key chain holder, and some a phone pocket that attaches to their phone case. All can be bought under $10. You can nab one from their college or go hip for the girls with one from Vera Bradley. Personally, I like to get a generic one in their school colors from Amazon and then I slip a $2 bill in it for that extra pizazz.

Bath sheet and body wash

Photo Credit: Simply Real Moms

You can’t go wrong with a useful gift, and no college kid enjoys laundry so I always figure towels are a score. A big bath sheet and a bottle of body wash rolled up with a bow make a perfect easy gift with no wrapping required! I like to get the huge ones at Costco (they go on sale occasionally too),  Bed, Bath, & Beyond or JCP.

Shower Caddy Collection

Photo Credit: Tippy Toad

Community showers are a whole new world for most freshman. I like to get a shower caddy and then, instead of shower products that might not be their favorite kinds, I fill it up with dorm snacks – ramen, microwave mac ‘n cheese cups, microwave popcorn, and a few candy bars. I attach a bow on the handle, and I have an easy, cute, colorful, yet practical gift ready to go! If you plan ahead, you can stock up when you see some great Amazon subscribe and save deals.

Inspirational Book

The real world isn’t always easy as you well know. It’s never a bad idea to give a book of inspiration to a first-time adult. Lots of people pick Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss which is certainly a good pick, especially for future teachers. However, I also happen to like I’ll Be Praying for You if you have don’t mind a religious touch. The book is filled with life quotes, or if that’s not for you, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff is another good choice. That being said, if it’s someone close to your heart, I think making a photo album is great, too! Just be sure that whatever kind of book you give, you write a really nice inscription inside to inspire, to encourage, and most importantly, to feel loved. It’s those tough moments when you seek words from loved ones.

A Plant

Photo Credit: Make Your Day DIY

So we usually think plants for Mother’s Day or funerals, but believe it or not, graduates are looking for that hominess. Real plants, or fake plants add that personal touch. If you want to make it really special, find the perfect plastic vase for it. Stick to plastic for dorm rooms. Get one decorated in college colors or paint one yourself for that one-of-a-kind gift!

White Board

Photo Credit: Hayneedle

Every graduate needs a message center! Reminders of tests, papers, work schedules, memos to call mom are necessary. White boards are a great gift anyone can use, but be sure to add the eraser and a couple of markers. Then, write a Happy Graduation note on the board, and skip the card!

Chip Clips

Photo Credit: Natural Life

It doesn’t get much cheaper than chip clips. Buy a set that fits their personality. You can buy chip clips for an NFL or NBA team favorite or see if there’s a chip clip for every occasion. Then write a cute note like “Textbooks come and go, but chip clips and snacks are forever” or “You may not get much use out of those textbooks, but I guarantee you’ll use these snack clips!” You can evcen “clip” some cash for the gift.

Shower Shoes

Community showers are not a fave of any college kid. Enter the shower shoes – aka flip-flops. I like to get a cheap pair and then graffiti those babies up. I use a Sharpie to write fun college-related words on them or Bible verses or inspirational quotes – anything that makes a statement and is memorable. That’s a gift they won’t forget. Plus, they’ll be sure to get noticed at college and spark those first conversations.

These inexpensive high school graduation gifts offer both practicality and sentimentality, ensuring that your gesture is not only affordable but also memorable. By choosing items that are both useful and thoughtful, you’re not just giving a gift, but creating a lasting impression that will be cherished by the recipient for years to come.


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