38 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Grads
Relatives and friends often congratulate high school and college graduates with useful gifts, but that can be easier said than done on a budget. This guide includes inexpensive, fun, and practical gift ideas that will help soon-to-be college students survive the dorms and newly independent adults manage the "real world."
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This inexpensive gift may be one of the most meaningful and rewarding for a new grad: Ask friends and family to write letters with advice, collect the missives, and present them in an attractive box. Browse Etsy for all manner of unique storage containers at various prices.
Help the grad stay current with a subscription to The New York Times for $8.75 a week, including full digital access (half price if the student signs up using a school email address). Or, take out a subscription to a magazine that reflects the graduate's interests. A year of Vanity Fair with magazines and digital access costs $17, for example, while a 12-month subscription to Rolling Stone print plus digital costs $35.
Self-defense classes are good reassurance for graduates heading to college or out on their own (and their parents). They're often for women, although men also might appreciate the extra protection. Multi-day classes can cost several hundred dollars, so this gift may require contributions from several people to make it affordable.
Grads may put off sending thank you notes, but with all the necessary supplies in front of them, they won't have any excuses. A $25 stash of cards and stamps also will come in handy when sending thank you notes to prospective employers and other gift givers.
For graduates who will be driving to and from school or work, a roadside assistance plan (about $60 a year) can offer critical aid in a time of need. Services such as AAA often make discounts available -- look online for coupon codes.