Celebrating Graduations frugally

It is Graduation time again! I enjoy this time of year and think it is fun to celebrate with the graduates. However if you know very many graduates this can be a rather expensive time of year as you get cards and possible gifts for each of them. As I was getting stuff ready for the graduates that I knew, I was thinking about this and I am going to share some of my thoughts with you.

Concerning Cards ~ Buying them at the store costs a lot! They are generally at least $2 and easily up to $5 also it takes a long time to go through them and chose the one that you think is just right. (At least for me!) My solution is to make my own. I do enjoy making cards but even if it is not really your thing I encourage you to try it. The amount it costs is very minimal. You can buy 250 sheets of card stock for around $10 which will make 500 cards. Then if you buy stamps and ink pads you can use them over and over again. Make sure you buy ones that you will be able and willing to use a lot. You can use all sorts of odds and ends of colored paper (even stuff from junk mail and magazines ~keep your eyes open!) For cards don't worry about having lots of fancy words in it, in my experience graduates don't usually read that very much anyway. Just simply hand write a message of what they mean to you and your well wishes for the future and maybe include a special Bible verse or quote. That will mean more to them than a poem on a store bought card anyway.

You can also make cards using your computer. Here are some free ones that you can print out.

Gifts~ Money is always very useful for a graduate and it requires no shopping or wrapping. So if you can afford it than go for it. But if you want to give something that shows some thought as well as being much more frugal than you might try a gift of some sort. I am including a list of ideas that I came up with and then I would love it if you would share in the comments what you have either received or given that worked well.
  • Token gifts. Just a little something to show that you are thinking of them and care about them. For the recent graduates in our life we gave the girls a flower (from our garden) and the guy some candy (bought with coupons and on sale) in a cute wood container that we got inexpensively at a local store that has locally made gifts. (see picture above)
  • Stationary/Note cards for girls (maybe guys would appreciate it too but I don't quite think so). This you can easily make yourself.
  • A First Aid Kit. Especially good for someone leaving home for the first time. (For this one if you are a Walgreens or CVS shopper you probably could get some very good deals on the items you include. Otherwise shopping at Dollar Tree will find you things economically.)
  • A homemade cookbook for anyone that will be on their own cooking. If it is a family member than try to gather all the favorite family recipes to include.
  • A car kit. Here is a site with ideas of things to include. Look for things on sale and sew up you own bag to put it in.
  • Laundry Stuff, such as a basket, detergent, dryer sheets, etc. Stock up on things when they are on sale. This is very handy for someone just starting out.
  • Towels. For a graduate heading off to college I know I found this gift very useful.
  • A Pamper yourself basket. Be creative with different spa like things (using the great deals you have found) to make a basket that would be a welcome gift for a girl.
  • Books. One of my personal favorites. I loved the gifts that I received at graduation of music, Bible study helps and fun reading books.
  • A Plant for those with a green thumb. If you plan ahead you could start one from one that you have.
  • Picture frames.
  • A homemade quilt. This takes some time but it is a very welcome and fun gift that you can make very personal.
  • A nice pen.
  • A scrapbook of high school or college memories.
  • A snack basket. (You can use lots of snack items that you bought with coupons.)
  • A tote bag. Perhaps you can use their school colors or the colors of the university they will be attending. (I am hoping to post instructions for making the tote bag below soon.)
Those are some of my ideas, I would love to hear yours!
For more frugal tips visit Biblical Womanhood.