Creative and Frugal Graduation Gifts
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Creative and Frugal Graduation Gifts

Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 at 7:00 am
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money, presentIf you have been invited to a graduation party, there is the expectation that you will bring a gift (or send one if you cannot attend). Instead of putting money inside a greeting card, or giving the graduate a copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go (by Dr. Seuss), why not do something creative? These frugal and creative ideas will be much more memorable than the traditional graduation gifts.

Bottle of Happiness
You will need: 1 empty 2-liter bottle of soda (and the lid that goes with it). Clean out the inside of the bottle and make sure it is completely dried. Remove the label, and replace it with one that you create that says “Happy Graduation”, or “Congratulations!” Next, fill the bottle with something that the graduate will appreciate. Some will love to see it filled with money. Others will be happy with small candy bars. This gift allows you to personalize it to best fit the graduate’s interests.

Jar of Advice
Organized Island has a simple gift that is filled with wisdom and meaning. You will need a jar that has a lid. The jar can be a fancy one you found at a garage sale or thrift store, or a repurposed jar that once held food. Clean it up. Attach a label that says “Jar of Advice” to the outside (or the lid).

Without letting the graduate know it, you will need to contact his or her family members and close friends. Ask them to write down a short note with an important piece of advice that a new graduate will need. People tend to take the time to really think about what advice to give before writing it down, and that will make the gift that much more meaningful. The graduate can open the jar and find some help at any time.

Graduation Tube
This idea comes from the Paper Cottage blog. It is a variation on the “Bottle of Happiness” idea. The Paper Cottage store is located in Idaho. It is unclear whether or not they are still selling “Graduation Tube Kits”. However, it is easy to put one together yourself.

Instead of an empty soda bottle, you will need a cylindrical tube. You might find a clear, plastic, one at a craft store. Or, you can use a mailing tube or Pringles can (if you decorate the outside). Fill it with money. Create (or purchase from a craft store) a small graduation hat to put on top of the tube.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.