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How Can I Buy a Meaningful Graduation Gift Without Breaking My Budget?

How Can I Buy a Meaningful Graduation Gift Without Breaking My Budget?

Q: I have several friends graduating this year. I’d love to buy them each a lavish gift, but my budget didn’t get the memo. How can I buy meaningful graduation gifts without draining my wallet?


A: You sound like a wonderful friend! The good news is, buying your friends meaningful graduation gifts doesn’t have to cost a lot. We’ve even scoured the internet for these elusive gifts to save you a little time.


Here are six fabulous grad gifts that don’t break the budget.


1. The RTIC Soft Pack 15-Can Cooler


Beach days. Hangouts. Tailgates and road trips … there are so many reasons a young grad needs a soft cooler! This one is a favorite, with thick walls and a lid filled with two inches of closed-cell foam. Keep items cool for up to 24 hours and choose from 11 colors to find the one that best suits your friend’s style.


2. Reusable plates


Give your pal a small headstart on dorm stuff with a set of reusable plates, like these bamboo plates, which are available for $14.99 a piece. They come in several colorful designs and are dishwasher-safe for no-fuss cleanup. The plates are crafted from bamboo fiber and cornstarch with food-grade ink, and are 100% biodegradable.


3. Money chain


Get creative and make someone happy with this adorable money chain. You can attach a ribbon for a congratulatory feel or customize it in any way you want. As a bonus, you can choose any denomination bill to use for your necklace, from $1 bills, to fivers, tens or even twenties.


4. Anker Magnetic Portable Charger


Your friend can say goodbye to tangled wires when you gift them this super-convenient magnetic charger! The charging bank can give power for up to 2.6 hours so your friend never runs out of juice. It’s the perfect gift for the grad who’s always on the move. 


5. Cosmetics fridge


Looking for a unique gift? How about this adorable little fridge? It’s perfect for storing and transporting cosmetics. Of course, it can also be used to hold a bit of food and drinks in the dorm room or when traveling overnight. With multiple colors to choose from, and a price tag of $49, it can be a great gift for your graduating pal.


6. Hardcover travel guide


If your graduating friend plans on traveling in the next year, a hardcover travel guide like Lonely Planet’s Where to Go When can be the perfect gift. The book is conveniently organized by month, making it easy for the traveler to look up the best spots to hit. The guide lists all cultural events around the world, includes fun travel flow charts, itineraries the traveler can adapt and even divides trips by budget! In a world where online info can be overwhelming, a hardcover guide can be a lifesaver for a traveler.


7. Portable laptop stand


This gift can be super-handy for the grad who likes to set up work wherever they are. A portable laptop stand like this can easily fit inside a laptop case or schoolbag and has nifty compartments for additional devices, like iPads and phones.


Use our list to find that inexpensive but fabulous present this graduation season. 

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