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Simple Graduation Gifts That Grads Don’t Even Know They Need

Simple Graduation Gifts That Grads Don’t Even Know They Need
Rachel Humphrey

The season of graduation is upon us! Someone very special to you has made an important accomplishment, reaching an exciting milestone in life, and you want to show them how proud you are. Don't get anxious about picking out the perfect gifts for the graduates in your life, because I've got plenty of ideas for you. Whether you're attending your niece's 8th grade graduation, your grandchild's high school graduation, or watching your best friend get their doctorate, there's something here that will inspire your generous, gift-giving heart.

I must start by saying that the most appreciated gift for graduations of any kind at any age is: MONEY. Cash, check, or pickle jar full of loose change; it doesn't matter. Graduates hardly ever have any money, so money is the holy grail of graduation gifts. You probably know this, but you might want to give something more personal, and that's great too.

Middle School Graduates

Clothing: Many Middle School graduates are looking forward to High School, and see it as a chance to reinvent their image a little. Help them find their new persona by getting them a gift certificate to their favorite clothing store so they can get some new threads.
Lunch: Many High Schools have open campus for lunch. If this is the case at your Middle School graduate's future High School, get them gift certificates to popular lunch places close by.
School supplies: For kids who enjoy school, there's really nothing like a brand new spiral bound notebook, a package of mechanical pencils, and a box of ballpoint pens. New school supplies represent a new world full of possibilities. Can you tell I'm a big learning junkie? To help you out with this, here are some Staples coupons.
Food: Want to give them something sweet? Try an edible bouquet! Whether it's made from fruit or cookies, everyone appreciate a tasty treat.

High School Graduates

Laundry Kit: Most High School graduates are getting ready to leave home, which means not having access to the family washer and dryer anymore. Make them a laundry kit! Buy a laundry bag and fill it with detergent, dryer sheets, a delicates bag, and as many rolls of quarters as you can afford.
Gas Card: It's hard to drive to school, work, and the beach when you don't have gas in your car. Get your graduate a gas card.
Snacks: For graduates who will be moving into the dorms, make them a care package of their favorite non-perishable foods. Dorm favorites include pretzels, nut mix, dried fruit, and instant oatmeal.
Picture Frames: Grads who are moving away might get homesick. Get them something to display photos of their family, friends, and pets that won't take up too much room in a small living space, like this photo stand with clips.

College and Graduate School Graduates

Work Clothes: These folks are getting to enter the professional world, so get them a gift certificate to a clothing store like Banana Republic where they can start building a work wardrobe. Make sure to tell them about Banana Republic coupons.
Housewarming: Your graduate might be getting ready to move into his/her first apartment, so find out what they need! If you don't know and don't want to ask, get them a big package of really nice toilet paper, paper towels, or other home staple that everyone uses and needs.
Cooking: Still on the topic of moving into a first apartment, your graduate might not know how to cook. Many graduates have Mom cooking for them in High School, then they eat cafeteria food freshman year, and live on take-out and microwave dinners for the rest of college. It's time to learn to cook! Get them a basic cookbook like How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. If you think they'd appreciate it, you could pay for a cooking class.
A Night Out: Graduates usually don't have much money, which means sacrificing activities like going out to dinner and movies. Get your graduate a couple of movie passes and a gift certificate to a nearby restaurant so they can have a nice night out.

Remember! They'll be grateful for whatever you get them, even if it's just a big hug and some words of encouragement. What are you getting for your graduate?


  1. Aimee

    Wow what awesome ideas!!! I have friends graduating this year and want to get them each something special. The picture frame idea will be great with a picture of all of us!

  2. Shelly

    These are some really good gift ideas. Gas cards are always a real easy one to pick up, well... unless they don't have a car.

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