10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Graduation Gifts


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Up until this year my husband and I have only had an invite to a graduation open house once or twice and then this year we have received over 1/2 a dozen. For some reason all the invites caught my thrifty self off guard and I am not stocked up on thrifty gifts at all for them.

10 ways thrifty people save money on graduation gifts.

I know next season we will probably be invited to even more graduation open houses than we were this year as our own son will be graduating, and I intend to be ready. I know the best way to to be thrifty is to think ahead. So I brainstormed some thrifty ways to save money on graduation gifts and still be generous  on a tight budget, and I am listing them here to help me kick start my own thrifty self for next year, as well as help out my readers with their graduation gift giving.

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Graduation Gifts

1. Use Free Photo Book Codes

It is okay if the price of the gift is in the loving work your put into it and not what came out of your wallet. Photo books are a great example of this principle. Shutterfly often releases free codes that can bring down the price of an album to shipping only (which is usually around 8 to 9 dollars).

You can either do key moments from the life of the graduate, or you could make them a family recipe book that they can take with them to whatever nest they are next settling into.

2. A Point Earned Bible Or Devotional

Tyndale Rewards offers a variety of bibles and devotionals that you can cash in your points for, and give as  graduation gifts.  Add a journal,pen and perhaps a bible case to the gift to give the graduate everything they need for a daily quiet time with God.

3. A Coupon Bought Laundry Survival Basket

Combine coupons and sales to reduce the cost of putting together a laundry survival kit. Buy an inexpensive laundry basket and fill it with detergent, stain remover, fabric softener or dryer sheets. Don’t forget to check and see if ibotta has any rebates that would further reduce your costs.

4.  Cash In Your Swagbucks For A Gift

Swagbucks has a huge variety of gift cards for various stores. You can save up and buy the graduate a gift from any one of them, including Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy.

5. Buy Their Gift With Discount Gift Cards

If you don’t have enough Swag Bucks saved up hop over to Cardpool and see if they have a discounted gift card you could buy that could save you a few dollars on the gift.

6. Cruise Pinterest For DIY Gift Ideas

If you are a lover of all things DIY spend some time searching Pinterest for ideas for gifts the graduate might like. Do they love their iPad? Could you make them a stylish case for it, with a matching charger case? Maybe you could sew them a book bag, or build them a book case?

7. Watch Daily Deals For Gifts

Zulily sells more than just clothes, I have seen deals on high quality sheet sets, kitchen items, headphones, smartphone cases all things that the graduate might like to take with him or her to the next nest.

8. Give The Gift Of Service

Perhaps you just don’t have the money to give a gift right at the moment but you do want to give something. It only costs a bit of printer ink to make up a coupon book full of coupons for “free laundry service” or “once a quarter care packages”. These coupons will cost you when they are cashed in so make sure your ready for that.

9. Hold A Selling Blitz To Raise The Cash For Gifts.

I have done this once myself for a dear friend who was graduating from college and I really wanted to bless her family with a gift card large enough to eat out together, however the week of her graduation open house some extra bills came up and our paycheck wasn’t going to stretch far enough to pay them and buy the gift card. So I marched up to the attic and started taking out things we no longer used and worked my way down to the basement, by the time I was done I had about a dozen items for sale.

I listed them all on  Facebook and then on Craigslist and by the time of her graduation open house I had the money for the gift card and then some.

10. Plan Ahead

Some of these steps above you might not be able to use this year but pin this post to pinterest and start applying what you learned now and you should be able to save a significant amount of money on next year’s graduation gifts.

Wanting more saving money tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest

A great devotional to give as a gift to a graduate is Jesus Calling . Don’t forget to use your Amazon gift cards earned through Swagbucks to pay for it. ( Don’t use Swagbucks yet? Here is a plan of how to earn $30 a month in gift cards using Swagbucks

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  1. Samantha says:

    The best idea I’ve ever read was Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. You can get one fairly priced, (ok we’ve picked up tons of these at garage sales. One copy we found was brand new – still had an unopened graduation card in it!) and it pays off big time!

    • Victoria says:

      Good idea, and yes I do see them like new at yard sales all the time too. Not sure if that means the people having the sale are putting his plans into practice by selling everything but the kids, or ……

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