Hunting for the perfect graduation gift can be stressful. You need to find a gift that’s affordable, but also shows how proud you are of the graduate’s academic achievements. Whether you’re shopping for a high school grad, college grad, or even a grad of an advanced degree program, this list has something cool that’ll be just perfect for your favorite person. Keep on reading to see our clever, unique, and affordable gift ideas for 2015 grads.
1. Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne
While this is not an appropriate gift for high school grads, college grads and post-graduate students will definitely appreciate a premium bottle of champagne. Graduating from any college or post-grad program is a huge accomplishment that deserves to be recognized. Veuve Clicquot is a bit of a splurge, but you only graduate from college once. If your grad has never had real champagne, Graduation Day is the perfect time to pour a glass of the good stuff.
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2. Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbooks
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series originally started as a series about actual real-world survival techniques, but now you can read hilarious versions of these survival tips that are targeted towards surviving either college or work. The college installment of this series focuses on burning questions like “How can I get away with sleeping in class” or “How can I put off doing laundry for as long as possible?” The “work” version of the book offers tips on how to sneak out of a meeting early, treat a deep-fryer burn, or even surviving a stockroom avalanche.
Price: $0.01 and up for used copies, $13.32 for new copies
3. Aroma 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
This rice cooker does so much more than simply made you a bowl of rice. It can also steam meat and veggies, ensuring you get a complete, well-balanced meal. And if rice isn’t really their favorite thing, this cooker can be used to make soup or chili. There’s a handy 15-hour delay timer, making it simple to “start” dinner before they leave for the day, and return home to find dinner waiting for them. This kitchen appliance is ideal for high school students who want a way to cook healthy food in their dorm room, as well as recent college grads who need a simple kitchen gadget to help them make dinner after a long day at the office.
4. Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit
Every new grad needs a basic tool kit. Whether they plan to live in a shared house, apartment, or dorm room, a tool kit ensures they will be able to tackle basic repairs and DIY projects. Having basic tools around is also a must for any college student who needs to assemble a ton of IKEA furniture.
The tool set includes one 13-ounce hammer, one 16-foot tape rule, one 18mm snap-off knife, one torpedo level, one long nose and one slip joint pliers, one Phillips screwdriver, one standard tip screwdriver, eight SAE and eight metric hex keys, one 1/4-inch round-head ratchet, eight SAE 1/4-inch sockets, one 1/4-inch spinner handle, one 1/4-inch bit holder, and 30 bits.
Price: $49.90 (32 percent off MSRP)
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5. ‘The Journey Begins with a Single Step’ Pocket Compass
Handcrafted in Rhode Island from fine pewter, this is the perfect graduation gift for any grad who is taking a “gap year” to travel the world. This pocket compass can be useful for those who love to travel, but it also acts as a nice keepsake for your grad to keep on their desk. Pewter is non-magnetic, so it should not interfere with the compass reading.
6. ALEX AND ANI Living Water Charm Bangle
There’s so many reasons to love Alex and Ani jewelry. These inexpensive bracelets are made from recycled materials, but still have a luxe look. Their low price tag, combined with a high sentimentality factor, ensures that these bangles are always a great gift idea. They fit nearly any wrist size, and look great when paired with any other ALEX AND ANI bangle. If this style isn’t ideal for your grad, consider the company’s “Oyster and Pearl” Rafaelian Silver bangle instead.
7. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit
Ideal for any grad who loves Bear Grylls or the great outdoors, this survival kit will be a welcome addition to any summer camping plans. This 15-piece kit comes with a Gerber miniature multi-tool, survival blanket, fire starter, snare wire, fishing items, and a sewing kit. If your favorite grad plans to drive across country to enroll in college or start a new job, this is a thoughtful gift. In case of emergency, this is a gift that will be very useful.
Price: $37.82 (44 percent off MSRP)
8. Kitchen Active Spiralizer
Spiralizers are all the rage right now, and they are a great way for recent high school grads to combat the dreaded Freshman 15. These clever kitchen gadgets are useful for turning carrots, squash, or zucchini into low-carb “pasta” spirals. This is a thoughtful gift that supports any grad’s low-carb aspirations. You can toss in the Skinny Spiralizer Cookbook for just $6.99 if you want to give your grad some recipe ideas.
Price: $14.97 (63 percent off MSRP)
9. Pivotal Living Tracker 1 (2nd Generation)
A Fitbit can set you back about $100. The Pivotal Living Tracker 1 (2nd Generation) costs just $15, making it an ideal graduation gift for people on a budget. Sure, it might not have the brand appeal of a Fitbit, but this little fitness tracker still looks like a premium piece of tech. And honestly, it does pretty much everything you want a fitness tracker to do. This tracker has an OLED display to help you track your progress towards your fitness goals. Using the companion app, you can keep track of your steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled, and other key performance indicators. Most iOS and Android devices are supported. If you have a little more money to spend, consider checking out our guide to the best Fitbit alternatives.
10. Samsung UN55JS8500 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2015 Model)
Looking to go all out with your graduation gift? This is a great gift idea for men or women, and you can easily split the cost between a few members of your family. Samsung’s new-for-2015 4K Ultra HD smart TV is great for gamers, movie fans, or anyone who needs a TV for their first apartment. This model has tons of inputs (4 HDMI and 3 USB), so your grad can hook up DVD/Blu-ray players, set top boxes, gaming consoles, and much more. The TV even ships with a pair of 3D active glasses, perfect for enjoying eye-popping action flicks.
Price: $1,997.99 (33 percent off MSRP)