Soon, your grads will throw up the caps and slip off their gowns. If you haven’t already found the perfect gift, Frugalista offers 25 category gifts. The gifts, as always, should also spark your own creative juices based on your grad’s persona and immediate goals.  Happy gifting!

Frugalista Gifts for the social media “socialite” grad

Their lives are in their Smartphones. Help them protect their stuff.

Face it. Almost everything in their wallet is RFID-enabled, from the grocery 
store card to the credit cards. 

Flipside Wallet

Wireless personal and financial information. Flipside Wallet makes such transmitted information less vulnerable to theft. Bonus: when it’s closed, it looks like a smart phone or iPod-like device. 7 colors.   $40

Flip Wallet


Is the grad an active person with a phone permanently attached? Now, they 

H2O Audio Amphibix Fit Armband – Sports Authority

can get sweaty and the phone stays dry. This also applies if they get rained on while running or biking. The H2O Audio Amphibix Fit Armband fully protects the cell. Gives new meaning to hands free.


Frugalista gifts for the entertainment “socialite” grad

Face it, they’ll party right after. Maybe even for weeks after.  The collegiate grad might appreciate these additions to their bars.



Have a bartender-in-training on your list? With this set, they can amaze their friends with properly muddled mint leaves. The Mojito 9-piece Boxed Set includes the recipe, a 20-ounce mixing glass, strainer, wooden muddler and six highball glasses. Also  makes a superb hostess gift. Cheers!   

($25 , available at retailers such as Bed, Bath and Beyond;;  Amazon (slightly higher)

Libbey® 9-Piece Mojito Cocktail Set



Opening wine has never been easier and The Best Electric Wine Opener keeps the cork intact–traditional or synthetic. One charge lasts over an hour.


Best Electric Wine Opener – Hammacher Schlemmer


Your grads will entertain now that they’re on their own. Give them great spur of the moment meal helpers.  As well as the perfect end to the evening, and a conversation piece as well.


Give them an ultra-special rainy day kit for an impromptu dinner party. One that will wow their friends.


The Urbani White and Black Truffle Butters. So many dish variations to adorn or whip up.
$35 (incl. TAX) 


Or, if they’re more cowboy than urbanite, outfit them with the “Best Sauce on the Planet.”



This sauce won “Best Sauce on the Planet” at the 2001 American Royal BBQ Contest. Includes Cowtown and Night of the Living Bar-B-Q sauces plus one bottle each of Cowtown “Squeal” Hog Rub, and Steak & Grill Seasoning. Several other gift sets available for under $40.  




The Chemex® is also artistic and could be just the right end to a great evening. Invented in 1944 by a chemist, this coffeemaker’s claim to fame comes because of the glass of its hourglass-shaped flask. The glass doesn’t absorb odors or chemical residue resulting in a better cup of coffee. Brewing only involves high quality filters ($8/100) and boiling water. Thus, the Chemex lasts forever—unless they’re clumsy!

$42.90 (10 cup)

(also available at Sears, Amazon and Williams Sonoma)

Chemex Coffee Maker



Frugalista Gifts for the health conscious grad

Give your grads gifts for external and internal health.



Select a Spice Carousel – Taylor Gifts

The medical community clearly believes in the health benefits spices. Start the grad off in the right direction. The Select-a-spice Carousel means no more measuring spoons or reserve bowls. One click, shake or pour measures out a 1/4 tsp. No fuss, no muss, no mess. It looks great and the base rotates.  


Eat Good Food – Bi-Rite Market


While you’re out at it, might as well help them learn proper shopping. They can then buy the proper foods to use with those spices. Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking & Creating Community Through Food, written by owners of beloved institution Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, guides the reader to better grocery shopping decisions—with detailed sections covering every department (grocery, butcher , diary, deli, cheese,  produce, bakery, and wine/beer departments. Local residents pack this grocery store for its healthy and abundant culinary offerings.  

$33  $20



Laugh, but even the younger set understand the health benefits of  this gift.  Plus, if they’re on a budget, this will be nirvana for the cupboard. Dr. Oz said we need more fiber and beans carry a wallop. If a friend or relative tries to eat healthier, or already embraces it, they’ll love these.   The Great Bean Wooden Gift Box delivers with four of new-crop heirloom beans. Good Mother Stallard, Cranberry, Garbanzo (chick peas), and Santa Maria Pinquitos beans packed in a reusable wooden box. Plus a bonus cotton tote bag. In addition to fiber, they also contain oodles of protein. Cooking instructions/suggestions and yummy recipes included.



 MEASURED LOSS                                               

And healthy on the inside needs healthy on the outside.The Omron Electronic Bodyfat Analyzer not only looks cool, 

Omron Electronic Bodyfat Analyzer

but helps make them look pretty good, too. If you need something for the athletic or workout fanatic type, this might be a tool they’ll appreciate. It measures the all important body fat weight/percentage and body mass index. And, even has a athlete mode. It claims to give accurate results in 7 seconds.  Fast and on-point. They’ll love you for it. Be prepared though. They might try to get you to use it since the analyzer can store up to nine profiles.

 $53 List $39




Frugalista Gifts for the altruistic grad

 Celebrate their sense of altruism and support of free trade.



Rich bursts of color adorn these hand-dyed and durable, loomed cotton yarn Fair Trade Scarves. The scarves, and other One Mango Tree products, are made by Ugandan women affected by war and a cooperative of skilled weavers.


Hand loomed scarf – One Mango Tree


Men’s short sleeve polo shirt – Thailand – World of Good.Ebay

This mens Shirt Short Sleeve Polo, 100% light high quality cotton, makes for social fashion. Hand printed artwork makes it special. Money generated by the labor involved goes directly to the Thailand people who create these products. 



Frugalista Gifts for the progressive, deep thinking grad

A little light reading to help them along their path.


The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and

The Progress Principal – Barnes and Noble

Creativity at Work by Teresa Amabile & Steven Kramer
This book instructs in the ways of better employee engagement and satisfaction. The authors/researchers determined, after exhaustive study, that progress motivates better than money, rewards or status. They demonstrate that progress is the prime motivator for employee productivity.

$25 $18


Lead With Luv – Barnes and Noble

 Lead With LUV: A Different Way to Create Real Success (It pays to put your people first) by Ken Blanchard and Colleen Barrett.       Herb Kelleher, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, chose Colleen Barrett, sans any Ivy League business degree, because “she knows how to love people to success.” In the book, Southwest’s President Barrett, together with Blanchard espouses on the techniques that keep Southwest wildly successful. 



Frugalista Gifts for the stressed grad

After working hard for the money, all-day job searching or classes all day, give them a great place to rest their heads.


Your grads cab fall asleep with their favorite sounds playing right in their ear.  Without being plugged in. With the Sharper Image® Sleep Sounds Music and Alarm Pillow, they will never feel the speaker or built-in timer. It lulls them to sleep with a playlist. Or a book on tape from their iPod or MP3 player, Or foreign language lessons. Eight different nature sounds are programmed into the comfy pillow also. The contour pillow awakens them with a high or low vibration. And, there’s even a snooze button.


Homedics Table Fountain – Target


The Homedics Illuminated Rock Garden relaxation fountain eases out the stress anytime. The rushing water over polished river rocks soothes even the most frayed  edges. Special lighting illuminates the tabletop fountain. 




Frugalista gifts for the bohemian or Internationally employed grad.

Perhaps, your grad plans to travel the world. Whether it’s bohemian-style or business class, they’ll appreciate this passport holder.


World Traveler

Help them keep the record of their travels in style. The Antique Map Italian

Italian Leather Printed Passport Holder – Barnes and Noble

Leather Printed Passport Holder, handcrafted in Italy of soft leather, is individually hand-printed with a beautiful map design.

Also available in a simple, cognac-colored leather. 




1,000 Place to See Before Die, 2nd Edition: A Traveler’s Life List—by seasoned travel expert Patricia Schultz—offers 992 pages of adventure, delight and memorable sights. Whether the recipient travels often or simply longs to, the 2nd edition of this user-friendly book makes a great gift. And it offers so much than the original. More informative, more experiential, more budget-friendly offerings, more suggestions for places to stay (features 4 star hotels to good moderately priced experiences), more restaurants to visit, more festivals to check out, more full-color photos; and over 200 new entries.



Whether the grad travels or simply goes away to college, they’ll learn efficient packing with this gift.


Personal Organizer – LL Bean

Once you give them the Personal Organizer, they’ll soon be trained in the art of packing well. The water-resistant fabric organizer can be hung from anywhere. Lots of mesh pockets comprise the main compartment. Side zip pockets offer easy access to items such as toiletries.  It even has a convenient, removable shower caddy.

$23 (sm), $28 (med), $35 (lg), $50 (Family)


Frugalista gifts for the organized (or would be) grad.

You pray they’re moving somewhere other than your basement. Encourage organization and self-repairs in their new home.


23. The number of various nuts and bolts your grad can work on with the adaptable Hydrokinetic Adjustable Wrench. Simply open the valve one end and fit the nut or bolt into it. Push the gripper on the other end. The tool’s liquid core compresses and, in short, customizes the valve to fit and lock onto the chosen nut or bolt. With this wrench, they’re ready for all kind of minor repairs. (BTW, your gadget loving grad will love this site)



Hydrokinetic Adjustable Wrench – ThinkGeek


Rubbermaid to the rescue. Whether it’s a corporate or home office, or the dorm, these revolutionary Bento Boxes don’t simply hold stuff but organizes it for easy retrieval. The internal flex dividers provides the versatility to create personalized sections within each stackable box. And to revise them as needed. The boxes are durable and the pretty fabric covers make them ready for close-ups.

$10 to $27 (small; med -$11-13; lg $15-27)


Bento Boxes – Rubbermaid




Frugalista gifts to inspire your grad as they navigate collegiate, or autonomous, life.

And to remind them that they are to go forth with purpose.



Give them a living gift in the Bonsai – Flowering Natal Plum, complete with an attractive rectangular, brown ceramic pot. 

Bonsai Flowering Plum – EcoExpress

The 6-8” plant blooms with fragrant, star-shaped white flowers and later bears dark red edible plum-shaped fruit. This fragrant beauty can be kept indoors. 



Never Gift up stone – Bluemoon


The Never Give Up Stone Plaque, made of natural slate, serves as affirmation or inspiration. Etched with the Winston Churchill quote “Never, never,  never give up”, each stone is original. Can stand or hang plaque.



Some of these Frugalista gifts should fit many of your grad’s needs; or provide inspiration for you.  If you’d rather go the traditional route and outfit them for the Spring and Summer, check out these and related posts:

10 Top Women’s Spring Fashion Essentials – the Dresses

10 Top Men’s Spring Essentials – the Rest

Wishing you perfection in your gift selections!

©2012 DLewis

This was shared as a Frugal Tuesday Tip on at (Thanks, Julie!)


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This entry was posted on May 20, 2012 by in Occasions, tips.
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