Thrifty Thursday: Graduation gifts

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Web Editor - Ryan Burkett

What are you getting your high school graduate this year?

According to the latest survey by BIGinsight, it's cash, as 57 percent say they plan to give money. Thirty-two percent of customers say they'll congratulate their graduate with gift cards, while 12 percent say they'll give electronics.

On average, the National Retail Federation says friends and family will spend $49 per graduate. That's actually down about $2 per graduate from last year.

If you don't want to give cash and wish to stay on a budget, there are things you can do.

First, every kid going off to college or getting an apartment needs to do laundry. Just buy a laundry basket and put all the things they would need inside, including detergent, fabric softener sheets and a Downey ball. You can even put together a tutorial for how to treat stains!

A first aid kit is also a helpful gift. You can put together a container of items for their medicine cabinet so they are prepared when they leave home. Fill it with aspirin, Band-Aids, stomach medications, ointments, cotton balls and even sunblock. Also include necessary emergency numbers.

A food kit also makes a great gift! Get a dish tub and provide four place settings, including forks, spoons and knives. Then include a sponge and dish soap for those dirty dishes, along with some college favorites like Gatorade and ramen noodles.

Next, a card kit is an increasingly popular idea. Include stamps and some blank note cards from the dollar store, and you have a gift for less than $10.

Flashlights can make good graduation gifts, as well. They're great for those who might be out by themselves after dark, or for when the power goes out.

Finally, some basic items for the bedroom are extremely useful for the typical graduate. A backpack, an umbrella, alarm clock, a shower tote, small lamp, bed linens, towels, school supplies, luggage and flash drives all come in handy.

Check out the video for more.

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