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18 Graduation Gift Ideas for Her & Him on a Budget

Traditional flowers for graduation, such as roses and orchids, can be a bit expensive. Ordering a dozen long-stemmed roses online can cost anywhere from $20 to $65, and an orchid corsage runs about $35. However, there are plenty of less expensive options, such as carnations, daffodils, and tulips. You can also pick up a mixed bouquet from the grocery store for as little as $5.

If you’re a gardener, you can even cut some fresh flowers from your own beds on the day of the graduation and arrange them yourself. Plenty of flowers are in bloom during May and June, including roses, peonies, delphiniums, freesias, lilies, and Gerbera daisies. A nosegay of homegrown blooms will be a far more meaningful sign of your affection than a pricey bouquet you just picked off an online menu.

2. Classy Pen

For a college-bound graduate, a good pen is a gift that’s both tasteful and incredibly useful.  According to a 2014 study from the Association for Psychological Science, students who take notes in a lecture by hand understand the subject matter better than those who type their notes on a laptop. Of course, it’s possible to take notes with a cheap ballpoint, but a really good pen both looks better and writes a smoother line – and it also says “I’m an adult” in a way that a Bic with a chewed cap never will. By presenting your favorite high-school graduate with a high-quality pen, you’re getting them off to a promising start on the next stage of their schooling.

True pen aficionados swear by old-fashioned fountain pens, but these aren’t for everyone. To write neatly with a fountain pen, you have to retrain your hand to hold the pen at the proper angle and move your whole arm as you write.

So, unless you know your favorite grad is keen on this type of pen, a better choice is a modern refillable ballpoint or roller-ball pen. These pens are handsome and durable, and because you can replace the ink when it runs out, they often cost less in the long run than a series of cheap disposables. Readers on the Everyday Carry site particularly like the $19 Fisher Space Pen, the $11.50 Parker Jotter, and the stylish and inexpensive $5 Zebra F-701. If none of these strikes your fancy, can find lots of other options for great prices at JetPens.

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