I have been compensated to write this article, however all graduation party preparations, gift ideas and opinions remain my own.
Graduation: either you’re the soon-to-be adult chomping at the bit to prove yourself to the real world, or you’re the parent preparing to push your baby out of the nest. While this is an exciting prospect for both parties (hee hee), planning the graduation party and then preparing for it can be a daunting task. Dillons, Gerbes and Baker’s to the rescue!
Ultimate Guide to Graduation
After you’ve ordered the graduation announcements and invitations, you’ve got some serious planning to do. You may need oodles of supplies or just a few things like balloons, finger foods and napkins. If you are attending a graduation party instead of throwing one, read on friend!
Pre-order the Graduation cake from Dillons, Gerbes or Baker’s
First things first: pre-order the graduation cake! You will find a fantastic variety of custom cakes from the Dillons, Gerbes and Baker’s bakeries – including those super awesome cakes where they use your photo to decorate the top. Last time we ordered a photo cake from Dillons it turned out amazing – exactly like the original. Make sure you give them plenty of time to complete your custom cake order (although they should be able to get it done with just 24 hour notice).
Tip: baby photos work greeeeat for graduation cakes; payback anyone?!
Grab snacks for your party from the deli if you’re not planning a full meal. Did you know that you can pre-order a meat tray from them as well?! Finger foods are perfect for come and go gatherings, and you could even make them into little “graduation caps” using square crackers!
Create a “Dorm kit” Graduation Gift
Dorm kits can consist of a variety of items, or a selection of a few within the same classification. For example, pack a laundry basket full of laundry detergent, air freshener and dryer sheets; lord knows they’ll need them all. Don’t forget the most important thing in a dorm room…
Or you could, of course, pack a basket full of toiletries and personal care items one would need for life in a dorm instead. A small plastic carrying tote works great for carrying your items to and from the showers – turn that into a gift basket!
Gift cards instead of cash for Graduation
We’ve all got that one person we have no idea what to buy for. In those instances, I gift to myself as well because not only can you find hundreds of options of gift cards at Dillons, Gerbes and Baker’s, but you always get 2X the value in fuel points for your purchase.
Even sweeter, on occasion they offer 4X the value of the gift card in fuel points with digital coupon. That means if you buy Johnny a participating $100 gift card, YOU get up to 400 fuel points (or 40¢ off per gallon of gas) next time you fill up! Throw that gift card in a greeting card and you’re done. Note that Kroger brand gift cards and some cash cards are excluded.
After grabbing your gift cards, head down the way and pick up some collegiate apparel or dorm gear. Heck, I buy my own WSU and KU apparel at Dillons because their styles are so cute and inexpensive. $16 for a hoodie? SOLD!
If you give yourself some time, you can even create a $1 bill “cake”. Now that’s a custom cake I can get behind. 😉 Use the graduate’s high school colors or those of the college they will be attending.
One thing that simply can not be neglected before graduation is the talk of student loans – if your graduate will be needing financial aid. My sister holds a PhD (along with a staggering amount of student loan debt) and has helped me write this article detailing everything you need to know before taking out those student loans. Know your options and be prepared. We are talking about the rest of their financial life here, friends, and not all student loans are created equal.
Oh and one last thing: CONGRATS to the GRAD!!!
More before you go:
A Letter to My Sister, The Graduate
Student Loans: Options, Payback, Consolidation and How They are Strangling the Prosperity Out of a Generation
Finding Free Heart Screenings for Your Little Athlete + Why You Need One (Anthony Bates Foundation)
Why You Should Have Regular Family Meetings: Budget, School, Meal Planning and More
Ways to Reduce Data Usage in Your Home