Do you want to give the teachers in your life a gift that won’t be put in the “yet another apple decor item” box in the back of the closest? You want to give a teacher appreciation gift that he or she will love, but your budget is tight. Here is a list of 41 teacher gifts with the average gift less than $10 and even some at no cost at all (just your time to create them).
To give a useful gift, you first need to know a bit about the teachers in your life. Your school might have given you a list of their favorite low-cost treats like our school does. If your children are older, they might be able to tell you or you might be able to pry some ideas out of them with the right questions. Does your teacher always seem to drink coffee from a particular store? What are some of the items on your teachers’ desk? Are there plants in your classroom? Does your teacher always have her nails done up in pretty colors?
These types of questions will help you decide just what items your children’s teachers actually love to use. And if after asking questions you still have no clue what their teacher likes, scroll directly to number 41 on this list. I have several teacher friends and they have all told me this is one of their favorite types of gifts.
41 Useful Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas That Fit Tight Budgets
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Gift Ideas For Teachers Who Love Plants
1. Small Potted Plant
If you have a month or so before you need to give the gift, you can take a cutting off a plant you have in your home and grow a new plant to give to your child’s teacher. Take a trip to the thrift store to see what you can find as an inexpensive yet unique plant pot to grow it in or use something you already have in your house and have the kids help decorate it.
If you don’t have plants or don’t have the time to grow one to give, you can buy sets of live succulent plants from Amazon! And they would be delivered to your door in a relatively short amount of time if you are an Amazon Prime member. This will be a great option if you have several teachers to honor with gifts.
3. Fresh Cut Flowers
Fresh cut flowers can be found at very reasonable prices at places like Trader Joe’s and Aldi. A glass jar from the recycling bin can make a free and pretty vase when you take the time to soak the label off and then tie with ribbon or whatever else you have in your home to give it a more personal “I am not a food jar” look.
4. Wildflower Seed Packet
In spring, grocery stores and hardware stores often sell small wildflower seed packets very inexpensively. Place the package in a thank you card with a handwritten note of thanks from both you and your child.
Gift Ideas For Teachers Who Love Scents
School heating and cooling systems can leave teachers with dry hands. For those teachers who love scents, this six-pack of sample sized scented lotion would make a great gift. You can give it all to one teacher or break up the set and create several gifts out of it.
6. Bubble Bath
I think we can all agree that teachers deserve pampering. Pamper your scent loving teacher with a bottle of scented bubble bath.
7. Bath Bombs
Bath Bombs are really popular nowadays so there is a good chance that your scent loving teacher will love to receive one or more. This set here is a good deal and you could give it to one teacher or split it up and make several gifts out of it.
8. Body Wash
Give your teacher the gift of waking up to their favorite scent each morning in the shower as they are getting ready for work. Body washes come in scents for women and men so this gift could work for any teacher.
9. Scented Candle
If you have several teachers to buy for and you know they would all like scented candles, you could break up this set of 4. It is also inexpensive enough that it might fit in your budget to give the entire set to just one teacher.
Gift Ideas For Teachers With A Sweet Tooth
10. Baking Mixes In A Jar
You can use canning jars for this or any jar that is similar in size to one. For instance, our family buys this brand of natural peanut butter that comes in a jar that is roughly the same size as a canning jar. My guess is something your family regularly buys also comes in a similar size jar. Give the jar a good cleaning with hot water and soap and use a mixture of coconut oil and baking soda to get the label off. Cover the lid with fabric or scrapbook paper, and you now have an excellent baking mix jar.
As for what type of mix to put in it, the ideas are endless! Type “mixes in jars” into Pinterest and you will soon find one that your teacher will love.
There are rare exceptions to this rule, but most people like chocolate and a great majority of people LOVE it. If you want to make it a bit more cutesy, type “chocolate bar labels for teachers” into Pinterest and numerous ideas will pop up.
12. A Jar Full Of Candy
If there is a dish of candy on the teacher’s desk, chances are it isn’t just for the kids –the teacher probably loves that type too.
DIY Teacher Appreciation Gifts
13. A Free Printable Quote In A Dollar Store Frame
Here is a free printable that you can use to create a beautiful work of art to remind your teacher how important he or she is. Go to the dollar store to find a frame to fit, and you have a gift your teacher should love for very little money spent.
14. A Teacher Appreciation Themed Coloring Sheet Done By Your Child
This free printable will help your child express why they like their teacher so much and will be treasured words of encouragement for their teacher’s heart.
15. A Handmade, Handwritten Thank You Note: Plus Include A Few More Handmade Bank Cards
Teachers need to write cards for all occasions. All it takes to make homemade cards is some card stock paper, whatever craft supplies you have on hand and some artistic skill. Search Pinterest for more inspiration. Use one sheet of card stock to make a thank you note for your teacher that you add a personal note of thanks to and then make half a dozen or so more that your teacher can use as she or he needs to.
Gift Ideas For The Health Conscious Teacher
16. Water Bottle
If your teacher is like me, they lose at least one or two water bottles a year so getting a new one as a gift is always appreciated. If you are willing to spend just a bit more, you can get one with an inspirational quote about teaching like this one. But as long as the water bottle is marked BPA free, any water bottle will make an excellent gift for a health-conscious teacher.
17. Fresh Fruit
This idea won’t fit into the tightest of budgets (unless, of course, you grow your own), but a thrift store basket filled with fruit would be appreciated by foodie teachers.
18. Homemade Healthy Snacks
If you make a healthy snack you are pretty sure your child’s teacher would like, go ahead and make them up a batch as a gift and include the recipe.
Teacher Appreciation Gifts That Can Be Shared With His Or Her Family
19. Movie Night Kit
Did you know that you can buy promo codes on the Redbox website? You can then gift these promo codes to others. Write one on a card and then go to your local dollar store and pick up a plastic popcorn container like this one or something similar to it. Put the card in the box along with a dollar store box of movie candy and a bag of microwave popcorn–you have a movie night in a box for your teacher and her family.
20. S’more Kit–“We Need S’ More Teachers Like You.”
I saw this idea all over Pinterest for individual s’more packs for teachers with the tag “we need s’more teachers like you” attached. If you can swing it in your budget, expand on that idea and give your teacher a basket filled with enough s’more makings for their entire family. This won’t be much if you can pick them up at Aldi or use coupons combined with a sale (and don’t forget to increase your savings by using these apps).
Teacher Gifts For Bookworms
21. Book Sleeve
Teachers get book tote bags all the time as gifts, but how about giving your bookworm teacher a book sleeve to protect his or her favorite book from getting damaged when it is tossed in one of those big book totes along with everything else.
22. Bookmark–Homemade Or Not
Bookmarks make great gifts for readers as we lose them all the time. You can either make one with your child to give or buy one with an inspirational teacher quote on it.
Teacher Gifts For Coffee And Tea Lovers
23. New Travel Mug
Quality travel mugs can often be found in the clearance aisle near the camping section of most department stores.
24. New Ceramic Mug
Fill a mug instead of a jar with candy or a mug sized homemade cake mix (look up “mug mixes” on Pinterest). By using a mug instead of a jar for this style of gift they have something they can use over and over after the contents are gone.
25. New Tea Cup
Places like TJ Maxx often have teacups in their clearance section that would make great gifts for teachers who prefer tea to coffee.
26. A Pound Of Coffee
Do you know your teacher’s favorite type of coffee? Buy him or her a pound of it as a gift.
27. A Box of Tea–Or A Selection
You don’t have to buy an expensive sampler set like this one to give a selection of teas as a gift. Instead, you can head to the aisle where tea is sold in your local grocery store and look for a variety box of tea, which should be $5 at most. If you have several tea drinking teachers that need gifts, split up the sample pack so they each get one of each type and tape them to the inside of a thank-you card with a personal note about how thankful you are that they are your child’s teacher.
Teacher Appreciation Gifts For Stationery Lovers
Teachers always have a running list of “to-dos” so note pads make great gifts. This set of one dozen is inexpensive and could be split to provide gifts for several list making teachers.
Some teachers prefer notebooks to notepads–especially if they are into bullet journaling. Lucky for you, inexpensive notebooks can be found almost anywhere you look. I like TJ Maxx for notebooks, but I have also found new journals at Goodwill for just a few dollars that would be at least $20 anywhere else. If you are short on time and don’t want to go out and shop, Amazon has a good selection of inexpensive notebooks like this one that can be shipped to your door in two days and sometimes even one day if you are an Amazon prime member.
A teacher has an inborn need to color code his or her to do lists, so these next three things on the list will be used and appreciated.
31. Colored Pens
This 20 pack of Paper Mate colored pens has two of each color so you could split the package into two and tie them each with a bow and tape each set to a thank you card–making two inexpensive teacher gifts.
Every teacher I have ever met is crazy for sharpies–feed the addiction by gifting your teacher with some new ones. Here is a set big enough to be split between several crazy for sharpies teachers.
Gifts For Practical Teachers
Teachers often have minimal budgets for classroom supplies and some don’t have any. Help them provide the classroom with items they need so they can spend more of their own money on things their families need.
33. Whiteboard Pens
In a lot of classes, chalkboards are a thing of the past replaced by whiteboards that require a steady supply of whiteboard pens.
34. Pencils Or Pens
This brand of pencils is the one my teacher friends recommended for me to buy my kids and wow! They do last longer and write better.
35. Post-It Notes
Take it from a sometimes too thrifty person, don’t buy off brand Post-It notes as a gift for teachers, they don’t stick as well.
36. Crayons, Markers, Or Pencil Crayons
If your child is just beginning their school journey, their teacher might like a classroom size set of Crayola crayons. This is undoubtedly not a tight-budget friendly gift, but it could be if you got several other parents to go in on the set with you.
Spa Gifts For Teachers
37. Nail Polish With A “Toe-Tally Awesome Teacher” Tag
With visions of summer holidays on her mind, your teacher will appreciate the gift of a new shade of nail polish for her toes for sandal season. Put it in a small clear gift bag (you can find packs of 10 or more of these at most dollar stores) and then make a cute “Toe-Tally Awesome Teacher” tag to tie on to the bag.
38. Lip Balm With A “You’re the Balm” Tag
Same “pun” spa gift idea, but with a different item and tag. This time grab a lip balm and place it in a clear gift bag and tie a “You’re the balm” tag to it. If you have several teachers to buy for and you know they would all love this idea, then buy a bulk pack of lip balm like this one to keep the costs lower.
39. Sugar Scrub With A “Sugar and Smarts and Really Big Hearts–That’s What Teachers are Made of” Tag.
Homemade sugar scrub recipes are all over Pinterest. Make one up and place it in a container that seals and then tie on a tag with this cute sentiment on it: “sugar and smarts and really big hearts–that’s what teachers are made of.”
40. Beard Cream–Sorry, No Pun This Time
If your child has a teacher who sports a rocking beard, he will probably appreciate beard cream as a gift.
What All Teachers Love Receiving
41. Gift Cards
And now for the gift that all teachers like receiving–at least all the ones that I know in person. Gift cards are not impersonal; they are an appreciated gift for a teacher who is also on a tight budget. Let’s face it; teachers are not paid what they are worth, and in some areas living on a teacher’s wage can be pretty tough. A $5 gift card to their favorite coffee store can be a welcome treat. Or one for the department store in your town that sells both groceries and clothing so that they can use the card to pick out what they need.
You might even want to contact other parents in your child’s class and see if you can pool together your resources to buy a gift card in a more substantial amount so he or she can pick out either a large item or several smaller ones. To make sure that people don’t feel obligated to give money they don’t have to the fund, try and make donations to the gift card as anonymous as possible–pass around a basket at the next class meeting. Or pass each person an unmarked envelope to put their donation in and then collect them in a large bag or bucket so that they get all jumbled up and you can’t tell who gave what. This will make people feel free to give what they can afford.
Hopefully, this list gave you an idea of what to give the teachers in your life!
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.
More Gift Ideas That Might Be Perfect For Your Teacher
- 5 Inexpensive Gift Ideas For Teachers
- 5 Inexpensive Gift Ideas For Runners
- 5 Inexpensive Gift Ideas For Yoga Enthusiasts
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