Inexpensive Teacher Gift Ideas


Here are ways you can say thank you to your child’s school teacher without breaking the bank! These inexpensive teacher gift ideas are prefect! 

When I was a little girl, I loved coming up with cute teacher appreciation gift ideas. Sometimes my mom and I would bake something to give to my instructors and other times we would put together a goodie bag. No matter what we did, we always came up with a thoughtful gift. And my teachers LOVED getting something at the end of each year! 

Sometimes, though, it can feel like you can’t give a gift without spending tons of money. However, I am here to prove that wrong. Even a simple gift can mean a lot to teachers! And the good news is, there are tons of options for little things to give them. After all, someone needs to let them know what a great teacher they are! 

Incorporate any of these fun gift ideas to show your child’s educator how much you care! 

Note: Many of the gifts on this list are geared towards female teachers, since they tend to be more common. However, many of these items could also translate for a male teacher! 

Why Give a Gift to Teachers?

Teachers play such an important role in society. No matter what grade or subject they teach, they are instrumental in raising our kids and preparing the rising generation for their futures. I would say anyone who is willing to take on that kind of responsibility deserves a pat on the back!

But more than that, many teachers have a difficult job. They are not only trying to corral a large number of students to pay attention and behave, they also are trying to help them understand challenging concepts and principles. All this while being paid a humble salary. 

I mean WOW! I just have so much respect for teachers and what they do. And I am thankful that many schools do a teacher appreciation week, because they definitely deserve to be celebrated for all their efforts. 

So, if you’re wanting to join in the celebration, check out my list of inexpensive teacher gift ideas. You can use the suggested items to present them with a heartfelt gift, separate from the school provided festivities. Of course, that isn’t required or even expected. Just something you CAN do if it’ll make you happy!

Tips for Giving Inexpensive Teachers Gifts 

When it comes to giving gifts to your kid’s teachers, there are a few things to consider. Applying these tips will help you provide something they can genuinely use and appreciate.

1. Make sure it is reasonably transportable. Pretty much anything you give to the teacher, they are going to take home. Even additional school supplies might get taken home to store for the next academic year.  And since teachers generally have at least 20-30 students who could potentially also bring them gifts, is it considerate to make sure the gift won’t be too much of a hassle moving to their car. 

2. Try to stay away from food. I am not saying that you can’t ever give it as a gift, there are just a few things to think about. If any teacher ever shares their favorite restaurant or candy, you can bet your bottom dollar that like 5 other people are going to give them exactly that. Additionally, people usually resort to giving junk food as their gift. However, most teachers I’ve talked to would rather not receive a ton of unhealthy treats. Another thing to keep in mind is potential allergies. So, food can just be a little tricky!

3. If you do give food, make sure it’s packaged. Some teachers don’t actually feel comfortable eating something homemade. Of course this isn’t the case for all teachers, it can just help if the food is store-bought. 

4. Keep it reasonably priced. I would say a good rule of thumb is to stay within the $10-30 range. If you buy something small it might be closer to $5 and if you have a larger budget, you could go up to $50. But for most people, somewhere close to the previously stated range will be a good spot. 

Inexpensive Teacher Gifts List 

Now what you have been waiting for, the list! When making this list of inexpensive teacher gift ideas, I tried to keep in mind a range of prices and preferences. And while this list isn’t perfect, hopefully it helps you come up with a great way to express your gratitude. 

Personalized/ DIY 

  • Handwritten note – If your child’s teacher a sweet note with a little message from your child, I can guarantee that their heart will melt! Definitely something that will make their day! And honestly I would recommend making one to go along with any of these other listed cheap teacher gift ideas. 
  • Cookie in a Jar – There are all kinds of things you can fill a mason jar with, one of which is cookie mix! Honestly there are all kinds of recipes for things to put in a jar such as bread, brownies, or hot cocoa. 
  • Homemade Ornament – Even if it isn’t the holiday season, your teacher might appreciate an ornament. You can add a personal touch by including a picture of your kid!
  • Picture Frame – You could insert a picture of your child or leave it blank, so they can add their own image and put it on their desk. 
  • Jewelry – This doesn’t have to be super fancy or expensive. Something simple will be perfect. Another fun idea is to get a matching necklace or bracelet for your kid and their teacher. 

Teacher Supplies

While the school provides a lot for teachers, they still spend a lot of money on school supplies for their classroom. By providing these items for them, you’re scratching off one more thing from their grocery list. 

I don’t know about you, but my favorite gifts to give and receive are ones that I know will get used. These are definitely the kind of items that won’t go to waste! 

Plus, you could get pretty much any of these at places like Walmart, The Dollar Store, or Staples. 

School Supply Items: 

  • Nice Pens (black and multi colored) – Pens can be particularly helpful for grading. 
  • Sticky Notes – Perfect gift for when they need to quickly jot something down. 
  • Mini Stapler with staples – These can do a lot to help keep their papers and assignments organized! Another option is paper clips! 
  • Water Bottle – Teachers need to stay hydrated too! Having a nice water bottle can encourage them to drink water throughout their busy work day. 
  • Coffee Mug – Mugs are just cute and functional, and totally great for when teachers need a little pick me up. 
  • Tote Bag – With all the stuff they have to carry around, it can be nice to have a little bag. Especially for holding all their students’ assignments! 
  • Sticker Collections – C’mon you already know that every teacher needs a fat sticker collection. That’s what makes it fun! 
  • Lip Balm – During the winter season, this can be a real life saver. 
  • Hand Sanitizer – Having hand sanitizer can help prevent both the teacher and the kids from getting sick. It’s a practical gift for sure, but still one that would be appreciated. 
  • Expo Markers – We’ve all been there when you test like 3 markers in a row and they are all dead. Whiteboard markers are like one of the best gifts for teachers! 
  • Chalk – I know that chalk isn’t used as commonly anymore, but if your kid’s teacher has a chalk board, try giving them some. 
  • Glue Sticks – Somehow there just never seem to be enough of these. 
  • Index Cards – These can be really useful for activities in class where you don’t want to use up a whole sheet of paper per person. 
  • Desk Organizer container – A teacher’s desk can get pretty cluttered. A little organizer can go a long way to help them keep things tidy. 
  • Tissues – Especially during the allergy and cold seasons, teachers can’t get enough of these! 
  • Scissors – Somehow I can never find my scissors when I need them. Anyone else like that? Get an extra pair for your favorite instructor, since you never know when they could use them. 

Any of these would make for a great inexpensive teacher gift!

Gift Cards

 Get your kid’s teacher a gift card, if you’re wanting them to have the freedom to pick something out for themselves! 

  • Target – Since Target is a well beloved “Mom store”, pretty much any female teacher is guaranteed to appreciate a Target gift card. 
  • Walmart – Walmart tends to be seen as the reliable, budget friendly store, so teachers can use a gift card here to grab supplies for their classroom. 
  • Starbucks – A Starbucks gift card can be just the thing to brighten a teacher’s day. They will love grabbing a treat or drink on the way to work. 
  • Amazon – Another great option for a gift card is an Amazon gift card. Amazon has just about any product you could think of, so it will provide the teacher with all kinds of choices for how to use the money. 

Other gift cards would work great, these are just some popular brands with educators!

Other Cute things 

  • Nail Polish – Just a little something to bring her outfits together. 
  • Lotion – During the winter, this can really come in handy! 
  • Their favorite snack – candy bars, chips, soda, etc. 
  • Candle – Candles smell SO good! Although I know some people are weary of an open flame. You could always give them cute air freshener wall plug ins too. 
  • Mini Scented Hand Sanitizer – This is the perfect thing for them to add to their purse or school bag. After all, kids seem to carry all kinds of germs!! 
  • Succulent Plant – Low maintenance, cute, and pretty cheap. 
  • Key chain – Another small thing that can be handy. I’ve seen decorative types or ones that can hold your chapstick or key. 
  • Stamp set – These can be mice for when they are grading papers and want to add a little something. 

Teacher Basket 

If you have the time and resources, these are one of my personal favorite gifts to give teachers. They are a little more expensive and time intensive, but also very cute.

For this DIY gift idea, you get a little basket and fill it is items associated with your chosen theme. Simple as that. And the nice thing is, the possibilities are endless! 

Possible Basket themes: 

  • Summer Fun Basket – You can add anything in here from bright sunglasses to sunscreen to balloons. 
  • Movie Night Basket – Popcorn, a movie gift card/tickets, and their favorite candy! 
  • Sunshine Basket – Include all things yellow. It makes it very bright and happy. Yellow is a popular color to use, but realistically you could choose any color for a monochromatic gift. 
  • School Supplies Basket – Fill it with any number of the items I listed previously. 

Hopefully this list of cheap teacher appreciation gifts is helpful to you! And feel free to share other inexpensive teacher gifts you have given before! 

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