Teacher Gifts: 7 Frugal Ideas for Meaningful Gifts

This is a great time of year to show our kids’ teachers how much we appreciate them.

If money is tight this time of year, here are a few quick ideas for meaningful ‘teacher gifts’ that won’t break the bank.

1. Words from the heart. The most important part of any teacher’s present will be the accompanying letter or card that expresses your true feelings about the teacher. Make sure to include specific examples of a time when he or she made a difference in the life of your child. It’s even better if you can include a handmade card from your child, too, with a special sentiment. Then you can pair the card(s) with one of the simple and meaningful gifts below.

2. Give food gifts. You can give cakes, cookies and other confections. Save money by doing all of your baking at once (so you can buy the supplies in bulk). Purchase festive tins or boxes from a dollar store.

You can also create a gift that will keep: create cookie or soup jars as gifts. Combine layers of the dry ingredients of your favorite recipe in a large Mason jar and tie a recipe card to the jar with a festive ribbon.

3. Something handmade. Knit a scarf or hat or make a mini scrapbook album. If you have a talent for arts and crafts, making meaningful gifts probably comes easy for you. If you don’t have that particular talent, you’ll find a huge variety of surprisingly inexpensive handmade items on etsy. This site has a fantastic Gift Guide section here: http://www.etsy.com/gift-guides/ (We’re not affiliated with etsy. We just like it. A lot.)

4.Coffee or tea. Look to specialty stores for inexpensive gourmet brands that don’t cost too much. Pair the gift with some decorative mugs so the teachers can enjoy their drinks immediately. A gourmet truffle or two goes well with this type of gift.

5. Small box of stationery. Visit a warehouse office supply store for inexpensive, yet quality, stationery – or piece a set together with coordinating envelopes and cards. Add a stylish (but inexpensive) new pen and a book of stamps.

6. Make a donation in the teacher’s name. Ask your child about the causes that are near and dear to the teacher’s heart. Present the teacher with the card describing the donation made.

7. Organize a community gift.
Email makes it easy to organize a class gift. Send a quick note to the parents and ask if anyone would like to contribute, all together, for a more meaningful gift. You can ask for a certain amount, $10 or so, perhaps, or leave the amount open and ask everyone to contribute just what they can this holiday season. Some will contribute a small amount. Others will be in a position to contribute more. Use the donations to purchase a card at a bookstore, an office supply store, or a local day spa. Then present the card, signed by the parents of the class, with the gift certificate, gift card, or other special gift.

What are your favorite teacher gifts? Please add your own favorite ideas in the comments section below.

Susie Michelle Cortright is the founder of Momscape.
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  1. Great ideas, Susie!! I like to buy an inexpensive Christmas/Holiday plate and fill it with baked goods. The plate is part of the gift. They usually have them at our City Market. People who live in “the big city” can go to the Dollar Store. =] (Same as your idea #2.)

    Teacher friends of mine have told me NO MORE COFFEE MUGS! hehe

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