Nov 30, 2011

Saving Money On Teacher Gifts


Ask any teacher and I can pretty much guarantee that they will tell you to PLEASE go easy on teacher gifts. They definitely don’t want you to go broke this holiday season, and they have to find somewhere to PUT gifts from 30 (or more) students.

Let’s say that a teacher just has 30 students and she’s been teaching for 5 years. That’s 150 things that she has to figure out what to do with!

So really, don’t stress about teacher gifts, and just do something small that lets them know that you are thankful for them and how they love on your children.

My best frugal advice for teacher and neighbor gifts is to MAKE them!

Yummy food is always appreciated and it can be packaged in such cute ways!  I also think a live plant would be perfect too!

And if you are going to give your child’s teacher an actual physical gift that will not be consumed in some way then I definitely recommend something that could be used in the classroom!

Here are a few inspirational, and frugal, ideas from Pinterest (can you tell that I love Pinterest?  I would love to just have a “Things I Love From Pinterest” blog!) 🙂

(**Just click on a picture to see the instructions!**)

First off is an awesome resource created by Laurie over at Tip Junkie with 48 (yes, 48) GIFTS IN A JAR!! I absolutely love gifts in a jar, and I love that you can just get one set of ingredients and make several presents all at one time with them!

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest


Next up is Homemade Vanilla Extract! Who wouldn’t love that?? If you have some already made, then you can gift them in these super cute little bottles!


What about all of those free Softsoap bottles that we all get? Does anyone else have about a billion Softsoap bottles under their sink, or is that just me? If you’re looking to get rid of some, here’s a super cute way to do it from Design Mom!

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest


And SO CUTE!! Grab a potted plant (you could even grow it throughout the year… yes, from seeds 🙂 ) and put a message to your child’s teacher in the middle with a paper medallion (Skip To My Lou shows you how to do it!) Talk about an inexpensive, yet I’m sure much appreciated, gift!


What teacher doesn’t have a ton of clipboards? Check out these awesome customized ones! All you need is paper, spray adhesive & decorations! (And a clipboard) 🙂


And then CRAYONS! Who knew crayons could be so cute?? I might have to make one of these to put in our schoolroom too. Homeschool moms get a teacher’s gift too, right? 🙂

What other great teachers gift ideas do you have? If you are a teacher, what are the most frugal and most appreciated gifts you’ve received?

Be sure to check out all of the other AWESOME blogs that are participating in the 12 Days Of Christmas series:

Christmas Homeschool Fun
: 1+1+1=1
Christmas Decorations: Songbird
Tips for a Healthy Holiday: The Thrifty Mama
Travel Tips: Mom’s Travel Tales
Christmas Recipes: Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures
Christmas Family Fun: Life as Mom
Homemade Christmas Gifts: The Happy Housewife

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  1. something practical and useful for the classroom… air freshener, candles, stationary items, or hand made cards are still awesome! I teach 7th graders.

  2. I always love stickers… Can’t have too many stickers 🙂

  3. I’m a teacher and last year I received some homemade cookies from a student. They were so delicious and were my favorite gift of the season!

  4. Definitely stuff for the classroom, or Dunkin Donuts giftcards. We get to work so early in the morning that caffeine is a necessity. 85% of my colleagues stop at a DD on the way in. Even just $5 to spend at DD would make my day!

  5. Anything that can be used in the classroom is always a fav! Or even a card (they will be cherished forever). I teach high school

  6. Our school has a teacher wish tree. The PTO asks the teachers to list items they would like to have for the classroom, and they put those on slips of paper on the tree. If you want to buy a gift you take one of the slips. Last year my son’s teacher asked for a checkers game and coloring books for indoor recess.

  7. i already bought my sons teacher a reusable coffee mug from hallmark it says you cant scare me i teach but im thinking about doing that crayon frame too its super cute!!!!

  8. I usually do a small gift card to starbucks or just a nice card.

  9. I always give consumables like hand creams (I sell Avon) and we bake for the teachers all year long.

  10. I had a parent that was a receptionist at a Dr.’s office, her kids gave me a huge box of sticky notes and pens(that the drug reps would leave at the office). Another parent bought a 4X8 foot thing of white bathroom paneling stuff and cut it into small white boards. Another great one was “teacher rations” My high school helper realized I forgot my lunch on a regular basis and got me a mug, cans of soup, and granola bars and some of those on the go drink mixes to stash in my desk.

  11. a 10$ card at the local coffee shop!

  12. 31Gifts has thermal lunch totes for $15 and you can have their teachers name added…they have cute patterns!

  13. Chocolate!!!

  14. I got a reusable acrylic cup filled with Hershey kisses. Fairly cheap, but my favorite over the teacher mugs and more ornaments. Gift cards are always awesome!

  15. I love getting Starbucks cards, or any gift cards I can use for classroom supplies….even dollar tree! Just a card to is nice. Getting the recognition we don’t get very often is nice!

  16. I’m a middle school teacher and always love cute stationary, notepads, etc. I designed personalized stationary for my kids’ teachers on vistaprint this year and only pd shipping.

  17. I always love a surprise sonic drink! We can’t get away during the day and that is a nice treat.

  18. Being recognized during the holidays is very special to high school teachers..elementary teachers and even middle school teachers often receive gifts/cards from students, but by the time they are in high school, they no longer bother. I personally would love a card, email, or any token gift just letting me know they appreciate all the hard work we do as teachers:) Starbucks gift cards are always a very welcome surprise too! Merry Christmas to all the teachers out there!

  19. I liked receiving a mall gift card that several families bought as a group.

  20. I have been teaching for 20 years – middle school!! My favorite gift is a handwritten note from the student with a simple ornament. One of my 2 trees is dedicated solely to those ornaments and trinkets from my students over the years.

  21. One of my students gave me cookies and pjs. Always loved that and gift cards.

  22. $5 gift card to Starbucks. I got that as a teacher and now I give them out to my kids’ teachers. Simple , but fabulous!

  23. As a teacher, I always appreciate a basket with hand sanitizer, soap, expo markers, copy paper and a Coke and snack!!! I also love homemade goodies!

  24. Get with other parents and chip in $5 each and get a gift card to a restaurant.

  25. I’m a music teacher, so often I’m forgotten since I’m not the classroom teacher…even a small token makes my day just to be remembered. My favorite was a beach bag (we live in Florida near the beach.) To give, I go to Bath and Body Works outlet and stock up on clearance/sales “stress relief” products, or Yankee Candle outlet for soothing votives, to give to each teacher, then a bigger gift for the classroom teacher (gift card to a restaurant is typical.) Sometimes, the homeroom Mom will coordinate each of us giving $3-5 each and then buys one large present or gift card (instead of the teacher getting a bunch of tokens.)

  26. I’ve had students bake me cookies or brownies and I love it! I teach high school.

  27. At this time of year I always need tissues and I hate buying them myself. I think a basket with tissues and some of your homemade hand sanitizer would be a very welcome gift. I don’t eat things students give me unless I feel very confident about their home life. Pencils, pens, highlighters, notebook paper are also things my students go through pretty quickly and are always appreciated.

  28. Handmade ornaments cut out with cookie cutters and then painted. Very inexpensive and the child has to put some creativity into it. Mix 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt and 1 1/2 cup water. After cutting them out, put a hole in top of ornament(for a hanger), bake at 350 for an hour and paint after cooled. The child puts their name and the year on the back of ornament.

  29. Homemade gifts are nice but a $5 Or $10 gift card means so much. As a teacher I always loved to get a gift card for a free coffee or sandwich.

  30. We like to give “Dessert of the Month” gift certificates. We give the teacher 6 gift certificates printed on the computer (January – June) decorated by the child, and a list of desserts we are good at making. All we request is a few days advance notice of what dessert they want & when it was needed by. The teachers love it & my daughter loved baking something yummy every month.

  31. I always give them tote bags and a blanket to keep them warm.

  32. Great ideas! I’m now following you on pintrest. Carissa at 1+1+1=1 send me.

  33. Post It apple dispensers-I sell them like hotcakes on ebay!

  34. Anything but a coffee mug!
    A relative of mine is a teacher. She got some prepaid gift cards (small amounts of money — she used them on classroom supplies) and also a gift card for a massage (I think a bunch of parents chipped in on that). Both were GREATLY appreciated.
    So would a bookstore gift card, a coffee gift card or games suitable for the classroom (in my relative’s class, the kids who finish their work early can play educational games).
    Or how about a heartfelt letter from the parent about the progress Little Johnny has made under Teacher’s tutelage??? Or a similar letter from Little Johnny?

  35. Robin Wallace says:

    We are a family of seven kiddos, so I need a one-stop-shop type gift. We of course want to tell our teachers how much we love em, so we do Chick-fil-A calendars – cute & coupons they can use all year long!

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