12 Budget Friendly Teacher Appreciation Gifts

School is about to end and both teachers and kids everywhere are counting down the days until summer. It’s no secret that teaching is an intense job. I know firsthand (this is my 10th year teaching)!  There are many nights that I fall asleep thinking and worrying about other people’s children. And I know that my son’s teachers do the same. That’s why I always make sure to show my kid’s teachers some love throughout the year, but especially at the end of the school year!

Below are 12 inexpensive teacher gifts that the teacher in your life will actually love! Trust me, as a teacher, I know that these gifts will go over well!


1. Handwritten Note

By far my absolute favorite gift to receive as a teacher is not only a handwritten thank you note from my students, but from their parents as well. So often I go to school and deep down I know that I’m making a difference. But it’s nice to be recognized for that as well. The best part about this gift is that it is FREE and lasts forever! As a teacher, I have a folder that contains all the kind and thoughtful notes from both parents and students. When the days are long and I am not quite sure why I teach, I open my folder and read through the words of former students and parents. The more thoughtful and detailed, the better!

If you’re on a budget, write a kind note and attach your teacher’s favorite candy bar to it! Even if you can splurge on something more, still write the kind note. It goes a long way! 

2.  Wine Tumbler

This super cute wine tumbler is the perfect gift for any teacher right before she embarks on summer break! The best part is that it comes in TONS of colors, so you can pick your teachers favorite color. Fill it with little candies or just a kind note and you’re all set! I’m not gonna lie…I’m kind of hoping that I receive this as a teacher (if not, I might just buy it myself!). It’s under $10 and a super easy teacher gift!

3. Leather Teardrop Earrings

I love love love LOVE everything about these earrings! Not only are they super lightweight, but they are stylish and go with pretty much any outfit! I have a pair myself and they are great for wearing all day at school. Plus, you can get 8 pairs for less than $13. Okay, I’m officially adding these to my wishlist as well!

4.  Teacher’s Favorite Pens

Take it from me, these are the best pens ever!!! And getting a set of 16 pens for under $15 is an amazing deal! I always make sure I have a set of these on hand because as a teacher they are just fun.

5. Journal 

I think that every teacher needs to remember to slow down and let go at times. To be honest, that’s easier said than done. That’s why I love this journal with a daily prompt to focus on loving who you are.

6. Beaker Mug

This is the CUTEST coffee mug for a science teacher! I also have a caffeine molecule necklace that I absolutely love. I promise that any science teacher will adore this mug!

7. Tote Bag

Hands down this tote bag is ADORABLE! Plus, it’s under $20 but looks like it’s worth so much more. It also comes in a ton of color options. It’s a great gift for truly any woman!

8. Plant Hangers 

These hanging planters are the perfect addition to any home or classroom. Everyone needs a little nature in their life, so these are wonderful for your favorite teacher! They don’t come with the pots or plants, so that would be an added, but lovely cost.

9. Soy Candle

Almost every woman loves candles…especially ones that make your home smell like fresh laundry. This is a great candle that will be loved by any teacher (or woman)! Yep, I’ve officially added it to my wishlist!

10. Lunch Bag 

Most teachers get a 30-minute lunch break. And if you work in elementary school then you spend the first 5 minutes make sure your kids get through the line okay and the last 5 minutes going to the bathroom and heading back to the cafeteria to pick them up. So the thought of leaving campus to grab lunch is pretty much impossible. That’s why this lunch bag is a great teacher gift! It’s cute and practical!

11. Burt’s Bees Hand Repair Gift Set 

You can’t go wrong with this hand repair gift set! I love Burt’s Bees products and this is just what every teacher wants to buy themselves but doesn’t always splurge on!

12. Gift Cards

No teacher will say no to a gift card to their favorite store! Whether it’s a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $10Target gift card, they are always welcome! Bonus points if you give your teacher a gift card to a wine store!

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you get your teacher, just that they feel appreciated and loved. The truth is that teachers don’t teach for the money. Nope! They teach because they know that they want to make a difference in a little one’s life. And if that child happens to be your child, then it’s nice to let your teacher know that you appreciate them!