Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is here! I plan to make this year special for our teachers because this is literally me every day I drop the kids off:

If you are like me {hello, fam}, the minute I walk out of school I halfway expect all of the moms in the parking lot to drop into song, musical style. This year Teacher Appreciation Week is scheduled for May 7th-11th and I generally try to give the teachers something small each day to remind them how much I appreciate them for loving on my babies. At the beginning of the year we pass out a “Likes/Dislikes” form so that we can personalize the gifts to the teachers. If you are anything like me {again}, then you lost those forms like the second week of school.

Don’t fret! I have a plan that can help us all! My kiddos each have two teachers, so that can add up if I’m not careful. I plan and think through each day so that I don’t over spend. This is what I plan to do this year ::

Gift Cards :: $5-$15

Obviously, this is the easiest way to go and probably the most appreciated by teachers. With a gift card from Target, Starbucks, Sonic, Chick Fil A, a local coffee shop, or anywhere else that you love, your teachers are able to 1) feel appreciated and loved, 2) take a hot minute to treat themselves on someone else’s dime. Teachers are human and might have tiny humans like we do that pull on their shirts or interrupt them while we are going to the bathroom. They see these gift cards as a bright moment in their day. My teachers are addicted to Diet Coke and Cherry Limeades, so Sonic gift cards for the win!

Flower Bouquet or Plant :: $5-$25

Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week | Houston Moms Blog

This one is a go-to for me. I usually pop by Trader Joe’s or HEB to get a plant or flower bouquet for the teachers. This is a small gesture that has personal feelings for me. My mom absolutely loved getting flowers at work and would beam for days at my dad for getting her a bouquet. For her, it was the most special thing she could get. {Bragging rights, am I right?} I totally get that feeling. Showing flowers off to your co-workers. Seeing the love that someone has for you is very special. And, you don’t have to spend a crazy amount of money. TJ’s has beautiful plants that a bound to make anyone’s coffee table sparkle.

Personalized Water Bottles or Coffee Mugs :: $10 and up

I know, I know. This one is always on the “no-no” side for these helpful lists, but I absolutely love this idea. As a teacher I would have loved to get something with my name on it, even if it had the apple on it! I generally make my own and I love it. These can be $10 and up, but I know that the teachers love it. Or at least, they pretend they do! You can also easily find these on Etsy or other homemade sites. Bonus points for creativity :: place a gift card inside the personalized mug!

Sweet Treats

I usually do this one through out the year. I may bring donuts on Fridays or cupcakes or cookies on a random day of the week. As a general rule, I do not bake things for the teachers. It’s not that I can’t bake. I am practically a contestant on Nailed It. But when I was a teacher, I just felt weird about eating homemade goods. I know I am probably a worry wart, but I didn’t know the kitchen the goods came from or the possible cross-contamination or the ingredients. I am in the “better safe than sorry” camp. Luckily, my friend and fellow HMB contributor Christine at The Sweet Boutique has me covered this year. Omg, y’all. Look how extra these goodies are! Never in a million years could I make anything this cute ::

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Also, as a room mom, there is also a possibility of doing class gifts. With donations from each family {even $10 each family can be significant} we have done gift card bouquets, big flower deliveries, spa or nail salon gift cards, gift cards for massages, anything from the magic lists that the room mom didn’t accidentally lose the second week of school. This is a much more economical option because it’s just $10 per family per teacher but reaps so many rewards. Also, less work!

Listen, I am NOT extra. Try as I might {or re-pin as I might} I don’t think I will ever be a Pinterest mom. Puns and creativity do not come to me naturally. Generally I buy bags and cards from the dollar store and try to let other people do the creative thing for me. This is how I keep it simple, cheap-ish, and full of love.

No one can argue that this has been a super stressful, hard year for our teachers. With #Harvey and snow days, state testing, shootings, safety concerns, walk-outs, debates, politics ON TOP OF their normal crazy, our teachers deserve to know that while I am jaunting in and out of school, I appreciate the love and concern that they have for my kids. I know that my kids  are their kiddos. When you are a teacher, your students’ happiness, education, safety, love, concerns, worries, become yours. There’s a reason why being a teacher is the most noble profession in the world and they deserve more than the $10 gift card from Sonic. They deserve our 100% full appreciation and love.

Thank you to the ones that love my kiddos. The ones that pull me to the side and tell me their concerns for my kid or that share with me when my kid does something funny. I recently got an email during the day with a video attached showing my Lizzie passing around napkins for snack time {she’s two, y’all. That’s a big deal at that age, haha} and it was the cutest thing. The teacher was remarking about how much Lizzie was helping and doing a great job, in the video, and to see Lizzie’s pride and beaming face brought tears to my eyes. I’m thankful that those hearts love my hearts.

Thank you to the teachers that will have my kiddos in the future. Lizzie’s teacher for next year has already reached out to me about her excitement to have her. She had my Kaitlyn last year and has seen Lizzie learn to walk and talk, and grow into the young little bug that she is. Next week we go to Kindergarten Round-Up and meet the teachers for Kaitlyn next year. I am terrified, but I know that those teachers will make the transition as smooth as possible and will fight for my little girl just like I would. Their future junior high and high school teachers are preparing for their arrival in a billion years. The school world revolves around our kiddos and without teachers, that world would stop. Thank you.

Thank you, teachers, for all that you do. You are appreciated more than any gift card, sweet note, or baked goods can say…but we sure will try this week to spoil you.

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Jennifer is a native outside-the-loop’er growing up and living in the Richmond/Rosenberg area. She has a Bachelors in theology and political science from Texas Lutheran University and a Masters in Liberal Arts from Texas Christian University. She and her husband Greg met in 2010 through Match.com and fell in love on their first date. They married exactly one year later and have fought lovingly and constantly since. They have two amazingly brilliant girls, Kaitlyn {June 2013} and Elizabeth {June 2015} who Jen stays home with during the day. When Jen is not curled in a little ball rocking back and forth with Peppa Pig on in the background, she can be found crafting with her Silhouette and/or binge watching The Office for the millionth time. Jen has an uncanny ability to be comfortable in almost any situation put in front of her, thanks to growing up in politics and on the debate team. Before having kids of her own, she had the opportunity to help other kids through teaching, youth ministry, and generally being a helpful, kind soul. You can check out more about Jen on IG @themommymiddle.


    • Girl, Bath & Body Works at the Outlet mall has soaps/lotions for $1.25 each (and they give you the bags!) and Trader Joe’s has beautiful (cheap) flower bouquets and 3 for $1.79 chocolate bars!!


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