Tell Us Tuesday: Frugal End of School Gifts

by Kelly · 17 comments

in Tell Us Tuesday

tell-us-tuesdayWelcome to Tell Us Tuesday!

Today’s topic is end of year gifts. Although school doesn’t end for children here in France until July 3rd (and then the poor things have to go back at the beginning of September), I know that in many other places kids are already footloose and fancy free… or just about to be! So tell me: what are your best ideas for frugal graduation gifts, teacher appreciation gifts, or end of school year treats?


1 Nancy May 26, 2009

I am friends with a couple of teachers and here’s what they tell me…..they don’t need any more coffee cups, notepads, or apple anything. What they do enjoy are hand-written thank you notes or gift cards for things that they can actually use such as to local coffee shops, bakeries or bookstores.

Nancy´s last blog post..The Summer Bucket List

2 Lynn ( May 26, 2009

I like to give practical gifts; something that will help the recent graduate in the next phase of their life. Examples – items for their first post-college apartment (pyrex pan, a favorite recipe or two and some spices or kitchen tools). I agree with Nancy about giving teachers gift cards for coffee, the movies, the bookstore, or to a craft supply store.

Lynn (´s last blog post..12 Job Search Tips for Recent College Grads and More

3 Kika May 26, 2009

For teacher appreciation gifts my husband prefers gift cards for Tim Hortons or pizza places – consumable – even homemade banana bread or fruit baskets (which he has received). The items I most dislike him to receive are candy/chocolates and more coffee mugs:) For my children’s coaches, music teachers, etc. I’ve also bought gift cards or, for women, a soy-based candle. No nick-nacks or clutter.

4 Gabriel May 26, 2009

The teachers I’ve talked to would request gift cards if they could, but if you’re buying a bunch it adds up. I buy a pack of blank cards at the craft store and make my kiddo sit down for 10 or 15 minutes to make cards.

5 blossomteacher May 26, 2009

I am a teacher, and I agree…I don’t need anything else with the word teacher on it! My mom always used to make a big batch of homemade preserves in the summer, and make sure to set enough back for each teacher to get a jar (usually just a pint). Then, she would buy homemade bread from a neighbor who baked for $2 a loaf. For under $20 (since she made the preserves no matter what), she would have enough teacher gifts to go around!

6 Kelly May 26, 2009

I love the homemade food ideas! Last year we gave chocolate cranberry cookies to my sons’ teachers’ aides (and handbound journals to the teachers) and I think they really appreciated them.

7 Lesley May 26, 2009

I tend to do a larger gift at Christmas – and something smaller like wine or cookies at the end of year.

Last year we gave Sigg Waterbottles & the teacher ‘s loved it (1 child – so I only need to buy 2 gifts, for the English & French teacher).

This year our teacher is going to France — so we’ll give her a few Euros to treat herself to a bottle of wine in Paris (or maybe it will just pay for a glass).

Here comes summer !!

8 RML May 26, 2009

Last Christmas I made gift bags full of homemade cookies – I had to make 12 of them- teachers, kindergarten staff and after school care staff…. The year before that it was only kindergarten and I bought gift cards but only for 5 people. Not sure what I will do this year – depends on cash flow!

RML´s last blog post..Garden Joy and Clutter Free Balcony

9 Jo May 28, 2009

I purchased gift cards for my son's regular classroom teacher and his gifted ed teacher. I sewed a nifty bookbag for his beloved librarian. In the past I've also given a typed copy of his latest favorite recipe and the event for which the recipe was made (related to a school event.) Handwritten notes and/or photos of my child with his teacher from an event that year are big winners, too.

10 Maria @ Mama Says Mine May 28, 2009

Definitely gift cards or homemade goodies. This year, at my kiddo’s preschool, I did gift cards for her teachers to a local ice cream shop and the PTA group (which I’m part of) did cookie bags for all the teachers. It worked out well – we each baked a few dozen cookies & divided them up so that the teachers got a great variety.

Maria @ Mama Says Mine´s last blog post..$5 Dairy Queen gift card giveaway!

11 deb May 29, 2009

Christmas I always made a big batch or two of chex n chocolate mix (party mix) which produces a large quantity, then portioned into quart zip locks and presented in gift bag with recipe (to inform of ingredients). End of year fav gift is movie pass for local theatre. Sometimes class would all go in together for a nice dept store gift card. Always love those teachers!

12 jill May 31, 2009

I agree w/no clutter gifts. We usually do a collection where everyone pitches in $5 or $10 and we get a gift card to the teacher's favorite restaurant or office supply store, makes things a lot easier.

13 Carol G June 3, 2009

I have another recommendation to add! I just bought this book “Young Guns” for my son who just graduated from college. I got it on but you can probably get it at any major bookstore. My son is SO LAZY but after he read this he realized what it takes to become successful. Now, he’s taking initiative, being proactive, and working his way up! I recommend this book 🙂

14 Lisa Smusz June 11, 2009

I’ve made these “Teacher’s Night Off” kits for several years now and the teachers always love them and say they actually use them (they don’t need another coffee mug with an apple folks!) 🙂

See full posting for Instruction Card, Photos, and full description:

1. Buy the following supplies: Popcorn boxes (from a party store or theatre concession stand), box of microwave popcorn, boxes of movie style candies (I got Jr. Mints, etc at Safeway), Gift Cards for local video store or Netflix, pkg of yellow tissue paper, and “best teacher” ribbon or button.
2. Unfold the popcorn boxes and place yellow tissue in with edges sticking up. Fill with 1 box of candy, 1 video club gift card, 1 bag of microwave popcorn and “best teacher” ribbon or button.
3. Fill out the “Teacher’s Night Off” instruction gift card (doc is posted on this blog for your use) and secure instruction card to gift or tuck inside. Write name of teacher on popcorn box.

15 Kelly June 11, 2009

Great idea Lisa! And thanks for leaving your link too.

16 Lisa Smusz June 11, 2009

Forgot to post the text for the instruction cards that you slip inside or attach to the bag:

Print the following instructions on a card of small piece of paper mounted to the front of the popcorn gift bag. Be sure to write a personal thank you note to go with it.

1. Pin “Best Teacher” ribbon on shirt before going to video store. Shamelessly solicit compliments and admiration from video store staff.

2. Use gift card to rent movie with actual plot, good dialogue, and total absence of cartoon characters.

3. Pop popcorn and place in popcorn box. Feel free to wipe buttery hands on sweat pants without fear of “setting bad example.”

4. Eat all candy in box. Do not share. If anyone approaches candy, grab box greedily and yell: “mine!” like an ill-mannered 3-year-old.

5. Repeat as necessary or until gift card runs out of credits.

<abbr>Lisa Smusz´s last blog post..MovieNightInstructions</abbr>

17 Kika June 12, 2009

I am a homeschool mom and would sure love "my students" to give me one of these at the end of the year:)

Previous post:

Next post: