I Need an Inexpensive Gift for Coworkers

Give a gift without going broke.

If you're thinking "I need an inexpensive gift for coworkers" and are wondering how to find something in your budget without looking like the definition of cheapskate, you are not alone. A number of people struggle to find an appropriate gift that stays within their own personal budget and their company's gift-giving rules.

Cheap Gifts for Coworkers

Practicing frugal gift giving is something that takes a while for some people to master. While many are comfortable cutting back on their own household budgets, they find it hard to cut back on gifts for others. When it comes to coworkers, things get even more complicated. After all, you do not want to look bad in front of your peers, but you also do not want to spend your entire paycheck on the gift, either.

Whether you are looking for a cheap gift for Christmas on a tight budget or an inexpensive thank you gift, your coworkers will love these popular but cheap gifts:

  • Candy
  • Trinkets (theme to the occasion or a coworker's hobby)
  • Movie rental gift certificate with popcorn
  • Soda or favorite food
  • Mini gift baskets, made up of travel or trial size items (use samples and freebies to fill out the basket or bag)
  • Candles
  • Stationary, like notepads or matching cards with envelopes
  • Small wall decorations or crafts
  • Desk accessories (stapler, pencil caddy, envelope seals, pens)
  • Seasonal party items (napkins and matching paper plates) themed to the current time of year
  • Arranged faux or real flowers

If you are crafty, you can make frugal crafts for free and include them as part of your gift, too. Get the best deals on the items listed above and any other gift ideas you have by practicing your comparison and bargain shopping skills.

I Need an Inexpensive Gift for Coworkers: Tips

Whether you have mastered frugality or are just starting to tighten your belt, you can follow these tips to make the "I need an inexpensive gift for coworkers" shopping trip take care of itself:

  • Stay in budget. The simplest piece of advice is often the hardest. Make it easy on yourself by reviewing the company gift-giving policy and then setting your own gift budget based on the policy. Just because you can spend "up to" a particular amount does not mean you have to.
  • Small items add up. You do not have to purchase a large item for your coworkers to appreciate it. Instead, consider buying smaller, cheaper items and grouping them together. Practical items are always good gifts.
  • Consider your coworkers interests. Even if you are not exceptionally close to the coworker, you can always cruise by his or her desk and see if anything stands out, like a fishing photo. Like any other gift recipient, a coworker will appreciate even a small gift if it relates to a favorite hobby or activity.

Group Workplace Gifts

A common way to save money is to purchase gifts as a group. If you need to buy gifts for many coworkers, look for a wholesaler who will sell gifts in bulk for a discount. Items like travel coffee mugs or paperweights are often available in bulk prices. Coworkers can also purchase a larger gift together for one person. This works well for purchasing a gift for a boss or special occasion. For example, employees could each contribute a small, set amount towards a baby swing for a pregnant coworker or for a gift certificate for their boss.

Group workplace gifts are a great way to keep yourself from going into debt when you need to find an inexpensive gift for your coworkers. If this is a new idea to your workplace, consider setting up a few ground rules, such as a minimum contribution amount and a designated shopper who picks up the gift. Remember to let everyone who contributed sign a card and be present when the gift is given.


Workplace parties and gift giving can quickly get out of control. By setting a budget, sticking to it, and buying inexpensive gifts, you are sure to please your coworkers and yourself.

I Need an Inexpensive Gift for Coworkers