May 4 kicks off Teacher Appreciation Week and represents a chance for you to honor the men and women who lend their passion and skills to educating our children. Before you bring an apple or buy another Starbucks gift card, consider how you can be a bit more original and thoughtful in your gratitude (without overspending, of course!). Here are eight budget-friendly tips to #ThankATeacher. Show gratitude with a potted plant. Teachers show your kids how to grow and this gift signifies just that. You can pick up a pretty orchid from a local grocery store for around $12 or find inexpensive succulents at Wal-Mart. Need more ideas? Check out this post on eight plants that make great gifts from Mother Nature Network. Go with a spa gift card. Give that busy teacher in your life a chance to unwind at the spa for a massage or facial. You can save money by shopping for discount gift cards at GiftCardGranny.com and get 22% off SpaFinder gift cards. In fact, you can pick up a $25 card for just $19.50. Create a student scrapbook. Pass out scrapbook pages to each student and request that they write down a sweet, personal message or favorite classroom memory and paste a picture to go along with it. Once you compile all the pages, you'll have the perfect appreciation gift that teacher will cherish for a lifetime. Send a gift basket. With Mother's Day around the corner, online gift vendors are offering tons of promotions. For example, CouponSherpa.com has an exclusive deal for 20% off at 1-800-Baskets for any occasion, including teacher appreciation! This is a great time to send your child's teacher a fruit-and-nut or cookie-filled basket. Replenish classroom supplies. When school budgets are limited, teachers often spend their own money on classroom supplies so the kids don't suffer. This is the perfect time to replenish supplies with pencils, pens, markers, dry erasers, staples and paper. You can get creative and make a bouquet of it, too! Gift personalized classroom decor. Tap into your creative side and make a customized sign for your teacher's classroom. It can include a quirky phrase about teaching, list classroom rules or simply display the teacher's name. Etsy has an entire section dedicated to teacher signs that you can order for less than $20. Give a reusable lunch tote. Your kids aren't the only ones bringing lunch to school: teachers brown bag it, too! A stylish, reusable lunch tote would make the perfect gift for any educator. Check out the inexpensive selection at your local discount retailer, like this Igloo Fashion Tote from Target for just $8. Share social media love. The National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is promoting a social media campaign for Teacher Appreciation Week. Share a post about (and tag) a special teacher in your life with the hashtag #ThankATeacher. This is a great way to spotlight your child's teacher and show your gratitude within the community.
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