Gift Guides

25+ Gift Ideas for Employees on a Budget [2024]

The perfect employee gift can make all the difference. It’s a great way to show recognition, improve job happiness, boost morale, and decrease turnover.

The best part? You don’t have to break the bank to show your appreciation. 

Finding the perfect inexpensive employee gift on a budget might seem challenging at first, but we’ve compiled this list of employee gifts under $30 to help you keep the costs low and smiles high. 

A helpful tip. Purchase our Simple and Savory Jerky Box in bulk for all your employees as a gift this year. It's an inexpensive gift idea for employees that's also delicious, convenient, and a crowd pleaser! 

Group of people high fiving in a circle

As a family business with great employees, we know a thing or two about treating our employees right. Some of our employees have been with us for over 25 years. The secret? Showing you care, and that’s what these gifts will do.

How did we choose what was on this list? We went straight to the source and asked our employees. Once we had a strong list of contenders, we scoured the web for the best options at the best prices. The result? A list of affordable employee gifts that are guaranteed to please.

Plus, we’ve included a few tips on how you can celebrate the holiday spirit with inexpensive Christmas gifts that will keep your employees happy and motivated through the busy season. 

So whether you're a small business owner or an HR manager for a huge corporation, here are the top inexpensive gift ideas to make employees feel valued, appreciated and acknowledged.

Let’s dive into budget-friendly gifts for employees, all under $25.

1. An All-In-One Box of Artisan Beef Jerky

An All-In-One Box of Artisan Beef Jerky

Spoiler alert, everyone loves jerky. Even if the recipient isn’t a die-hard jerky lover, there’s a good chance there’s someone in their life that is. 

The office (or zoom calls) will be buzzing with your clever, unique, and thoughtful gift. By giving the gift of jerky, you will be creating a fun, shared experience for the employees to try all the different flavors and textures. They’ll be comparing favorites, discussing the nuances of each flavor, and wanting more.

We even had a customer purchase jerky boxes and host a virtual jerky tasting with their team. 

The best part? This is an all-in-one gift solution. Simply purchase and gift. Your job as a thoughtful and creative boss is done.

Shop: People’s Choice Simple & Savory Jerky Box - $28.99

2. Gift Cards

Gift Cards

This might seem like a boring gift idea, but a gift card is the ultimate gift of customization. You can choose any price to fit your budget. 

Your employees will appreciate gift cards to their favorite stores, restaurants, and even gift cards for entertainment. It's a classic gift that never fails to please! 

Plus, employee gift cards can be personalized with your company logo on the card face. Some solutions even allow you to write personalized messages to the receiver!

You can get your team a gift card from their favorite coffee shop or perhaps a gift card to the spa after a long stressful day at work. With the different brands and establishments, you can purchase a gift card from, plus the various personalization option

Shop: Bulk Gift Cards to Retailer of Choice - From $5

3. Garden Kits

Garden Kits

Gardening is an incredibly therapeutic activity that can reduce stress levels, improve mental health, and even provide some much-needed distraction.

So gift your team members with garden kits to make their experience more rewarding. You may want to consider scented plants like lavender or basil which are known for their calming properties. 

Garden kits make a thoughtful gift idea especially for those with a green thumb. It's also a cool gift idea especially after many people got hooked to indoor gardening.

Shop: Grow Your Own Gardening Kit - $23.99

4. A Cool Tote Bag

A Cool Tote Bag

Forget boring corporate branded items like a mug, t-shirt, or tote bag with a conspicuous logo. 

Instead, spice up some brand merch with trendy prints, quotes, and embroidery. Design tote bags with cheeky and playful prints that encourage your employees to explore the world, go on a road trip, or simply achieve their dreams this coming year.

You can also gift them with unique tote bags like those made from sustainable materials which make for an eco-friendly gift idea too! 

Don't forget to include some goodies inside such as some basic office essentials, a few packets of loose tea, or might even want to include some travel pillows for those who are looking to relax after a long day at work.

Shop: Zazzle Custom Tote Bag - From $9.95

5. Customizable Gift Box

Customizable Gift Box

Inexpensive gift boxes are a great way to convey your message of appreciation. You can either go for the traditional gift box or you may opt for something more unique and creative like a personalized gift box that showcases a nice set of goodies that you can put together and neatly organize and wrap with a ribbon.

If you want to take it up a notch, you can customize it beyond the typical office supplies to something more thoughtful and appealing like a snack box —no one says no to food! 

If you want to add a personal touch to it, you may opt to add some goodies for stress relief such as a customized board game that shows your company culture and team dynamic, a bottle of hand salve for tired arms, or a portable charger or a portable power bank for those members who always need a charge.

No matter the gift inside, there’s nothing like opening up a wrapped present, even your employees who work remotely would greatly appreciate this gesture. 

There are various brands and companies that offer help in customizing gift boxes so if you do not have the time to do it yourself, you can always check them out online.

Shop: Customizable Employee Appreciation Box - From $10

6. Personalized Reusable Water Bottles

Personalized Reusable Water Bottles

Who said Hydro Flasks are not in anymore? The gift of a well-designed water bottle is a gift that keeps on giving! Personalized reusable bottles are not only functional but also super stylish.

And the fact that they're lightweight, easy to transport, and can fit virtually any bag makes them an ideal gift for almost anyone - whether it's your friend or your employee. 

For some added swag points, you may even consider writing something sweet like an encouraging message or simply their name engraved on the bottle. With people getting more conscious about their health and fitness, water bottles are one of the best personalized gifts you can give to your team members.

Shop: Camelbak Custom Water Bottles & Drinkware - From $20

7. Beer Caddy

Beer Caddy

Drinks on the boss? Now that’s a great idea! What better gift to give your employees than a gift basket filled with beer? 

Beer caddies are one of the most convenient and easy gifts, especially if you're on a tight budget.

Beer-themed gift baskets can be personalized with their favorite beer brands or varieties, snacks, and even healthy options like nuts. It’s a gift they can enjoy together or with their friends and families during happy hour. 

Shop: BARGIFTS Wooden 6-Bottle Caddy with Bottle Opener - $19.99

8. Gratitude Journals and Writing Pads

Gratitude Journals and Writing Pads

Journaling is a great way to foster self-awareness and personal growth. The gift of mental health is a great gift to give to employees. 

You can gift your employees with gratitude journals or writing pads as an encouragement for them to reflect on their accomplishments, learn from mistakes, set goals, and simply remind themselves of the good things in life even amidst challenges.

Shop: Inspirations, A Gratitude Journal - Kraft Hard Cover - $25

9. Desk Organizer Set

Desk Organizer Set

Desk organizers are perfect for those who love everything neat and organized. You can gift them with a desk organizer set that's filled with office essentials like note cards, sticky notes, envelopes, labels, tags, and even paper clips!

These items will definitely come in handy since you'll always need to jot down things or make quick memos during meetings.

Shop: The Container Store Desk Organizer Set - From $10

10. Desktop Vacuum Cleaner

Desktop Vacuum Cleaner

Neat freak employees will love a desktop vacuum cleaner.

Portable desktop vacuum cleaners are great gift items especially if your employees work in a cubicle or an office which can get dusty and messy.

Desktop vacuum cleaners will help them stay more productive and efficient throughout the day as they don't have to worry about cleaning up their desk before starting on new tasks.

Shop: Desk Vacuum Cleaner - $16.99

11. Coffee Mug

Coffee Mug

Who doesn't love coffee or tea? You can gift your employees a nice, big coffee mug to help them start their day. Coffee mugs make great personalized gift ideas, especially if you add a creative message or encouraging quote.

You may also want to consider adding in some flavored coffee beans, chocolates, or greeting cards too!

Shop: DOWAN 15 oz Coffee Mug (2 Sets) - $16.90

12. A Locally Made Premium Candle

PF Candle Company Sunset Candle 

Good smells have been scientifically proven to boost moods, productivity, and overall well-being. Smell is the strongest of the senses and is best able to influence brain activity. What better way to show your employees you care, then giving them the gift of positivity and brain health.

P.F. Candle Company is a local Los Angeles company that makes fantastic candles at a range of prices. You can order samples to find your favorite scent. 

Shop: P.F. Candle Golden Hour Sunset Candle - $24

13. Portable Power Bank

Portable Power Bank

Power banks are one of the most useful gift ideas for employees that can help them stay connected and on top of things even when they're away from their desks.

Power banks come in different sizes, so you can choose a smaller yet practical gift like lipstick-sized chargers which are ideal for travel. 

A power bank is a useful tool too for your remote employees who could be working in multiple locations and might need that extra charge from time to time.

Shop: Anker Portable Charger, 313 Power Bank - $21.99

14. Wireless Speaker

Wireless Speaker

Gift ideas for employees don't only revolve around the usual gift sets like candles and bath bombs.

One gift that has become super popular these days is wireless speakers! A wireless speaker with a crisp sound quality might come as one of the best options to invest in because it's not just practical, but also incredibly fun to gift!

So whether your team members love listening to their favorite songs, hosting a mini dance party at work, or simply having fun with audio effects while they're working, a wireless speaker would make for a great gift.

Shop: OontZ Angle Solo - Bluetooth Portable Speaker - $18.99

15. Burt’s Bees Essential Gift Set

Burt’s Bees Essential Gift Set

If you're shopping for gift ideas for employees on a budget, you'll want to think about what each person likes. For the ladies who like to take care of themselves, gift sets that include hair products or skincare are perfect.

Burt’s Bees is a stalwart in the chapstick game and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. 

Shop: Burt’s Bees Essential Gift Set - $9.98

16. Peppermint Bark Squares Gift Box from Ghirardelli

Peppermint Bark Squares Gift Box from Ghirardelli

This peppermint bark gift box from Ghirardelli is the perfect gift for mint chocolate lovers! It's shaped like a tree adorned with Peppermint Bark bites

Chocolate lovers will rejoice with this gift. Who doesn’t love chocolate? This also makes a great stocking stuffer for work.

Shop: Peppermint Bark Squares Gift Box from Ghirardelli - $17

17. Mug Warmer

GARMEE Electric Coffee Warmer

Do you have an employee who is constantly heating up their coffee? Do they spend more time at the microwave than at their desk?

A mug warmer is the perfect gift for tea or coffee lovers who always like their drinks warm. This gift will keep their drink at a constant temperature so they can enjoy it for as long as they want!

Shop: GARMEE Electric Coffee Warmer - $24.99

18. Chocolate Gift Box

Chocolate Gift Box

For those who want something sweet, gift boxes of chocolates are the way to go. It may be a little bit cliché but people never get tired of receiving chocolate as gifts because everyone loves candy no matter what age they are!

Plus, there are so many different chocolate gift boxes out there that you can easily find one that will fit the personality of the person you're gifting it to. From gift boxes with gourmet chocolates, cookies and brownies, truffles, chocolate bars, and more, you're sure to find the perfect gift for your colleague or friend.

Shop: Milk Chocolate Gift Box, Gold Ribbon - $24.95

19. Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans

While gift baskets or gift sets are great, you can't go wrong with a good old package of coffee beans!

Gift boxes of coffee beans are perfect for whoever is into specialty coffees because the aroma will surely wake them up and keep their spirits high throughout the day. This gift may be simple but it's thoughtful enough to show that you care and that you know your gift recipient well enough to give them something they'll truly enjoy.

Shop: Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend - $22.60

20.  Emergency Survival Kit

Emergency Supply Kit

This might not be the sexiest gift out there, but an emergency survival kit is an essential gift for employees. It comes in under $25, but offers the eternal gift of peace of mind.

Hopefully they never have to use it, but if the need arises, your employees will be thanking you.

Shop: Emergency Survival Kit - $19.95

21.  Wearable Blanket

Wearable Blanket

Wearable blankets are made of fleece or other soft materials and they're designed to be worn like a shawl, wrap, cape, or jacket. They come in many different colors and designs so you can choose the perfect one for your gift recipient.

Shop: Wearable Blanket - $22.95

22. Charcuterie Gift Set

Charcuterie Gift Set

A gift set of charcuterie is a great gift for any food lover!

Charcuterie is a type of French cuisine that centers around meat (usually pork) products such as ham, bacon, and sausage. A gift set usually contains a variety of different meats, cheeses, and other accompaniments like jams, sauces, or wine.

Shop: Savory Sampler - $24.95

23. Wellness Package

Customizable Wellness Package

Who says gift-giving has to be all about food? You may also want to consider a gift that's more personal and thoughtful like wellness packages.

And because it requires some effort, you can really show your employees how much they mean to you by spending time researching the best products out there. There are so many options these days from travel-sized cleansers, deep cleansing cream, moisturizers, toners, face masks, and other skincare essentials!

You can customize your wellness gift set by adding lip balm, a body lotion, some essential oils, or even add in a coffee mug there for a full wellness package that will soothe them while taking a break or watching tv.

Overall, a wellness gift set would be such a sweet gesture and the perfect opportunity to show appreciation for your team especially if someone is celebrating something special or just needs some pampering TLC during the holiday season. Not only will your team or coworker feel pampered, but they'll also appreciate your thoughtfulness and feel incredibly relaxed too.

See here for some wellness program examples for any budget.

24. Team Building Event

Team Building Event for Everyone to Enjoy.

If you want to give your employees something more personal, why not plan a team-building event?

Team building events like outdoor activities can be incredibly fun and rewarding for everyone and it's a great employee appreciation gift too because you don't need to spend too much on the gift itself as long as the entire team can bond over an awesome day of fun activities or just get to know each other better.

If you can't think of bulk gifts for employees, a team-building event is a motivational gift that keeps on giving--it is heartfelt and it will make them feel valued because these are things or moments rather, that they'll remember all year round! And the best part is the entire team will surely feel closer and more connected to one another after this event.

Check team-building activities here.

25. Sweet Appreciation Mailer Box

Sweet Appreciation Mailer Box

This gummy candy box is filled with delicious candies and comes in a pre-packaged mailer box that's ready to be shipped directly to your employee. Whether the employee receives this thoughtful treat box at home or at their desk, it's a sure way gift to show your appreciation.

Shop: Sweet Appreciation Candy Mailer Box - $24.60

Bottom Line

Sometimes you just have to put in a little creativity and effort to find the perfect gift ideas that are budget-friendly but are still thoughtful and unique. Hopefully this gift list will inspire you to find the perfect employee gift.

Shop Beef Jerky Gift Boxes