21 Thoughtful Budget Gift Ideas for Employees

We’ve all been there – trying to find the perfect, thoughtful, and budget-friendly gift that’s actually useful and meaningful! In […]

Mark Jackson

President at SwagDrop


We’ve all been there – trying to find the perfect, thoughtful, and budget-friendly gift that’s actually useful and meaningful!

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 21 thoughtful gift ideas for employees that won’t break the bank.

From practical items like a tumbler or coffee mug to cool swag options like branded sunglasses and messenger bags, there’s something for everyone on this list.

So take a look and find the perfect fit for your team!

Let’s jump in.

Table of Contents

1. Bounty Ceramic Mug

2. All-Natural Lip Balm

3. Paper Mate Stick Pen

4. Deluxe Grocery Shopper

5. Moleskine Soft Cover Band

6. Lanyard with Pocket Notes Pad

7. Versa Earbuds in Case

8. Non-Woven Drawstring Bag

9. Clip-N-Go Hand Sanitizer

10. Heart Stress Reliever

11. Maple Leaf Sun Ray Sunglasses

12. Claro Travel Bag

13. Reusable Sandwich Bag

14. Aluminum Bottle Opener

15. Garment Folder with Folding Board

16. Deep Moisture Bar Soap

17. 6-Can Lunch Cooler

18. Alpha Fitness Towel

19. Dual Pocket RFID Phone Wallet

20. Office Supplies Desktop Set

21. Buddy Budget Computer Backpack

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Bounty Ceramic Mug

Coffee mugs are classic swag items that will never go out of style!

Giving a high-quality personalized mug to your employees means that you’re giving them an item they’ll most likely use every day.

And what’s better than that, right? 

The Bounty ceramic mug has a classic c-handle design for a secure grip, and it also features a high-gloss finish for a stylish, glazed look. 

Plus, it’s microwave-safe, and hand-wash only.

Price range: Starting at $2.39 per item

2. All-Natural Lip Balm

How about an all-natural lip balm – a small gift that’s just perfect for making your employees feel pampered?

The label on the white container of this neutral-colored lip balm is scratch- and water-resistant and you can imprint your company logo in four high-quality colors.

Author’s Tip: You can pair this mini gift with a body lotion, a scented candle, and some essential oils for the best self-care kit combo.

Price range: Starting at $0.72 per item

3. Paper Mate Stick Pen

Pens are company swag staples because they are always useful and relevant.

The Paper Mate stick pen you see above has a slim design and is lightweight for comfort.

It also comes in different colors for you to choose from.

Author’s Tip: You can combine any drinkware of choice, a memo pad, a power bank, and a mouse pad with this one to build a great newcomers’ gift basket.

Price range: Starting at $0.40 per item

4. Deluxe Grocery Shopper

Everyone loves a durable tote bag they can take anywhere, and the deluxe grocery shopper is nothing but that.

This bag is made of non-woven material and has a large main compartment for all of your needs.

Another great bonus is it’s hand-washable!

Price range: Starting at $2.48 per item

5. Moleskine Soft Cover Band

Custom notebooks are wonderful employee gifts, as they always come in helpful for taking notes in meetings and jotting down personal thoughts.

The Moleskine soft cover band comes with a custom band and includes acid-free paper.

Price range: Starting at $1.79 per item

6. Lanyard with Pocket Notes Pad

All-time classics in the corporate world, lanyards make fantastic swag items since they can be very functional for big corporate events, trade shows, and conferences. 

We know what you’re thinking… 

How can a lanyard be a thoughtful gift? 

Well, this custom lanyard is unique because it includes a little notepad that fits in your pocket, perfect for writing down ideas and messages on the go. 

Just think of how practical this item can be in a conference where attendees might want to keep their hands free. 

Plus, it’s made of tough PVC materials that make it a good, reusable, and durable little gift.

Price range: Starting at $1.18 per item

7. Versa Earbuds in Case

Earbuds make an excellent corporate gift idea, as your entire team will need them several times in a typical week, whether for remote meetings or listening to music and winding down.

The Bullet Versa earbuds are compatible with all conventional audio devices. 

In addition, the earbuds come with a  3.5mm audio jack and a 46″ earbud cable. 

Price range: Starting at $1.18 per item

8. Non-Woven Drawstring Bag

Another merchandise classic, drawstring bags are undoubtedly very useful as your employees can take them to the gym after work or use them for a nice weekend getaway. 

The Evergreen non-woven drawstring bag is composed of polypropylene, which makes it airy enough for all-day use. 

It also contains an open storage compartment for holding your necessities and a cinching, lace-up rope clasp to keep your items secure.

Author’s Tip: You can combine office gifts like a portable charger, a stainless steel tumbler, and colorful office supplies with this cool bag to create the perfect thank-you gift or workspace goodie bag for your new employees.

Price range: Starting at $1.29 per item

9. Clip-N-Go Hand Sanitizer

Looking for a gift on a budget that everyone will use?

The clip-n-go hand sanitizer is a great gift because it’s made of 62% alcohol, guaranteeing protection!

In addition, this alcohol-based hand sanitizer comes in a carry-on container with a flip-top cap and a metal miniature carabiner, making it easy to clip to bags or a keychain.

Price range: Starting at $1.40 per item

10. Heart Stress Reliever

Squeezing stress relievers can quickly turn into a regularly effective stress-relieving technique, and that’s why we think these can make great office additions!

They also come in 100s of colors and shapes, and you can always choose something that brings out your company logo.

Author’s Tip: You can add this cute heart stress reliever to any new hires kit or home office gift set alongside matching office supplies, a custom journal, a succulent, a photo frame, and a daylight lamp to create a motivational and beautiful-looking home working environment.

Price range: Starting at $1.65 per item

11. Maple Leaf Sun Ray Sunglasses

With the Maple Leaf sun ray sunglasses, your staff members will rock out the sunny outdoors in style and coolness; so this fun swag item makes a wonderful add-on for corporate social events and team retreats.

This pair of sunglasses also comes with UV 400 protective lenses, a superb feature.

Author’s Tip: You can twin these sunglasses with a reusable water bottle to create the perfect gift for outdoor events and trade shows. 

Price range: Starting at $1.65 per item

12. Claro Travel Bag

There are always so many small items you need to store in one place when you’re on a road trip or on the go, and the Claro travel bag is the perfect gift for that.

The translucent plastic style makes locating contents in the zippered main compartment simple, and the zippered closure keeps objects safe when transporting them in a backpack, handbag, or suitcase.

Author’s Tip: This swag item can be a part of your holiday gift or Christmas gift goodies for your employees, as that time of the year screams travel. You can also add a reusable straw set, a small travel backpack, and a tech organizer with this present to create a fabulous holiday season kit.

Price range: Starting at $1.79 per item

13. Reusable Sandwich Bag

We’re all here for a handy sustainable swag gift option!

When you hand out your team reusable sandwich bags, you’ll be helping them replace single-use lunch bags with an item they can keep for a long time, which offers a practical and environmental alternative to throwaway items. 

Moreover, this sandwich bag is made of tough polyester and has a PEVA lining that’s easy to clean. 

Price range: Starting at $1.85 per item

14. Aluminum Bottle Opener

The aluminum bottle opener you see below is an affordable two-in-one swag item.

Not only does it have an opener for bottles and cans, but it also has a split key ring, so your staff members have room for any keys they’re keeping.

Price range: Starting at $0.99 per item

15. Garment Folder with Folding Board

This garment folder is one of our favorite employee gifts on a budget because it’s unique and convenient. 

This one prevents any clothing from wrinkling when traveling. 

It can hold up to 8 super practical shirts and comes with a cardboard folding board with folding instructions.

Plus,  it’s made of resilient polymer material for durability.

Price range: Starting from $2.43 per item

16. Deep-Moisture Bar Soap

This deep-moisture bar soap is definitely like no other, as it’s made with high-quality olive oil and shea butter.

Your employees will love how nourished their skin feels!

Author’s Tip: Get your hands on a yoga mat, herb growth kit, and an essential oils diffuser to couple with this well-being-focused gift, and you’ll have an impressive employee appreciation gift to celebrate milestones and special teamwork.

Price range: Starting at $3.49 per item

17. 6-Can Lunch Cooler

Your staff members will enjoy preferred food and cold drinks longer with this PEVA-insulated 6-can lunch cooler, which is made of dependable polyester. 

This cooler’s spacious main compartment zips shut securely and can hold up to six 12oz cans. 

In addition, it includes a built-in 21″ handle and an open pocket on the front for additional storage and portability.

Price range: Starting at $2.69 per item

18. Alpha Fitness Towel

The Alpha fitness towel is a smooth and lightweight polyester towel. 

Its design maximizes absorption and keeps the towel cold, giving you a long-lasting, refreshed feeling.

We’re sure your employees will enjoy incorporating this cool item into their workout gear.

Price range: Starting at $2.75 per item

19. Dual Pocket RFID Phone Wallet

No more losing cards and IDs with this cool dual pocket RFID phone wallet!

You can stick this custom fab gift to the back of your phone and conveniently store up to four cards. 

Price range: Starting at $2.98 per item

20. Office Supplies Desktop Set

Nearly everything your employees need for routine office activities is included in the office supplies desktop set

The kit includes a ballpoint pen, a mechanical pen, a colorful sticky notepad,  a color-coordinated clipboard, and little adhesive flags in five different colors.

Price range: Starting at $3.30 per item

21. Buddy Budget Computer Backpack

The Buddy budget computer backpack defines practicality and style.

This bag features a sleeve that holds most 15-inch laptops and is designed for comfortable wear with cushioned and adjustable shoulder straps.

Price range: Starting at $8.99per item

Get Great Employees’ Gifts on A Budget

We hope we have sparked interest in what to get your hands on after checking our list.

Remember that gifts are one of the best ways to show appreciation and enhance company culture, no matter the occasion!

So whether you’re looking to get your staff something for team building or a work anniversary, just know that we have you covered, and let’s stay in touch.

We’re here to help you get the best employee gifts!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What should I give my staff for Christmas on a budget?

You can give your team members the following gift options to bring the holiday spirit while staying on budget:

Q2. What gifts do employees like the most?

Employees always appreciate gift giving and receiving unique gifts as a token of appreciation for their hard work.

This includes useful and high-quality items like branded padfolios, custom backpacks, sturdy tumblers, tech gadgets, branded t-shirts, survival kits, or giving simple gifts like thank-you cards or snack boxes.

Q3. How do you show staff appreciation on a budget?

There are several ways to show staff appreciation without breaking the bank; send a company-wide recognition email, throw a virtual party, get them lunch or plan out a happy hour with bulk gifts for all.

Q4. What are some inexpensive gifts for employees?

The gift options below make wonderful inexpensive employee gifts:

  • Beer caddies 
  • Desktop organizers
  • Coffee mugs
  • Cell phone stands
  • Lip balms
  • Garden kits
  • Sticky note gift sets
  • Custom notebooks
  • Branded pens

How can we help?

If you need a hand, have an unanswered question, please fill out our contact form and our friendly sales staff will get back to you ASAP!