14 Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving Gifts to Show Gratitude to the Host

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Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for friends and family to reconnect and share gratitude over good food.

But if you’ve ever hosted the big dinner, you may not feel gratitude.

Instead, you might feel stressed from the responsibilities of cleaning, prepping, cooking, and more cleaning.

It’s a big task, and one that not everyone wants to take on.

If you’re lucky enough to get invited to someone’s home for Thanksgiving this year, show your host how grateful you are with one of these simple, budget-conscious Thanksgiving gift ideas.

14 Thanksgiving Gift Ideas for Any Budget

In less than a month, you’ll likely be searching for plenty of cheap Christmas gifts for your family. You can start early by giving your Thanksgiving dinner host a gift they’ll remember by making it unique and meaningful.

Thanksgiving Gifts - Candle1. Holiday candles

Most people love the scents of the holiday season, but most people don’t have the time to bake from scratch.

Consider gifting your host a candle that smells like a traditional holiday kitchen so they can fill their home with the scents of everything from pumpkin pie to sugar cookies even when they don’t have time to bake.

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Coasters2. Unique coasters

When dinner is done and the family retreats to the living room, your hosts may not have enough coasters for all of their guests.

Save them some worry by bringing some holiday-themed coasters they can use through Christmas and store away the rest of the year.

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Dish Towels3. Dish towels

Volunteering to do the dishes on Thanksgiving is probably the best cheap gift you can give. But why not make it extra special by bringing new dish towels for the occasion?

New dish towels also make great dinner napkins and can wipe up spills at the kids’ table.

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Wine Glass Charms4. Wine glass charms

No one wants to be caught finishing someone else’s wine. That’s why multipurpose wine glass charms can be a life-saving host gift for Thanksgiving.

These silicone charms can be used on wine glasses, snifters, and coffee mugs to help you identify everyone’s dinner drink.

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Thanksgiving gift ideas - succulent plants5. Succulents

Colder temperatures turn vibrant autumn leaves to white snow-covered hills. Add some green back into your hosts’ home with a succulent.

Flowers and other plants die quickly this time of year but even the brownest thumbs can keep a succulent til spring.

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Casserole Carrier6. Casserole carrier

One of the best Thanksgiving gift ideas is offering to bring an appetizer, a side dish, or dessert. Make your contribution extra special by bringing it in a casserole carrier that you can gift to your host.

These insulated bags have a number of uses and get a lot of use around the holidays.

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Unstable Unicorns7. Party game

Another great Thanksgiving host gift idea is a party game. Games can be a great way to break the ice while the turkey’s roasting or to keep the party going after dinner.

Card games like Unstable Unicorns and are simple for first-time players to learn, easy for your host to clean up, and fun for everyone.

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Monkey Bread Mix - Host gift for Thanksgiving8. Quick bread mix

Chances are good that your Thanksgiving host will be attending a potluck sometime in the next few weeks. You can give them the gift of saved time with a quick bread mix.

You can use your host’s preferences to find one they’ll like or you can opt for this monkey bread mix, which comes in a gift bag and only requires butter and water.

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Picture Frame9. Personalized picture frame

Families who can’t be together all year can be together in spirit through pictures.

If you’re having Thanksgiving with family you don’t see often, a great Thanksgiving gift idea is a personized picture frame.

You can even make a tradition out of it by bringing a new family photo to change out every year.

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Thanksgiving hostess gifts - biscotti10. Gourmet biscotti

No matter how much you eat at dinner, there’s always room for dessert. And the gift of food is always appreciated.

Think outside the box with a gift like gourmet biscotti. After dinner or with breakfast the next morning, your host will love to enjoy one or two with their coffee.

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Recipes book11. Recipe binder

With all the holiday recipes available on blogs and cooking shows, it can be hard to remember which ones you like and which ones flopped.

Your Thanksgiving host might appreciate a recipe binder they can use to store their favorite and most well-received recipes.

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Cheese making kit12. Homemade cheese

For the cheese-loving Thanksgiving host, give the gift of small-batch homemade cheeses from around the world.

To make the task easier for you, get a cheese-making kit with all the supplies and recipes you’ll need for a variety of cheeses.

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Dog Toy13. Dog toy

Dogs are hard to keep occupied when there’s a smorgasbord of delicious food waiting to be eaten.

Help your host keep their pup preoccupied (and away from the table) with a Thanksgiving-themed chew toy.

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14. An appetizer, side dish, or dessert

Don’t feel pressured to spend outside your budget to impress family and friends.

If you can’t afford a gift but you don’t want to come empty-handed, offering to bring an appetizer, side dish, or dessert will be much appreciated.

3 Ways to Save Money on a Thanksgiving Host Gift

Regardless of the gift you choose to bring, there are a few ways you can save money when shopping for a host gift.

1. Shop online

Even if the gift you want to get is available in-store, look for it online first. You can use discounted physical and digital gift cards from Raise.com and get cash back from shopping online at thousands of stores through rewards apps like Rakuten.

Related: 10 Best Shopping Apps for Extreme Savings Online 

2. Shop out of season

Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to buy something Thanksgiving-themed. You can save a lot of money by thinking ahead to next year and shopping for seasonal gifts right after the holiday is over.

3. Don’t be afraid to regift

If you received a gift you’ve never opened, don’t hold onto it forever hoping you’ll find a use for it. Pass it on to someone you think will actually use it. You’ll save money and keep the item from cluttering your closet.

Just be sure you’re not re-gifting to the person who gave it to you!

It Doesn’t Take Much to Show Your Appreciation

Hosting Thanksgiving is a daunting task no matter how big your family is. A meaningful gift will mean a lot to your host regardless of how much you spend. It’s not worth stressing or breaking your budget to get something expensive.

Search Pinterest for more homemade gift ideas, Etsy for unique and customized items, eBay for vintage items, or the sale section of gift stores like Anthropologie and World Market. It’s the thought that counts, not the price, so prioritize your budget and you and your host will both feel the love this Thanksgiving.

Jen Smith

Hi, I'm Jen! As a best selling author on Amazon writing about minimalism, spending less, and making more money, my work has been featured in U.S. News and World Report, Yahoo Finance, Money Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2017 my husband and I finished paying off $78,000 of debt and that's what I help others do here.

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