Hostess Gifts: They Don’t Have to Break the Bank!

frugal hostess gift ideas

You know that you should “never show up empty handed” to a party. At the same time, buying a hostess gift every time you are invited somewhere can get really expensive – so expensive that some people honestly consider staying home because they can't afford the things they've been taught are appropriate to give.

Don't be that person!

The days of expensive bottles of wine and similar gifts are done. Today, a good hostess gift can be cost effective. Here are some ideas you can use that won't make you feel like you have to choose between manners and food.

It really is the thought that counts!

Frugal Hostess Gift Ideas



Candles are a fantastic hostess gift! They're inexpensive. They're decorative. They're elegant. There are hundreds of them out there to choose from, so you should easily find one or two that suit your hostess's style and personal preferences. Try stores like Marshall's, TJ Maxx and Homegoods.


Chocolates and other candies make a great hostess gift. These don't have to be fancy (though if you have access to affordable and fancier brands of chocolate, that's a good way to go). With some cute wrapping and packaging, even Hershey Kisses can be a great hostess gift. Believe it or not, you can even make your own chocolates and candies pretty easily in your kitchen.

Cookies/Baked Goods

Your town undoubtedly has at least one bakery. Why not pay it a visit and buy a dozen of the hostess's favorite type of cookie? The great thing about this option is that, if you don't have enough for fancy bakery cookies (or whatever baked good you decide you want to give), you can make your own! Homemade cookies, cakes, and other baked things are always appreciated. Many hostesses will even appreciate them more than something store bought.

Hot Beverages

Everybody brings wine. Why not bring a selection of amazing teas or a new type of coffee? You could also give her a variety of different types of hot chocolates or ciders. For an added touch, find an inexpensive but super cute teapot to go along with the beverage mixes.

Something Wearable

You don't have to present a dress or a sweater. That would probably be a little bit weird. You can, however, give her a pretty apron. During the colder months, hats and scarves are often well received. If you're good with fiber arts or sewing, you can make these things for a fraction of what it would cost you to buy them.

Pretty Stationery

Yes, most communication is digital or pixilated now, but there are still some who appreciate sending a nice handwritten note or card once in a while. If your hostess is one of those people, give her some pretty stationery. You can order personalized stationery online for a relatively low cost.

Remember, when offering hostess gifts, you don't have to spend a bunch of money. In fact, handmade items are often better received than those that are store bought or mass-produced. So get creative! Your hostess will appreciate the thought and the time you put into offering her something she will use and love.


written by:  Erin Steiner

Erin Steiner is a freelance writer from Portland, Oregon. She writes about culture, personal finance, and other topics.

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