Wednesday, April 17, 2024
For men, women, and teens

Inexpensive ideas for neighbor gifts

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Written by Vera C. Last updated on .

Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this page. This helps keep this site running

Houses in a neighborhood - best gifts for neighbors

You're seeking gift ideas for neighbors, and you have several neighbors, so you're worried about gifts that could add up fast. Have no fear - here are some wonderful and affordable presents which are certain to be appreciated and which look like they cost a lot more than they did.

These are all suitable for any time of year or any purpose - whether it's a thank you gift for neighbors who helped you, a birthday gift for someone you don't know so well, Christmas gifts for the neighborhood, or gifts for new neighbors who moved in.

Most of the ideas here are non food neighbor gifts because you can't always predict who will want to eat what. If it's a neighbor you don't know particularly well, you are likely not aware of what allergies or dietary restrictions they might have. Also, if it happens to be December and you're seeking Christmas gifts for neighbors, they probably already have more than enough sweet treats and cookies around in the holiday season. Your non food gift will therefore be appreciated and noticed all the more!

Nonetheless, just in case, at the end of this article I've mentioned a few food ideas that will go over well with most people - and they're not all sweet treats.

How you package your gift has a big effect. Tie it with a cute ribbon or attach a tag with a few nice words towards your neighbor.

Best non food neighbor gift ideas

Decorative note pad - get a stunning design super cheap at the dollar store!

My favorite idea if I'm getting gifts for multiple neighbors is a bold decorative note pad. You don't even have to go anywhere if you'd rather not - you can actually order these from the Dollar Tree online. As an added bonus, it's cheap and won't hurt your wallet. I prefer the kind of notebook that's spiral bound with a beautiful cover. The spiral binding means that your neighbors can use it for notes where they can tear out the page after and bring it with them if needed.

If you want more of a choice of designs, you can also find multi-sets of decorative notebooks at that work out surprisingly cheap per notebook. This option is a little more expensive than the Dollar Tree but still cheaper than buying one by one at other retailers.

This is one of the best last minute gift ideas for neighbors.

Men's and women's lip balms

Buy 2 lip balms per household that are appropriate for each adult's gender. This is the ideal self-care gift that is practical and affordable. You'll want to make sure you either get gender-neutral scents or specifically a masculine and feminine one (or whichever genders the couples are).

For gender neutral lip balm that works for everyone, I recommend the Burt's Bees balms at They are clear in color and have gender neutral scents such as Vanilla Bean, Coconut & Pear, and others which go over well universally. If you get multi-packs, you can spend as little as $3.50 per lip balm.

For scents that are a little more gender specific, take a look at the lip balms on Etsy - some can be rather expensive though. If you have multiple neighbors to buy for, I recommend this product: the pick-your-own flavored lip balm from Hillstar farms on Etsy that offers the best of both worlds: cheap price point, and choice of various gender-specific scents.

An affordable jigsaw puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles are equally fun whether you're doing them alone or with a family member. This is why an affordable jigsaw puzzle makes the perfect neighbor gift. If you're buying for more than one household, I recommend saving money by searching for jigsaw puzzles under 5 dollars from This is because puzzles can otherwise become expensive quickly. You should also try the selection at - you can use their filters to limit on price point, or even Dollar Tree.

For most adults, jigsaw puzzles should be 350 to 500 pieces. Any less and it's too easy - and below 350 pieces the designs are geared towards kids. Above 500 pieces and it's too much of a challenge and your gift turns into a chore. But 350 to 500 pieces is the sweet spot!

This gift will go over well. If your neighbors will be having friends or family visit, they'll be grateful to have an evening activity on hand that isn't TV and that everyone can do together such as your puzzle gift.

Personalized cardboard coasters

If you have lots of neighbors to buy for, then go for personalized cardboard coasters on Quantities typically become cheaper per coaster the more you buy at once. Make the text of the coasters be something that works well for different households, such as "We are the best neighbors ever!" (or "We have the best neighbors ever!")

You don't need to give lots per household - they're just a cute disposable gift that they can use and which shows you're thinking of them. Either go for 4, 6 or 8 per household depending on your preference and budget.

Mini flashlight

You can get mini flashlights at Dollar Tree and most other dollar stores. If you want a really practical neighbor gift that they'll love to have and is super cheap for you, this is your best bet.

More non-food neighbor gift ideas

  • Deck of playing cards. If buying for multiple sets of neighbors, the multi-packs of playing cards on work out very cheap per deck
  • Fancy dish soap in a nice scent - organic or eco friendly dish detergent typically comes in a prettier bottle and has a more elevated look than mainstream brands
  • Small (i.e. sample-sized) body butters in men's and women's scents such as these ones from Etsy. Alternatively, the same concept but with hand cream or hand soap.
  • Christmas ornament even if it's not close to Christmas. You can get this personalized or not, depending on your budget and how well you know your neighbors

Food related neighbor gifts which are not all sweet treats

If you're open to giving your neighbor a food related gift, here are a variety of options to choose from:

  • Pasta and a fancy-looking jar of pasta sauce
  • Specialty grocery item (e.g. specialty honey)
  • Non-alcoholic drink such as a specialty soda 4 pack. This goes over particularly well with families.
  • A home made food item such as a sweet treat. My top recommendation for this is caramel slice made without coconut (see our how-to here) since it looks impressive, tastes amazing, and is easy to make. One batch is sufficient for multiple households since it's so rich that you'll need to cut pieces relatively small. This is a very affordable choice - and it's something money can't buy! Caramel slice is not usually available in stores.


It's the thought that counts. Don't spend more than you can afford. It can be easy to accidentally over-extend yourself, particularly if it's for neighbor Christmas gifts where you have multiple households to buy for at a financially difficult time of year. So don't fall into that trap. The best neighbor gifts are the ones shown above: they are inexpensive and show the recipient that you're thinking of them.

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