In our local area we have several sources for reduced priced books-often they were overstocks or slightly imperfects. It is a hit and miss as to titles but I like to keep my eyes open there for books that would work.
Some teachers in middle grades have done a class photo in a mat that students can sign as a class remembrance.
One teacher kept her eye open in thrift stores and discount stores (T.J Max, Ross, etc.) for mugs.
Sometimes you can get music CD sets from Christian Book Distributors that can be broken up and are a pretty good value. Twin Sisters Products are one brand that we’ve used in Kids Clubs as a gift. Make sure you know what you are getting though. Sometimes things like this are junk, too.
One year I gave markers and a tablet with blank sheets of paper to my artistic class of first graders. Water colors could fit this category also.
Oriental Traders has a lot of items that don’t break the bank–if you watch carefully.
I have traditionally done a printed “scrapbook” of pictures I’ve taken through the year for my first graders. I watch for sales but even then this can get a little pricey. I don’t get it put together until school is out so I am pretty cheap at the end of school and for other occasions. Sometimes for the end of the year good-by gift, I divide out the candy I have left in my stash and maybe add a few stickers.