Teachers often spend part of their own salary on school supplies. Depending on where you live, your child's teacher may be buying pencils, paper, rulers, chalk, markers, crayons, books and any number of art supplies. You can help defray those costs by buying some of those materials yourself, providing cash for supplies or giving your child's teacher a gift certificate to a local office supply, variety or art store. It isn't the most dramatic or personal gift you could choose, but it's one that will almost certainly be appreciated. If you know that supplies are needed at your child's school, watch for sales and collect supplies throughout the school year. That way you'll have them ready when the occasion calls for it.