Looking for gift ideas for minimalists can be a challenge.
What are you supposed to get for the person who doesn’t want things?
You know they don’t want stuff they don’t need, and probably even consider themselves anti-consumerist, meaning they actively try to avoid buying things.
Choosing gifts for a minimalist can feel really stressful! Especially when you’re on a budget too!
How can you give meaningful minimalist gifts on a small budget without giving people stuff that they don’t need?
How to handle gifts as a minimalist:
― Joshua Becker
1) Needs over wants
2) Quality over quantity
3) Experiences over possessions
4) Gift list as early as possible
5) Consumables over non consumables.
This quote by Joshua Becker, a well-known minimalist, is easy to agree with! Definitely read it again and let it sink in.
This article contains the top gifts for minimalists from all those categories (and more!) so you’ll never again wonder what to buy for the minimalist on your list!
I’m especially a fan of “needs over wants”. Pretty much any gift can be perfect for a minimalist if it’s something they actually need! The only way you’ll know what they need is to ask them to write a gift list.
When in doubt, go for quality consumable gifts. Meaningful, practical, and experience gifts are also excellent choices for minimalists.
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Keep reading for the top gifts for minimalists:
1. Give consumables as gifts
Minimalists love getting consumable gifts like food and drinks.
Like entertainment gifts, consumable gifts are great for a minimalist because once they’re used, they’re gone. There is nothing left to clutter their mind or home.
If you give something homemade or zero waste, there won’t be any garbage to clutter the environment either!
Consumable gifts that are food or beverages also save a bit of money from the grocery list so are great to give someone on a budget!
We live on a low income and would much rather have some homemade food than any object like a picture frame or sweater.
Smaller consumable gifts like a jar of gourmet jam, ½ dozen cookies, or a tin of loose leaf tea make excellent stocking stuffers for minimalists as well!
I listed a few consumable gift ideas below, or read the full list of over 100 consumable gift ideas for under $25!
Consumable gift ideas:
Their favorite beverage:
Their favorite treat:
Personal care items:
- bath bombs
- bamboo toothbrush
- whipped body butter
- hand made soap
- razor blade refills
- herbal bath salts
- body oil
- natural loofa sponge
- flavor infused olive oil
- herb infused vinegar
- gourmet jelly
- fresh fruit basket
- holiday cookies
- apple butter
- soup in a jar
- brownies in a jar
- specialty hot sauce
- gourmet mustard
- Jamaican jerk sauce
- Homemade food like jam, applesauce, pickled vegetables, deer sausage, wild caught fish
- Homemade baking such as bread, muffins, cookies
- Homemade convenience meals like freezer meals for a quick dinner on a busy night
2. Give meaningful gifts
Minimalists know the value of quality time with loved ones far surpasses any physical gift you could give.
This can be combined with giving an experience as a gift or could be a coupon to be redeemed for a massage from you.
Some meaningful gift ideas:
- Printable massage voucher
- Board game night
- Personalized photo book
- Date night coupons
- Hand written card
- Hand written letter on pretty stationery
- Customized get-out-of-chores coupons
- Dinner at a nice restaurant
- 2 tickets to do something together, like a cooking class
3. Give practical items as gifts
A minimalist usually enjoys practical gifts because they know they’re going to use them.
The difference between the usual way of giving these gifts, and giving them to a minimalist is that you need to make sure that the person actually wants the exact item that you’re getting.
You need to ask them what they want, or listen carefully into conversations and find out what they’ve been talking about.
See what they like on social media. Perhaps the brands they follow might give you a bit of insight as well, but it’s best to ask them to be sure.
Some examples of practical items they might like are:
- Clothes such as their favorite socks
- Cooking equipment like a good quality paring knife
- Gift cards to places they already shop, like grocery, gas, or clothing stores
The key here is basics!
Do not give a minimalist fancy things that can only be used once in a while like Christmas socks or an avocado slicer. Give them the things they already use and like.
4. Give luxury items as gifts
We all know there are tons of luxurious, minimalist gifts. At least the aesthetic is minimalistic. But don’t just get a minimalist a fancy gift just because!
As with practical gifts, only get luxury items that they’ve specifically said that they want or need.
One example might be a minimalist who is planning on upgrading their bedding. If they are planning on getting new linens soon anyway, it would be great to get them a really nice sheet set as a gift!
These handmade bamboo & silk sheets from Etsy are so beautiful and surprisingly affordable!
Good quality linens are an investment but also a luxury that many minimalists wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves.
Luxury items could also include luxury experiences such as a spa treatment or float session.
This is basically the same as a experience gift. Nothing to clean up or store after it’s used!
Check Groupon for luxury items or experiences at discounted prices!
5. Give experiences as gifts
Experiences are the perfect gift for minimalists because an experience is kind of like two gifts in one.
They’ll love it because they get a gift that will be gone once used, preventing clutter, but also save them money on entertainment later on.
Bonus if you get 2 tickets so you can go together and spend quality time together!
Here are some ideas of experience gifts for minimalists:
- Mermaid swimming lessons with AquaMermaid
- Escape games
- Cooking classes
- Theatre tickets
- Museum or art gallery passes
- Concert tickets
- Sporting even tickets
Stick to your budget by checking discount companies like Groupon where they have experiences for up to 75% off!
6. Is money the perfect gift for a minimalist?
While maybe not the most popular gift on this list, it’s probably actually the most minimalist!
Your giftee is likely saving for something so you could give money towards that goal they’re saving for to help them reach it faster!
For example, it would be amazing to get some cash towards the travel funds, or house down payment!
They could even just put the money towards something they want.
Giving cash as a gift for a minimalist would be great to do because then you KNOW they’re getting something they actually want and will use.
On a side note, I read this book about the economics of gift giving.
It basically says gift giving is the worst possible way you could spend your money. The number of gifts that actually aren’t wanted or used is ridiculous.
According to the book, billions of dollars are spent on unwanted gifts each year!
The author recommends you just give money because then the person can get exactly what they want and need. Instead of spending $50 on a sweater they keep just because you gave it to them, you could just give you $50 and then they could buy a sweater (or something else) that they actually want.
A downfall of giving money is that it can get awkward if you give each other money but one person gives more than the other.
It can also be redundant if you just end up exchanging money. If you just give each other $50, you may as well not given anything at all.
Read more about minimalist finances or how minimalist millennials manage their money.
7. Make a donation in their name
This is another great option for a gift idea for minimalists because, again, there is no ‘thing’ to sit around the house collecting dust and adding to the clutter.
If they’re on a tight budget themselves, they may not have a lot of money to give to organizations they care about, so making a donation in their name is a great way to support causes they care about!
I hope this list of gifts for minimalists gave you some insight into what to get for your loved one!
The main takeaways are to really consider the person’s interests and try to find an alternative to ‘things’ whenever possible!