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Frugal minimalist gift ideas

What to buy a minimalist? What to get for the person who wants nothing?

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.
1) Needs over wants
2) Quality over quantity
3) Experiences over possessions
4) Gift list as early as possible 
5) Consumables over non consumables. 

― Joshua Becker

I’ve listed the top minimalist gift ideas to help you!

Frugal Minimalist Gift Ideas

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Keep reading for my top minimalist gift ideas:

1. Give experiences as gifts

Experiences are the perfect gift for a minimalist 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. Use coupon code: employeediscount to get 50% off trial classes!
  • Escape games
  • Cooking classes
  • Going to the theatre, museum, or concert
  • Travel

Stick to your budget by checking discount companies like Groupon where they have experiences for up to 75% off! Your frugal friend will be proud 🙂

2. 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. Perfect for maintaining a minimalist kitchen!

If you give something homemade or zero waste, there won’t be any garbage to clutter the environment either!

Consumable gifts 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 jam, ½ dozen cookies, or a tin of loose leaf tea make excellent stocking stuffers for minimalists as well!

Consumable gift ideas:

  • Homemade baking such as bread, muffins, cookies
  • Homemade convenience meals like freezer meals for a quick dinner on a busy night
  • Their favorite beverage: wine, tea, specialty coffee
  • Their favorite treat: chocolate, candies, savory snacks
  • Homegrown/hunted food like jam, applesauce, pickled vegetables, deer sausage, wild caught fish

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 (not just any socks)
  • Cooking equipment like a good quality paring knife (only if they don’t have one!). This one has really good reviews.
  • Gift cards to places they already shop, like grocery, gas, or clothing stores

The key here is basics! Do not get fancy things that can only be used once in a while like Christmas socks or an avocado slicer.

4. Give luxury items as gifts

Do not just get someone a sassy thing just because it’s fancy.

As with practical gifts, only get luxury items that they’ve specifically said that they want or need.

One example might be a frugal minimalist to has hand-me-down sheets that are falling apart. They are humbly doing the job, but it would be great to get them a nice sheet set!

Good quality linens are an investment but also a luxury that most frugal people, and many minimalists, wouldn’t buy for themselves because the ones they have are still ‘OK’.

nice linens are a great minimalist Christmas gift idea

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. Meaningful gift ideas

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:

  • Dinner at a nice restaurant
  • 2 tickets to do something together, like a cooking class
  • Homemade coupons for a massage, get-out-of-dishes night, or board game night
  • Photo book
  • Hand written card or letter

6. Is money the perfect gift for a 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!

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 frugal minimalist gift ideas 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!

Save this for future reference for gift ideas for the hard to buy for minimalist on your list.

If you’re the minimalist, share this list with family and friends so they know what to get you!

Read More about Minimalism:
Design a Minimalist Kitchen
Minimalist Kitchen List
Your Guide to Frugal Minimalist Living
Frugal Minimalist Black Friday Tips

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