21 Minimalist Gift Ideas Under $100

minimalist gift ideas

Getting gifts for people you care about is challenging, especially if you want to get them a minimalist gift!

“What is a minimalist gift?” I hear you ask.

A minimalist gift is pretty much anything that is not materialistic. The outcome of a minimalist gift often leads to meaningful experiences or consumable goods.

In this post we give you 21 minimalist gift ideas you can get for your loved ones that also happen to cost less than $100 (some are even free!).

Let’s get straight into it.

1. Deliver delicious homemade food in bulk ($40): Who doesn’t love an enormous pot of food to eat over a few days? Whether it’s a curry, stew, soup or a pasta dish, obscene amounts of comfort food always puts a smile on peoples faces. It’s also easy to prepare.

2. Premium movie tickets ($80): Grab two premium tickets to a movie premiere. The main thing here is to pick up your friend/family so they can have a couple drinks out and fully experience the premium service.

3. Write a thoughtful letter ($0): It doesn’t have to be an actual letter (although it’s a nice gesture). It could simply be an email or a long text message, expressing your love and appreciation for the other person.

4. Create a slideshow ($0): A little cliche but still effective. Put together a slideshow of images that bring up past moments you’ve experienced together. You can do this in Keynote, PowerPoint or Google Slides. Update: Google Photos and Apple Photos have features to create quick gallery slide shows.

5. Send a video message ($0): Simply record yourself on video on either your phone or computer, with once again, a thoughtful message or something funny that you both share. Take it a step further and get other people to send through video messages and compile all of them into one video file.

6. Organise outdoor activities with friends and family ($20): When was the last time you played a tug of war or had a good old-fashioned water fight? Grab a crew of important people (or fun strangers) in your life and get everyone outside to engage in outdoor activities.

7. Take a dance class together ($15-$100): No matter your skill level, dancing is a ton of fun! Why not get out of your comfort zone and take a class together? Casual classes typical start at around $15 and go all the way up to $100.

8. Buy them an online course ($10 – $100): Do you know what your friend is interested in learning? Buying them a course on how to take better photos with their iPhone, or how to become a raw food chef are gestures they would appreciate. Platforms such as Lynda and Udemy are great for little courses.

9. Buy a book (0.99c – $30): Quick game – how many books have you read that you own? Now, how many books have you read out of the ones that were given to you from a friend? I know for me, I’ve probably read 90% of the books that have been gifted to me from friends and family, while I’ve read about 40% of the total books that I own. It just goes to show that buying a book close to your heart for a friend can be powerful.

10. Go Ice Skating ($50): Much like dancing, ice skating is a fantastic way to get you and your significant other or friend out of your comfort zones and to experience something new (if you haven’t been before). For under $50 you’re creating a memorable experience.

11. BYO food party ($20-$60): A minimalist gift doesn’t just have to come from you. Why don’t you get your closest mutual friends involved and host a BYO food party? This is a great way to surprise your friend with a variety of food and good company.

12. Purchase an astrology reading ($100): Gifting an astrology reading is something a little different and perhaps unexpected. Even if your friend or family member does not know much about astrology, they would at least be intrigued. I mean, who doesn’t want to know more about themselves and what their future may hold?

13. Give 5 hours of your time to help them with anything they want ($0): What better way to show that you care than dedicating 5 hours of your undivided attention to help them with whatever they need. That may be helping them with a project or helping them finish a big task around the house. Make sure you package this professionally, so they know you mean business. Offer some dates and get them to lock in time as soon as possible.

14. Concert tickets ($100): Depending on the artist, you can pick up concert tickets for $50 per person. This doesn’t have to be limited to music. This could be a comedy show, dance performance or any other type of concert.

15. Buy a massage session ($60-$100): Doesn’t matter if you’re male, female, old, young, healthy or unhealthy, just about anyone could benefit from a nourishing massage. Make sure you pick your therapist wisely, so you ensure the best possible experience.

16. Bake a cake ($30): This is an oldie but a goodie. Roll up your sleeves, jump on Pinterest for inspiration and bake the best cake that you can. Deliver it to your friend or family member on their birthday, and I’m sure they will appreciate your effort, regardless of how your cake tastes.

17. Sporting event ($50-$100): Does your friend love sports? Why not take them to a local game? Seeing games live creates unique experiences that will be remembered for years to come.

18. Organise laser tag ($50): Laser tag was always fun as a child. What about as an adult? Still fun 🙂 Grab a group of friends and battle each other on the field. Share bragging rights then grab a meal after.

19. Offer to babysit ($0): What young parent doesn’t crave for half a day to do something fun? Maybe it’s your sister or your best friend, offering to babysit their toddler for the day goes a long way.

20. Go Bowling ($50): Another classic gift but still powerful. Take it a step further and offer to drive.

21. Charitable donation ($10-$100): Does your friend care deeply about a specific cause or issue? Maybe you could offer to donate to a trusted charity on their behalf. This will force you to do some research on what they’re passionate about which will not go unnoticed.

The best minimalist gift ideas are often experiences.

So there’s our list of minimalist gift ideas. This is just a fraction of what you could do for someone you care about, but a good start nevertheless. When in doubt, try to create a meaningful experience as opposed to copping out and buying them something that you think they will like.

The same strategy can be applied when getting gifts for children. Rather than buying them toys, take them somewhere and experience something that they will remember.

Do you have more minimalist gift ideas that don’t cost a fortune? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

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  • Hammo 04/08/2015 Reply

    What a great list. I know my family need ideas everynow and again for present ideas.

    Sometimes all it takes is a phone call and a chat to let them know you’re thinking of them.

  • Maria 18/08/2015 Reply

    I love this post. My husband and I have made the gifts we give to people for the holidays over the past 9 years. This most recent year we created a holiday video full of spirit and love, then donated to a local non-profit. The video was of us rapping Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC. It had very minimal production value, but was so full of love! It was a great way to connect with family we don’t get to see often.

    • Wow 9 years! We can learn a lot from you and your husband Maria. Love the idea of a rapping video, sounds like fun! Thank you for sharing your minimalist gift idea with us.

  • Julie 18/12/2016 Reply

    That was really helpful 🙂 Even though, I want to ask you a question. My fried has recently been really interested in the idea of minimalism and she wishes to become a minimalist. So my question is: Do you think that a homemade vegan cake and a good tea from a local tea shop are suitable gifts for Christmas? After reading your list, it appears that the answer is yes, yet I wanted to ask. 🙂

    • Sounds perfect 🙂 That would be our kind of gift! It’s nice to get a gift that’s made with love and thought. Food is always a great option!

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