It’s simple to buy things for a minimalist. First of all, you know that they don’t want anything so you don’t even need to hunt down the perfect item because it’s easy enough to find.
If you truly must buy SOMETHING, ask them for what they want, point blank. Ask them for a wish list that details out EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT and stick to that list.
Instead of things, experiences.
Plenty of great experiences that could excite people of all shapes, sizes, ages, genders…:
(P.S. I focus on food because I’m always hungry and it’s consumable; once it’s eaten, it’s gone!)
- Spa days — facials, massages, sauna days, pedicure, manicures.. a luxury
- Purchase or give temporary help for them for a period of time — help for the garden, pool cleaning, snow removal, closet organization, cleaning the home
- Dinner at a very nice restaurant — gastronomy, 3 stars, etc
- Dinner at a sentimental restaurant you both enjoy / share
- A day planned where you spend it together doing things you all enjoy
- A free day off; you take the kids and babysit & they get to go out alone and do what they want for the whole day with their friends (you could even surprise them by pre-planning it ahead of time without their knowledge with their friends)
- A home-cooked meal from scratch, appetizer, main & dessert
- Or just bake delicious food/desserts you know they’ll love
- Charitable donations to an organization they support in their name
- Pre-make delicious meals to freeze so they can reach for it when they come home and don’t have to cook
GIFT CARDS / CASH
If you MUST…
I prefer cash over gift cards (won’t lock you into a store), but a gift card to a grocery store they frequent often is always welcome.
You can even do e-gift cards like at Starbucks or Indigo and send someone a gift to reload on their card rather than giving them a second physical card they’d have to use to transfer (more waste!).
You can also do things like pre-pay their cellphone or bills ahead of time (not sure how you’d do this but if you obtain their account number, you can easily add their account as Payer online and pay their bills).
Or give them a gift card that you constantly reload for their favourite coffee shop.