To skip my intro where I explain how I spent hours and hours compiling a guide of consumable gift ideas for you while convincing my husband it was arduous labor so he would take over the household tasks while I did it, click here.
Consumable Gifts Idea = Less Christmas Clutter
I have a low clutter threshold. Some people collect lots of cool decorations and gadgets and keep it all organized, neat, and beautiful.
I’m just not able to keep my house decent if it’s packed full of stuff – even cool stuff. But…
We also love big Christmases.
Which brings us to the junk-free superpower of consumable gifts.
Consumable gifts come in different forms:
- Sometimes they’re tangibles like food, toiletries and household products that get used up over time.
- Then there are consumable Christmas gifts where the recipient doesn’t actually get a physical product. They’re getting some kind of service, membership, or experience, usually presented in the form of a note or gift card.
Bonus: This type of gift is super easy to mail (since air weighs considerably less than crap).
I found So Many Clutter-Free Gift Ideas!
If you don’t have hours and hours to spend trying to figure out what clutter-free gifts to buy, don’t worry – my extreme distractibility and ability to waste time on the internet is my own consumable gift to you…
NOTE: While some of these are perfectly fine to get from Amazon, many of them can be found cheaper at Walmart, Target, or your local grocery store. I’ll try to point out anything I buy locally for less.
However, using Amazon links and images is a quick and easy way to show you what I’m talking about, even if you can find better deals somewhere else.
For the intangible gifts, I’ll try to link directly to where you can find them if I can. Most aren’t affiliate links – I’m just linking to make it easier for you to find what I mean.
Plus I’ve found I can sit in front of the tv, find consumable gift ideas for you, link to them, and pretend I’m “working.”
Because when I’m “working,” my very supportive husband cleans the kitchen.
Which is why there are about 5,000 clutter-free Christmas present ideas linked in this guide.
So you and I both win!
9 Types of Clutter-Free Gifts
I divided up this gift guide into 9 types of minimalist gifts. If you’re in a hurry, the Table of Contents below will take you quickly to the type of gift you’re interested in.
This post may contain affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy, click here. As an Amazon Associate (and from other affiliates) I earn from qualifying purchases. This doesn’t cost you anything extra and means this blog may break even someday. Who knows? It could happen…
Give an Experience for Christmas
My husband’s favorite type of consumable gift to get for Christmas is a ticket to or promise of a trip, show or family activity. I think this type of gift even trumps beer for him.
And that’s saying a lot.
The Gift of Entertainment
For the person who loves straight up entertainment, try one of these gifts. You can buy tickets to an actual event, a gift card to a box office or venue, or just write a note promising to take them to a specific future event. Here are a few ideas:
Comedy show. Either a local comedy club or tickets to a famous touring comedian.
Concert tickets. Concerts and music festivals range to fit just about any budget.
Plays, musicals, or other shows. Anything from community theater to a puppet show to a traveling Blue Man Group experience.
Movie passes: I don’t know about your theater, but ours gives a free bucket of popcorn every Christmas when you buy a gift card.
Yeah, you could share it and gift the popcorn coupon along with the gift card. But it’s not like the recipient needs to know about it. One consumable gift for your buddy, and a gift for yourself you can literally consume.
How win-win is that?
Sporting event tickets or season passes. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the big leagues, look at minor league tickets for super cheap baseball and hockey tickets.
Murder Mystery Shows.
Family game night. You can also make your own personalized entertainment gift with a family game night basket – a pizza gift card, wine, sodas, chips, salsa and an escape room in a box.
“Amusing” Consumable Gift Ideas
Another obvious choice for a consumable gift is a ticket or pass to a local amusement attraction. Here are some ideas:
Arcade card. If your arcade doesn’t offer refillable cards, give a roll of quarters and a promise to spend the day scoring at skeeball or racking up video game high scores.
Escape room (not in a box this time). Maybe no longer trendy, but we love these. It’s fun to work together as a family with hardly any bloodshed.
Traveling interactive experiencees. CluedUpp Games and other traveling companies offer interactive mysteries and crime scenes to solve as a family, usually at a local park.
Amusement park or water park passes. Buy gift cards for the next season or make your own and substitute the real thing when coaster season rolls around again.
Indoor water park. Great Wolf is always popular – pricey but Disney-level service. There are also similar budget options in a lot of areas (for instance, Splash Lagoon, which we used to go to every year).
Family fun center. All-in-one centers where one daily fee covers all the attractions – go-karts, mini golf, bowling, skating, laser tag, etc.
If you don’t have a local all-in-one complex, how about tickets to your local miniature golf course, laser tag arena, go-kart track, skating rink, and/or bowling alley?
By the way, you can usually find deals on all of these and more on Groupon or Local Flavor.
Of course, there are always restaurant and dining experiences. You can give a gift card to a restaurant or ice cream parlor, or level it up with one of the following fun experiences.
Dinner theater. Like Medieval Times. We’ve been four times. Always phenomenal.
Murder mystery dinner theater.
Picnic in a box. If your Christmas budget is smaller this year or you’d rather not be around crowds of people, how about giving a picnic in a box?
Scroll down to the food section and put together a basket of edibles. Write a note with a destination and make a plan to go to a local park. Or the beach or pretty city garden.
Try Some Exploring
Eating is way more fun than walking, but walking while looking around can be fun too. Try one of these suggestions to explore an area or venue near you.
City bus or tram tour / Tour pass to a nearby city
Hot air balloon
Local tour. If you’re broke, a great clutter-free gift idea to fit any budget is to give a homemade card along with a promise to explore the free local tours in your town with the recipient.
I live in a town famous for snack food, so a tour of a potato chip factory is a given. Do you have something like that near you?
Wine or beer tasting festival
Enriching Experience Gifts
If your recipient loves to see and learn new things or interact with wildlife, try one of these:
Petting zoo or safari tour. The Wilds is our hands-down favorite. You get to pet rhinos hanging out in a field. Very cool. For a smaller budget, try a local petting zoo or mini safari.
Museum tickets are always welcome. Find out what your recipients enjoys (art, science, nature, history) and buy a ticket to a museum where they can spend the day.
Another great consumable gift idea is paying for a class on a subject the recipient really gets into:
Hobby classes (either online or in-person)
Physical and Outdoorsy Consumable Gift Ideas
If you’re trying to find a gift for someone who likes to move and play, how about a gift card or promise to take the recipient to an:
Archery or gun range
Batting cage or driving range
Bowling alley (or one of the other physical amusements we mentioned above, like mini golf, skating, or laser tag)
Indoor skydiving park (or real skydiving if you’re feeling spendy and the recipient is adventurous)
Ski or snowboarding resort
White water rafting adventure
Horseback riding tour
Or offer to pay for:
Exercise classes (be careful with this one!)
YMCA or gym membership
A round of golf
What About a Gift for Travelers?
Giving the consumable gift of traveling may a little harder to do in the form of a gift card, but you can make your own certificate promising a night (or more) at a:
Bed and breakfast
Local or National Park Admission Passes
For the less adventurous (or just plain tired), treat them to some pampering?
Maybe even a spa day?
Or a standalone facial, massage or manicure
Another self-care idea is tickets to a local paint-and-sip night.
Or how about a gift card to a coffee shop and an invitation to spend the morning there catching up?
A great self-care idea is paying for a year of Headspace.
This app is amazing. It’s a guided meditation app. You can get a free trial to check it out for yourself (not an affiliate link – I just really love it).
His voice is so soothing…
Gift Subscriptions and Memberships
The next type of intangible consumable gift is a subscription or membership to a service.
Find out what streaming services they have and what they’d like. There are so many possibilities…
Netflix gift subscription
Or pay for a Patreon account to their favorite You Tuber or podcaster
Subscriptions & Memberships:
Another much appreciated type of service is a subscription to a meal service such as Hello Fresh or Blue Apron or Dinnerly. I’ve never tried any of these so these aren’t affiliate links, but I’m sure they’re appreciated.
Beer or Wine of the Month Club
CSA (community supported agriculture) box
Membership to BJs, Sams Club, or Costco
Subscription boxes for just about every personality or interest
Swimming pool or YMCA membership
Gifts of Service
Another consumable Christmas present idea is one that can fit any budget -including a zero budget. Providing a service (or paying for someone else to provide it). Similar to the coupon idea kids give parents…
…but different because you’ll actually follow through (unlike that bogus “I won’t fight with my sister” coupon your son recycles every year).
Pay the sitting fee for a family photo shoot
Offer to help your father-in-law set up his new computer
Give your elderly mother a gift certificate for a day of guilt-free labor – assembling furniture, moving heavy things, putting up pictures, raking
Give a night of babysitting to your sister. Or pay for a drop-off Kindergym-type service so the two of you can go shopping.
Pay for or provide cleaning services: window washing, housecleaning, gutter cleaning, power-washing, etc.
Volunteer to do something they’ve been putting off. One of the best consumable Christmas gifts ever when we had very little money was when my husband spent a day putting a plywood floor in our attic at my request so we could shove more junk up there (we hadn’t mastered the clutter free part of Christmas gifts yet).
Offer to take care of a pet or volunteer to house sit
Give a gift card to a service that digitizes old photos or videos.
Promise to download songs for your technology-inept mom (my son does this for me every year – I give him a list and they appear magically on my phone)
Does your gift recipient need a room painted? Offer to provide the painting labor.
Give a gift card to a personal clothing shopping service such as Stitch Fix or Prime Wardrobe
Or a card to a delivery service such as Shipt, Uber Eats, Insta Card, or Door Dash
Pay for a diaper service
Consumable Gifts of Food
Okay, now on to the tangible stuff.
Let’s start with the most obvious type of gift that’s consumable: food and beverages.
Hot apple cider
My husband loves the sugar-free version so much I bought him a case last Christmas.
Gourmet Hot cocoa mix in a gift set
Or buy a box of 34 individual packets and put them in everyone’s stockings
You can even make your own hot chocolate bombs if you’re crafty, using these molds.
Alcohol & Mixers
My son made my husband a “Beervent Calendar” one year that was a huge hit. He bought a variety of craft beers, wrapped them in green tissue and stacked them in a triangle. Super easy Dad gift with no January clutter!
A wonderful wine that can be mulled for Christmas is Alpine Spice. That’s not an affiliate link – we just love it. We bought a case of it one year to give out.
Liquor. Stuff stockings with airplane bottles or splurge for a fifth of their favorite.
As a mixer or flavor enhancer, I highly recommend these flavoring syrups by Monin. It’s the brand used by restaurants and bars. I found them when I wanted to replicate Olive Garden’s watermelon sangria at home.
Tie on a recipe card for the sangria below or another recipe from the Monin website.
According to reddit, this is the official recipe (and reddit never lies). I’ve made this so many times and it’s awesome.
Mix 1 ounce of ginger ale and 1 ounce of watermelon Monin syrup with 4 ounces of sweet Moscato (I love Cupcake Moscato d’Asti but any sweet Moscato works) – add some frozen berries and an orange slice. Yum!
Bloody Mary gift set. Bloody Marys are all the rage. Give them a gift set and invite yourself over to share it…
Vodka or Gin infusion kit
For anyone who likes lots of flavors and has expensive taste, they’d enjoy a basket with some gourmet enhancements:
Here’s a recipe I haven’t tried but it looks really good.
But if you want my recipe for the salsa I give as a Christmas gift every year to my friends, email me (joni @ lifeunflaked dot com) and I’ll share it. If you promise to keep it secret…
Balsamic vinegar. Here’s how to find a good one.
Herb garden starter kit
Quality health food ingredients – erythritol, xylitol, chia seeds, almond flour, etc (or a gift card to the local health food store). Or a really good sweetener like Swerve. They make an awesome sugar-free brown sugar for baking.
It’s not cheap and would make a great gift for someone who’s trying to be sugar-free on a budget.
Marinades and rubs
Sugar-free barbecue sauce. My husband loves this one. I usually buy it at the grocery store.
Lemon curd. This is delicious. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be served on scones but some of us eat it right out of the jar…
Or give the ingredients for Shake shack sauce along with the recipe printed out on an attached card.
Specialty mustards (this one is my son’s favorite – he had it in Germany and requested it the next Christmas)
Dessert is always a great Christmas gift. Everyone’s off their diets and willing to eat decadent deliciousness.
You can make some yourself or buy gourmet treats.
Homemade Dessert Gift Ideas:
Candied nuts or fruit peels
Homemade baked goods
I also make an easy peanut butter bark every Christmas to give to friends. Just melt one bag of peanut butter chips and one bag of white chocolate chips together. Add a cup of chopped pretzel sticks and a cup of chopped peanuts. Spread into a bark and put in the freezer, then break it into pieces.
Or go with the ever popular pretzel reindeer (these are so incredibly addictive that I do not ever make them! But I also don’t turn them down as a gift.
Another favorite is Christmas crack. Yum!
Fresh Dessert Gifts to Order:
If you don’t want to make your own, you can order fresh desserts that taste homemade.
Especially the petits fours from Swiss Colony. Oh my God!
I’ve also received a fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements and it was really good. Not “chocolate really good” but still really good.
And Harry & David pears are so delicious. We received these as a gift one year and started buying them at the local Harry & David outlet each year after. If you have an outlet near you, I highly recommend these as a gift (or buy some for yourself).
Packaged Gourmet Desserts
Gourmet chocolates are always welcome by anyone who’s not insane.
I’m not a big hazelnut fan but Ferrero Rocher are popular and my nephew looks forward to getting them from me every year.
And who doesn’t appreciate a much-loved gourmet food gift that’s kind enough to be available at Walmart?
Another amazing gourmet chocolate we discovered when we hosted a German student (he brought them with him as a hostess gift – bless his beautiful German heart) is Rittersport.
All the varieties are delicious and decadent. My favorites are Milk Chocolate, Cornflakes, and Butter Biscuit. My son loves the Marzipan. You can get several different varieties at Target and even Walmart sometimes.
Or go with the ever popular Christmas special – the Terry’s orange (used to be called the Tobler Orange). You can get these at just about any Walmart, Target, or drug store at Christmas time and they’re awesome. And they break apart into sections like a real orange.
Sheila Gs is one of my dad’s favorite packaged desserts.
Or try this version for the loved ones on your shopping list who are gluten-free.
Cookie butter (two of the most important words in the English language)
Meats and Savories
If desserts aren’t your recipient’s “thing,” maybe some jerky?
My family expects (okay, demands) Jack Link’s jerky in their stockings every year. And it’s easy to find at grocery stores or Walmart and is always a much-welcomed consumable gift idea as it can be pricey as an everyday snack.
This exotic meat stick gift set sounds very cool too.
And for special diets, try one of these:
Now for some non-jerky gifts…
A gift set from Hickory Farms or Omaha Steaks. Hickory Farms offers some of their smaller sets at Walmart or Target, and there’s usually a Hickory Farms kiosk at the mall each year. My husband loves their summer sausage and mustard.
specialty Foods and Other
More homemade, low cost food ideas to give as consumable gifts:
A gift card for a homemade meal.
I used to make an extra serving of entrees throughout the year and freeze them with reheating instructions and a list of anything needed to go with them. By the time Christmas came around, I’d have 20 or more entrees to give my mother-in-law as a gift. She loved not having to cook a real meal for one person and having home-cooked meals instead of Lean Cuisine.
You can do something like that or promise a gourmet dinner, depending on how good of a cook you are!
Ingredients for a meal they love. Alternatively to making them dinner, find out their favorite special meal and make a gift basket with all the non-perishable ingredients.
Or make them a specialty snack basket with all their favorites. Click here for some ideas of how to get started.
For the popcorn lover, especially one counting calories, popcorn is a great diet-friendly idea. Especially if you get the good stuff. We are popcorn freaks and here’s our favorite combo:
Amish popcorn (I buy ours at Rural King farm supply)
Popcorn salt (possibly available at grocery stores for less)
popcorn spray (possibly available at the grocery store for less)
Or maybe some gourmet popcorn already popped if calories aren’t an issue. Our movie theater sells popcorn to go!
And here’s the oil and flavoring theaters use – we haven’t taken the plunge to try this yet (since it only comes in bulky containers) but it’s on our list to try. I think Sam’s Club even has this seasoning salt.
Consumable Health and Beauty Gift Ideas
If you’d rather go with health and beauty gifts over food, try one of these consumable gift ideas:
Lip balm. These by Burt’s Bees are also easy to find at Target.
Facial masks. These are the ones I use.
Body cream or body butter
Body scrubs – this one’s my favorite. It smells so good and leaves your skin soft and smooth.
Lotions. I love this one by Bath & Body Works (usually available in their stores each Christmas but they sell out quickly)
Specialty soaps. Ross and TJ Maxx usually have lots of these. Or you can buy these from Amazon – they smell just like the beach.
Cuticle oil stick. These are the best! They smell really good too. I keep one in my car and one in my backpack.
Other manicure supplies – orange sticks, nail files
Foot soak or foot cream
For the person who hates the smell or dryness of hand sanitizers, this will be so appreciated. I have these everywhere in my car and house.
This spray doesn’t dry out your hands and the smell is so subtle and fresh you can put it on and it won’t affect the taste of your French fries.
Which is crucial.
Hobby Supplies Your Favorite Crafter Will Love
If you have a DIYer, crafter, or gardener on your list who is anti-clutter, try one of these clutter-free hobby gift suggestions:
Gardening supplies: bulbs, seeds, fertilizer
Art supplies: glue sticks, scrapbook paper, googley eyes, glitter, pomp oms
Sports stuff that needs to be replaced: arrows, ammo, golf balls
Chalk paint, wax for furniture
Consumable Gifts for the Home and Car
Next up are everyday and special gifts for the home and car. My mother-in-law is hard to buy for but loves getting pricier-than-usual consumable gifts to clean or scent her home.
My daughter-in-law loves this beach-scented candle
Wax melts – here are a few scents that most people enjoy. Plus most people who melt wax would love to have extra lightbulbs for their melter! You can get most of these locally…
Or try this really cool KFC log. My son gave my husband one last year and it was a huge hit. Did it smell fantastic? No, not really. But it smelled like fried chicken when he burned it in a campfire and made everyone laugh on Christmas Day.
Potpourri and sachets. You can find them online, at Walmart, or make your own.
Car Care Gifts
Especially loved by anyone with a new car or anyone who is fanatical about keeping their car clean are car-cleaning gifts. And not just the typical Armor All pack from Walmart – I’m talking about good quality stuff that will keep their vehicle sparkling without damage.
Invisible glass. My hands-down favorite for auto glass cleaning.
Vinyl protectant. I found this high-quality car cleaner after searching high and low for something to keep my black vinyl scuff-free.
Maguier’s gold car wash liquid. Usually available at auto parts stores.
Liquid wax. My husband and I use this and it’s amazing. It goes on without all that extra buffing and no haze. And it doesn’t seem to leave a film on the black plastic parts.
Car Wash Certificates. I love getting my car washed. It just feels so nice to have a clean car.
Stationery and Office Supply Gifts
Sharpies, highlighters (I just discovered liquid highlighters and love them so much! I’m a highlighter freak and these are the brightest). If you can’t find GoBrite, Sharpie liquid highlighters are awesome too. I’ve found both types at Walmart for less.
Dry erase markers
Label maker refills
A planner or calendar like this funny one I buy my mother-in-law each year:
Anti-affirmations desk calendar
Special post-its, file folders, notepads, pens, etc
Forever stamps (obviously available for less at the Post Office!)
Gift Ideas Like Cash But Better
Gift cards to:
Local grocery store
Multi-purpose gift cards. The ones that list several places you can use them at. Or just general prepaid Visa gift cards.
Cash divided by specific needs. My son has asked for this the past few years. He says he’s more likely not to waste it if I give him an envelope for gas, one for eating out, and one for a treat or two.
Heifer international (your donation purchases an animal for a family in need in a third-world country)
Charitable donations in the recipient’s name (find out what they care about first)
Other Minimalist Gifts
And lastly, some miscellaneous gifts for the recipient who appreciates consumable gifts.
Disposable diapers. I would have loved a gift of diapers and/or wipes when my kids were small. It sounds too practical but would have freed up cash for other things we really needed or wanted..
Replacement items for things that are worn out or low-quality if you think a better one would make their life easier.
This is great for older relatives who already have the basics, but maybe you found a new mop, packing tape dispenser, or hose sprayer that you use and love and think they might enjoy a better quality one than they have. My husband and I are at the stage where we’re investing in some better things that save time and frustration. For example, he sells on Ebay and I bought him a really nice packing tape dispenser last year to make his life easier. And he bought me a (requested) paper hole-punch that punches through 40 pages at once.
Not a 100% consumable gift but definitely a non-clutter gift if they can easily pass their old version on.
Socks and underwear
A lot of these are consumable gifts I’ve either given or received in the past (like I said, we do big Christmases!).
And some I found by polling friends and relatives to see what their favorite consumable gift ideas are.
And then, once I started searching, I went on a very long (think hours and hours spent over the course of a few weeks) rabbit hole of gift suggestions based on my search history.
Hopefully you came up with some ideas for things to buy that won’t add clutter to your home or the homes of your loved ones, no matter what their taste and no matter what your budget.
If you have any ideas for me to add, leave me a comment below!