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What To Buy The Person Who Has Nothing

Updated on July 27, 2011

What To Buy The Person Who Has Nothing

If you think it’s hard to buy for the person who has everything, what about the person who has nothing? At a time of hardship and unemployment, more and more people need help from others. And what they need is just a little relief from the financial stress they are under. I propose gifts that may lift some burden they have in one area of their budget so they can shift their finances where it is needed the most.

Three great gifts for those in need are:

(1) The Functional Gift Basket

(2) The Useful Gift Cards

(3) Money

These gifts are for anyone’s budget and go a long way in helping others. They are simple, creative, and fun.

(1) The Functional Gift Basket

Gift baskets come in all shapes and sizes and can be made out of nearly anything. Simply fill up your “basket” with your items, use colorful tissue paper or confetti as filler, wrap in cellophane (if needed), tie or add a bow, and finish with a gift tag or card!

Here are some themed functional gift basket ideas for the person who has nothing:

  • “Laundry Day”.Great for the woman of the house.Find a great size shape laundry basket or wash tub and start filling it with some useful items such as: Towels / Hand Towels, Washcloths, Sheets, Blankets, Pillows, Laundry Detergent / Dryer Sheets, Stain Remover, and more.
  • “Spring Cleaning”. Great for the woman of the house. Get a mop bucket and fill with cleaning supplies and other goodies like: Glass Cleaner, Dusters, Rags, Wipes, Etc, All Purpose Cleaner, Hand Soap / Sanitizer Dispensers and Refills, Dish Detergent, Scrub Brush / Scour Pads / Cleaning Tools, Paper Towels, Etc.
  • “Bathroom Necessities”. Easily customized for women, men, and children. Grab a shower caddy and fill with: Shampoo / Conditioner, Razors / Shaving Cream, Lotions, Perfumes / Cologne, Soap, Medicine and First Aid Items,Toothpaste / Toothbrushes, Bath Pillow, Sponges / Loofah, Bath Oils / Salts / Bubble Bath, Bath Toys (children) and more.
  • “Getting Ready”. Easily customized for women, men, and children. Look for a good size make up or overnight bag and go nuts: Hair Dryer, Curling Iron, Hair Straightener, Hair Brush, Styling Products, Moisturizers, Deodorant, Make up, Q tips, Cotton Balls, Make up Brushes and Accessories, and other useful things.
  • “School or Office”. Easily customized for women, men, and children. Use a storage box or box from a ream of printer paper and fill it with: Pens / Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Crayons / Markers, Construction Paper, Printer Paper, Picture Frames, Printer Ink, Glue / Tape, Dry Erase Board, Calendar / Organizer, Notebooks / Writing Tablet, Journals, Stickers / Magnets, Scissors, Etc.

The ideas are endless, i.e. pet owners (filled with food, treats, and bedding for their pets), culinary basket (cooking utensils, oils, spices, etc), or even a food basket filled with non-perishables!

keep in mind the necessities that are often neglected when times are tough. Receiving one of these would be a blessing for many.

(2) The Useful Gift Cards

Don’t get me wrong, all gift cards for those in need are useful and appreciated. However, when it is a struggle to make ends meet, the last thing you want to do is find the money to get to the mall to buy items you don’t need from a store you don’t shop at. Below are my top three choices for gift cards for those that have nothing:

  • Superstores like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Target that offer retail, household, and grocery items.
  • Grocery store gift cards are wonderful. Although it is nice to receive the gift of a night out to a restaurant, a grocery card can provide for the family for multiple meals.
  • Gas cards are so perfect for those in need. As gas prices increase, families struggle to get back and forth to work, getting kids to childcare, or going to the store. These cards are extremely useful and practical.

(3) Money

It goes without saying that those in need can use financial assistance. Not everyone is in the position to help in that way. However, even if you can’t provide much but want to give cash, there is a fun way to send money as a gift: origami. Origami is the folding of paper into shapes and figures. Here are my top three fun money origami gifts:

  • Does the recipient need clothes? Take two bills of any denomination to make a shirt and pants. Grab a long toothpick and a picture of the person the gift is for and cut out the head. Tape the head to the top of the toothpick and then slide on the clothes. Make a diorama using a shoe box. Glue a thin foam block (found in the craft section) on the bottom to stand up your “character”. Create your “scene” (i.e. a clothing shop) and have fun with it.
  • Send flowers. Flowers made of money, that is. Shop for a cute teddy bear and make your origami flowers out of any denomination of bills. Using a rubber band or ribbon, tie the flowers to the bear’s hands for him to hold. Wrap and give.
  • Who says money can’t grow on trees? Purchase or make a money tree. To make one, purchase sturdy crafting wire to make a tree with branches. At the end of each branch, curl the ends (like a picture holder) to hold the “leaves” that will be made of money. Make as many branches and leaves you want out of any denomination of bills. Make sure the tree has a sturdy “trunk” so it can stand up on its own.

Gift giving is about showing someone you care. This holiday season or anytime throughout the year, give a gift that will last. Give a gift of compassion. Give a gift of need for those in need.


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    • BethBrown profile image

      BethBrown 6 years ago from Florida

      Thank you for your comments. It's good to know I'm not the only one that would love to receive one of these gifts. I got my inspiration from the Extreme Couponing shows. I thought to myself, "I could really use some of that stuff". Since the birth of my son it has been tough. I started dabbling in a little couponing myself (far from extreme) to save my family money. I was able to pay one of my sitter's half in cash and half in groceries. It was a fantastic way to help each other.

      Every year for Christmas I receive a Hickory Farms basket. It is one of my favorite gifts. Thinking about holiday gifts this year is very stressful for me. I am clipping my coupons and saving my samples for some great gift baskets!

    • twilightnera profile image

      twilightnera 6 years ago

      For someone that just lost their job, if someone gave me these things it would show that they really cared. This is a very useful article. People should give more gifts like these to others if they can afford it.