Have you ever found yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to bring a gift to a party or give one for special occasions even though you don’t have a nickel to your name? If so, not all is lost.

You can still be a friend without going into financial overdrive. After all, a gift doesn’t have to be costly to be cool.

If your buddy has sophisticated taste, bestow that person with a bottle of Japan’s finest: Fushimizu Jitate sake. This bottle retails in most liquor and specialty stores for $10. It’s smooth and delicious with oh-so-exotic flavor. But what’s best about sake is that it’s a unique treat in a world of drab and predictable gift cards.

For the collector in your close circle, or for that quirky and eccentric pal who marches to the beat of his or her own drum, give the gift of champions. Pez dispensers are a fun way to express your wild sense of humor. These crunchy candies and their colorful carriers can be found in most drug stores and discount stores.

The best thing is that there’s a Pez to fit any personality or interest. Choose from Disney characters, Hello Kitty, “The Simpsons” or even Star Wars.

I’ve got my own collection at my cubicle, and everyone in my office has a blast coming by and tinkering around with each of them. Most Pez dispensers retail for around $1-$1.50.

Got a homeboy who walks around with holes in his socks and undershirts? Well, treat him like his mama would and hook him up with a fresh supply of unmentionables.

Hey, stop laughing! One of my acquaintances got this very same gift from two of his college buddies last Christmas. We all laughed it off as a gag, but it wound up being really practical for him.

You can find name brands like Hanes and Fruit of the Loom at places like Target and CVS (a pack of five shirts retails for $8.99). Just keep your gift centered on socks and tees; boxers and briefs might be a bit too personal.

Everyone loves the thoughtfulness of fresh-baked anything. Hit the baker’s aisle of your neighborhood grocery store for brownie, cake or cookie mix. Look for “just add water” varieties (like Betty Crocker Warm Delights Minis Cake Mix) that can be prepared by you with little fanfare and fewer ingredients to keep cost low.

Or if kitchen work isn’t your thing, many supermarkets sell ready-made tasty cakes, pastries and pies. For $10, you could treat someone to a week’s worth of sweetness.

Sometimes our friends are too well stocked with the good things in life. For those individuals, a charitable donation is always appropriate. Most organizations would be honored to have any denomination of assistance, so there’s no need to worry about leaving a huge amount.

I, a consummate (shopping) procrastinator, have given this gift to many of my besties who are socially conscious and hate getting new stuff that they’ll never use. A charity that I often fund is donorschoose.org. This site is dedicated to the most underappreciated working stiff known to man: the American teacher.

A gift of $10 in your friend’s name is very chic and trendy (You can notify him or her by placing the details on a handmade card crafted from recycled paper.). A donation of that size could also mean the difference between a classroom having the opportunity to create memorable and lasting projects that enrich young minds as opposed to simply sticking with boring old reading, writing and arithmetic.