Honestly, for occaisional pickup use a Harbor Freight trailer will do wonders. They are much less expensive than driving around the extra weight and power of a pickup if you only need the utility once in a while. The weight of the trailer is only a couple of hundred pounds leaving alot of capacity for what you are hauling without over burdening your car. They even have fold-up versions that you can roll around on-end in the garage to save on storage space.
Mine cost 399.99 and holds 1750lbs (3/4 ton) and has been in service for about 6 years now. The only issues I have are that there is no lock on the socket for the ball and the paint begins to fade and deteriorate if left outdoors for a few years. I use it in combination with the small pickup to get larger loads of gravel, dirt, firewood, etc. home. Also great for drainage pipe, car bodies, motorcycles, block wall bricks, trash, beauty bark, carpet, all sorts of stuff.
The only thing with the trailer is that you do have to plan your trips ahead a little and parking can be a bit of a hassle sometimes, but the small trailer is really not hard to handle at all.