What Can I Get My Dad for Father’s Day . . . that Won’t Break the Bank?

What can I get my dad for Father’s Day . . . that won’t break the bank?

We are all suffering to some degree from the economic crisis. It isn’t just Americans — countries around the world are feeling the belt tighten.

Unfortunately, Dads appear to be yet another victim of the falling value of our money. A recent survey by the National Retail Federation suggests that the average consumer is going to spend $90.89 on Father’s Day gifts, down from last year’s $94.54. If you’re like me, you looked at that number and wondered who is buying their dad a Ferrari and throwing off the average? Seriously — I’m not a cheap gift giver, but I’ve never spent anywhere near $90 on my dad — it would embarass. Still, for those of you that want to spoil dad on a budget, spending less money doesn’t have to mean that the gift is not a special one.

Here are some great gift ideas that can be had cheap, but will not come off as stingy when Dad opens his present over breakfast in bed. The prices on these gifts range from free to well below $50.

A card and a telephone call: All that your Dad is looking for on Father’s Day is some recognition. My Dad gets upset sometimes when his kids spend money on him — he would rather we invest that money or do something for ourselves. That makes it really easy for me — I can send my Dad a card, and call him on June 21st. You aren’t a cheapskate if you do this — you’re making your love for your Dad known, and personalizing it with a hand written card. Big brownie points here.

A framed certificate: Why not print something out and have it framed? It may be cheesy, but remember back to when you were a kid and you would make all of your gifts for your parents, from ceramic ashtrays in arts and craft’s class at summer camp to pictures you drew with Crayons in Kindergarten. Continue that tradtion — print out a Dad of the Year or Best Dad Ever certificate, have it framed nicely, and don’t be surprised if your Dad puts it up in his office. You can even find Father’s Day themed certificates available for download and printing online, making your job even easier.

Coupons: With the magic of a laser printer, you can print Dad focused coupons. Offer Dad a coupon for “one lawn mowing” or “movie and popcorn night”. Not only will this gift fit comfortably in your budget, but it ensures that you’re going to do something special for your Dad later. FamilyFun.go.com offers a wide variety of handsomely designed Dad coupons you can download and print

DVD or CD: My Dad is a huge music lover. When I visit him, not five minutes goes by without talking about a musician or a new album. I take advantage of this on Father’s Day by creating a CD of Dad’s favorite music, or music I know he’ll love, and customizing the case with drawings and funny Bush quotes (he’s an avid anti-Bush guy). An alternative to a music CD would be to edit Dad a special DVD of family photos. Use your creative spirit and the possibilities are endless.

Cheers to Dad: The internet is an amazing place. Give Real, a relatively new website, gives their customers the ability to order Dad a cocktail anywhere in the US. Just purchase a gift certificate for a drink that Dad can redeemed at any bar or restaurant that accepts credit or debit cards. This means thousands of place for Dad to belly up and order his favorite cocktail. Give Real has a huge variety of drink coupons, and I know my Dad is going to love the three Guinness coupons I’m sending him.

Flowers: Mom isn’t the only one that appreciates the thoughtful gift of flowers, especially from his precious daughters. We all know that flower delivery stores offer discounts for Mother’s Day — surprise, they do so for Father’s Day as well. Flowers for Father’s Day is a unique gift that will be a talking point for Dad at his job or at home.