The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

Father’s Day Gifts Don’t Have to Be Costly to Be Cool

June 2, 2014

Man taking family picturePerhaps your first financial advice came from dad: Stick to a budget. Save for retirement. Pay your bills on time – wise words that dad likely adhered to as well.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot on a great gift for Father’s Day. With a little creativity, you may not even have to spend anything.

Here are some ideas for low-cost and no-cost gifts that will make dad smile:

Cook your way to his heart: Want to have dad eating out of your hand? Make his favorite meal and then serve it to him. A fancy menu isn’t necessary. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, he’ll enjoy being catered to, especially if the kids do the cooking. Just don’t put him on clean-up duty after all the feasting.

Rent his favorite movie: If dad is a movie buff, watch a few of his all-time favorite flicks with him on Father’s Day. Don’t forget to bring along some healthy snacks to enjoy during the viewing.

Make a family video: If you have a smartphone or video camera, make a family video. Create a simple script and have family members act out funny roles. Or, ask family members to record memories of their best times with dad. This inexpensive Father’s Day gift will be treasured long after the holiday itself has passed.

Words of wisdom: Could the words of wisdom uttered by dad fill a book? If so, compile them into a journal, along with the best lessons you’ve learned. You could also write about family history, past vacations, or funny family moments. You don’t have to spend much, since inexpensive journals can be found at discount stores.

Offer voucher services: Hand-print some “vouchers” for services you could do, especially for tasks that dad might appreciate having someone else do, such as washing and cleaning out the car or running errands. Or, simply offer a night of uninterrupted reading or television viewing.

Kid made card for fatherBuy a magazine subscription: Whether his interests center on sports, science, politics or fitness, there’s a magazine to match his interest. For a reasonable cost, you can buy a subscription that will provide a year’s worth of reading on his favorite topic. Or, encourage him to take up a new hobby by buying him a subscription keyed to a subject you’re sure will peak his interest.

Give a handmade gift: Dads love gifts made by kids. Check online craft sites for instructions for making simple, inexpensive gifts such as bookmarks, key chains, picture collages, fabric wallets, laptop sleeves, and even barbecue aprons.

Team with dad to play a game: Tickets to sporting events may or may not be out of your price range, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share the joy of a backyard sport with dad. Toss a Frisbee or some horseshoes. Purchase a used croquet set and knock around a few balls. Or, set up a volleyball net and invite a few neighbors to join in a game.

Search for freebies: You can find a hodgepodge of free stuff related to Father’s Day on websites, such as There, you’ll find links to products and services related to Father’s Day, such as digital greeting cards and wallpaper for computer desktops.

Are there any inexpensive, yet memorable Father’s Day gifts you’d like to add to our list? Share them with us in the “Comments” below.

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