Shopping Last-Minute for Dad? Here Are 10 Ways to Stick to Your Budget

Just say no to ties, socks and underwear this year. Get your dad something he'll really love instead.

You know Father’s Day is coming, but somehow it sneaks up on you every year. Mother’s Day is hard to ignore — after all, we’re practically blanketed with commercials and print ads — but dear old dad can fall by the wayside. So here you are, days before Father’s Day with no gift strategy. You want to give your favorite father something special but you don’t want to pay a fortune. Here are 10 ways to do that.

1. Use Coupons… & Get Ideas

Sites like Coupons.com and Dealnews.com have blog posts about gift giving holidays. They’ll include deals on gifts you might already be considering, but they also have budget-friendly suggestions if you need ideas. Also keep in mind that coupons can help you save year-round.

2. Get Cash Back

A number of online retailers have cash-back offers, especially with Father’s Day around the corner. The easiest way to find out about these offers is to use a Chrome desktop extension, like the one from CouponCabin.com. It installs in seconds and notifies you of available cash-back offers as you shop online. You can get more cash back by using your cash-back rewards credit card. Don’t have one? Check out some of our favorites here, but also make sure your credit is in good standing before applying. You can get your two free credit scores on Credit.com.

3. Pound the Pavement

At this late date, you’ll likely pay expedited shipping fees to get your package on time. The one good thing about waiting until the last minute is that it’s an excuse to patronize your local merchants instead of shopping online. These shops need your business and you’re more likely to find a beautiful gift you’d never find browsing on your laptop.

4. Do It Yourself

You know what dad would really appreciate? Something you’ve made yourself. He loved that macaroni necklace you made in first grade and he’ll love what you make now. You can find tons of ideas on Pinterest by searching “Father’s Day crafts.” A lot of them are geared toward kids if you want to get your little ones in on the action, but there are good ideas for adults, too, like hand-painted signs and creative food gifts.

5. Buy Handmade

Not crafty? Buy from someone who is. Etsy has an array of handmade items. These craftspeople don’t have the overhead of larger companies so the prices are usually fair. While orders usually ship quickly based on our experience, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the shipping policies of the person you are ordering from so you know when your gift will arrive.

6. A Date With Dad

When you were a kid, did you do fun things with your dad, like hiking, riding bikes or tossing a ball around? Plan a walk down memory lane for Father’s Day and do those things you both enjoyed. And it’s free, with the exception of gas, tolls and any park admission fees.

7. Breakfast in Bed

You always think of breakfast in bed for mom on Mother’s Day. Why not a relaxing meal in bed for dad? Make his favorite breakfast, juice and coffee and include the morning paper. If you’re feeling generous, offer to take over his morning household duties while he lounges in the lap of luxury.

8. Dining Out

Maybe a meal at a local restaurant is more his speed. Before you make a reservation, check Restaurant.com for deals. You can search by city and cuisine to find offers. In many cases, you can buy a $25 voucher for $10, saving yourself $15. Because restaurants tend to offer pricey prix fixe packages for occasions like Father’s Day, convince dad to celebrate with you another day instead.

9. Safety in Numbers

Instead of tackling Father’s Day on your own, host a group gathering with your siblings or a few friends and their dads. A Father’s Day potluck brunch or dinner means less work and a reduced financial outlay. Use a site like PerfectPotluck.com or SignUpGenius.com to organize who is bringing what.

10. Ask Him

Did you ever think to ask dad what he wants for Father’s Day? He could be hoping for something that didn’t occur to you (keep pressing if he says, “oh, nothing.”) If you don’t want to appear lazy, make him a card that encourages him to choose. Give it to him a few days early (like, today) so you’ll have time to plan.

Image: AleksanderNakic

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