ask the reader–what are your tips for a frugal father’s day?

1-DSC07571Every year my father would ask for the same thing for Father’s Day: a stick of deodorant. Brute to be specific. EVERY year. And that’s exactly what he got. I don’t think he bought a stick of deodorant for himself after we were born.

It is only as an adult that I realised how frugal my father was.

To be fair his gifts weren’t entirely boring. Most Father’s Days fall on the same as my parent’s birthday (yes, they had their birthday on the same day). When I was a kid I thought all parents had their birthday together. You know, they get married on the same day then they have birthdays on the same day… To further confuse things, my father’s best friend and his wife also have their birthday on the same day.

So each year mum would buy dad something that he needed, and dad would buy mum something that he needed and they would give each other the same gift. One year they got each other a hoe for the garden, another a clock radio (the same clock radio). Exciting stuff. You can see why I have a fondness for the practical gift.

But I digress.

Generally Father’s Day gifts are for children to organise, but as our kids are still too young it’s up to me. I asked DH what he would like for Father’s Day and this was his response:

  • A sleep in
  • Some favourite food (presumably something involving steak)
  • Time to relax in front of the football and play computer games
  • A new mouse to play said computer games
  • Beer and Clinkers

That’s the thing when you have very young kids – the days (and nights) can be so intense that the best gift is some timeout.

I’ve read a lot of ideas for a frugal Father’s Day on the net, but I’m sceptical as to whether many men would really appreciate a photo frame or even a car washing kit. But maybe that’s just my husband. What’s your experience? (And for the 3.6 male readers of the blog, what do you like for Father’s Day?)

So over to you. What are your best tips for a frugal Father’s Day?

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  1. says

    Our kids are primary school aged and our school has a fathers day stall. So the boys each get $3 to buy a gift. That’s enough for gifts. We make him a nice breaky, cards to tell him we love him and be nice to him for the day (the same things happen for mather’s day).

    For those without a school store, most dad’s would be happy with updated photos of the family. Maybe to put into a frame on his desk or bedside table, or for his wallet.

  2. says

    I think your husband summed it up very well. What man wouldn’t like beer, fave food, and a peaceful afternoon? My girls always whip up something like rocky road, and a cake, and I cook ‘man’ food like steaks or a roast, and now that my son is all grown up, he can take his dad down to the pub for a beer and a game of pool. And sleeping in. Once you are a dad, it’s all about the sleep…

  3. says

    I’m happy with a 6 pack of beer and/or a counter tea at the pub goes down well.

    Socks and Jocks are good if you really want to buy something that lasts.

    My birthday is the big day, Fathers day is a bit of fun, not a big occasion.


  4. Karen says

    Hubby’s birthday is the week before Fathers Day so he added his birthday cash to the Fday budget (that I mistakenly told him) and requested a golf GPS! I kid you not.
    My usual tactic is to let the kids buy something at the school fathers day stall, like Tracey said, but it can tend to be a bit junky. fav treats are a winner too, like chocolate licorice or whatever.

  5. Astrid says

    Hubby is happy at the moment with whatever the girls make and what our eldest picks up from the Father’s Day store.

    At the moment we have financial goals, so we would both rather not spend money on something that he “may” like. I would rather hand over the cash for something that I know he wants or needs. The girls just love making things for him.

  6. says

    My little guy spent $10 today (only child – if I had 3 kids I would give them $3-$5 each.)This was at the Father’s Day Stall at school and he got some great things: new tongs (hubby loves to cook and our tongs just broke), sunshades for car, “World’s Best Dad” medal and quite a solid torch. At school, they wrote a story about a time they did something with their Dad that they really appreciated (his Dad will love this; it was a great story.) I’ll buy hubby some craft beers and there will be a sleep-in, cooked breakfast in bed and time to relax in front of the TV or computer.

  7. waltersdad says

    Since I’m the 0.6 I guess, I’ve this to suggest – a picnic at the beach with my beautiful wife and young son, that would be just perfect.

  8. says

    That’s funny about your parents having the same birthday. My dad’s birthday is at the beginning of May, so fell on Mother’s day a few times when I was growing up. We used to make breakfast in bed for both of them (usually pancakes).

    My dad also loves practical gifts, I remember getting him a microfibre cloth and scraper for cleaning the car one year and he loved it. We don’t do father’s day gifts any more, but I will call and wish him happy father’s day (we’re in different states). For Christmas and birthdays I usually give him something he can use, like movie tickets, because he really has everything he wants.

  9. Leila says

    The kids tend to pick up chocolate for their Dad, this year despite the weight loss and healthy eating regime hubs is doing he was given a bag of normal m&Ms, a bag of peanut m&ms, a large toblerone $5 (which are only ever purchased as gifts and even then when they are on sale), and a block of chocolate miss 6 brought at the school stall.
    For my father we bought a large toblerone, a box of honeycomb chocolate biscuit bites, a box of microwave popcorn, a bag of M&ms and a Dvd.
    For father in law a 6pack of beer and a Dvd.

    The Dvds to give them time out from a busy life schedule and the chocolate and beer because who doesn’t deserve a little indulgence on their special day!
    Hubs has a habit of sharing his chocolates with the family so he gets lots so he will share with each of them lol

  10. Rachel says

    Cooked (with some help from Mum) Breakie in bed. (Bacon, eggs, toast with favourite bread, mushrooms etc)

    Sleep in/lay in…watching Movies in bed or whatever he wants. cups of Tea/ Coffee without issue or argument made by the older kids.

    Something made at home or school. Practical/ usable gifts if possible eg: decorated pen holder/ story and pictures (eg: Daddy and I go to the park *photo* Daddy and I play on the swing *Picture* I like when Daddy swings me really, really, super high! etc) BBQ caddy (woodwork or sewing etc )

    If a new shed item needed then time it for the fathers day sales, eg new drill bits etc or voucher for Bunnings with a photo he can keep in his wallet after. (One year we gave a Bunnings voucher with picture and put a hole for a ribbon it is now a tree decoration, with a picture of the kids from that year.)

    We try to encourage the kids to realize its not what you spend but how much thought and effort goes into the gift.

    Washing Dads car is a great one. Mowing the lawn, cleaning gutters/ cleaning the wheelie bin…the jobs that need to be done but you know he hates.

    Why spend $2 or $5 on a nice card when you can make one, email one etc and give him a scratchy instead.
    A day of R&R, and doing whatever HE chooses. Feeling pampered and appreciated.

  11. Audra Blue says

    I have the most frugal of all Father’s Day ideas – I don’t celebrate it. Due to my fractured family, it doesn’t happen. I didn’t even realise Father’s Day had happened until after the fact. Mostly because I don’t watch commercial television and so miss all the advertisting.

    I’ve always thought retail occasions (Valentines Day, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Christmas in July etc) are just cynical grabs for cash. I shudder to think all of the money I’d be spending if I did follow the sheep and hand over my wallet.

    However, I am happy to spend on birthdays. That is a reason to celebrate!