Father's Day is just around the corner, and if you are still in need of a gift that will not break the bank, I have come up with six affordable suggestions that can easily be acquired in the next few days.
1. Magazine subscription
While a magazine subscription might not seem very exciting, it can provide your dad with a full year of entertainment! My recommendation is to focus on a hobby. For instance, if dad is practicing his culinary skills, perhaps a subscription to Bon Appétit or Saveur would make a nice gift. Dads who are interested in brewing their own beers might enjoy something like Brew Your Own Magazine or The Beer Connoisseur Magazine.
My favorite website for finding discount magazine subscriptions is DiscountMags.com. Their prices are generally lower than you will find elsewhere, and they also offer daily magazine deals and regular coupons.
2. A new board game
In recent years, my family has really grown to love board games and can spend hours playing game after game. If your family also enjoys sitting around a table and being engrossed in a game for hours on end, why not get your dad a new board game to play -- and then commit to playing it with him that afternoon. These days, some games can be fairly expensive, but if you pick up a game that will be played repeatedly over the years, it will wind up being a sound investment.
3. A golfing outing
Golf isn't generally the cheapest of activities, but there are a couple of different options if you are interested in spending some time out on the course with dad. First, consider taking the whole family mini-golfing. Mini-golf remains an affordable activity that will get everyone out of the house and having some fun. Alternatively, if you have a couple of hours to spare and want to get out on the green, check out the GolfZing App, which will enable you to search for discounted tee times in your area.
4. Go on a picnic
Assuming the weather is going to be nice on Sunday, it might be fun to plan a picnic outing for the entire family. Maybe you can head to the beach, or just to a local park. Pack a picnic basket with some of dad's favorite foods, bring a blanket and make sure you bring the grandkids!
Of course, if the weather is not cooperating you could set up a picnic spot in the middle of the living room, or just head out to a restaurant.
5. Your favorite book
Have you read a good book lately? If so, pick up a copy for dad to read (or give him your copy, complete with notes in the margin) and then meet him for coffee once he has finished it so that you both can discuss it together. Perhaps a book club with dad will become a regular thing!
6. Commit to spending time together
Everyone has a hectic schedule, but there is a great chance that your dad really does not want or need anything more for Father's Day other than the opportunity to spend time with you (and if that's not possible, then the opportunity to talk to you). Perhaps that means you could treat dad to brunch if you live nearby, or commit to an extra-long phone or Skype session if distance is an issue.
When I was younger, I would always ask my dad what he wanted for various holidays and his response was always, "To spend time with my kids." I should note that at the time my siblings and I were all kids and still living in the house with him! I do not think my dad is unique in this regard. If you have the time this Father's Day, commit to spending some of it with dad and that will likely be gift enough.
Father's Day for most dad isn't really about the gifts, but is instead an opportunity to say, "Thanks for being such a great dad!" Think about the activities your dad loves -- or who he loves spending time with -- and focus on that as the gift. You will likely find yourself spending less money and bringing a big smile to his face.
Lisa Koivu is the founder of ShopGirlDaily.com, a shopping blog for women who want to have the best for less.
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