To answer that question, WalletPop turned to a child.
"If you don't have any money, just make him a homemade card," said 9-year-old Paul Kingsbury, who admitted – with his dad, Dale, nearby – that he didn't know what he was going to get his dad for Father's Day this year.If you're looking for bargains when shopping for Father's Day, you're not alone. A recent PriceGrabbers survey showed 50% of consumers shopping for their dads planned spending between $25 and $99 on gifts. Of the consumers surveyed, 27% said they planned to give Dad practical gifts like tools, car accessories or appliances.
And comparison shopping is in, with 59% of the 2,950 online consumers surveyed saying they planned on looking for deals online and using comparison shopping sites. (For more on the survey, see our recent article on just where consumers were planning to search for deals.)
- Make a homemade gifts. Make a photo frame and include a photo of the two of you -- this works especially well for the kids. Or bake him his favorite meal or sweet treat.
- Offer to do chores. Set it up like a coupon book that Dad can redeem when he doesn't want to, say, mow the lawn, but make sure you follow through and do the work. When asked about doing some of his dad's chores for him, our nine-year-old commenter thought that was a "good idea" but quickly steered the conversation away to other suggestions.
- Give him your time. Time doesn't cost anything, and one in five surveyed for Buy.com said the thing dads wanted most for Father's Day was more time with their families.
- Schedule an outing. Going hand in hand with spending more time with the family is a road trip. It doesn't have to be far away to be fun. Spend time at a park, go to the movies, take Dad out to lunch -- the idea is just to do something to make Dad feel special.
- Appeal to his inner sports fan. Take him out to a ball game, organize a pick-up game or watch whatever his favorite sport may be on TV. "Sports is the main thing your dad is going to want to do," Paul said. He suggested buying dad a ball and glove or a hockey puck and stick. "Then he'll have to play with you," he explained. You can also get the golfer in your life accessories like tees and new golf balls.
- Buy him a new gadget. Being on a budget doesn't mean you have to shun purchasing electronics or gadgets for Father's Day. Accessories like Neoprene skins for netbooks start around $5 at Five Below and other discount stores.
- Help out the grillmeister. Is your Dad the maestro of backyard barbecues? Try getting him a new cookbook, seasoning packs or grill accessories like tongs -- many of these items can be had at discount and dollar stores for not a lot of cash. And while you're grilling up a party, add a gift certificate to a local butcher, suggested T.J. Maxx spokeswoman Laura McDowell in a statement.
- Find something for the DIY dad. Even Mr. Fix It can be treated to relatively inexpensive items like a new tool, cleaning supplies for the car, or work gloves.
- Get active. Basic stopwatches, water bottles, pedometers and other active gear like rain ponchos and hand warmers can be a welcome addition to the exerciser or outdoorsman.
- Keep him on the couch. Used video games and DVDs can be relatively cheap to buy at discount stores. Or take the rental route -- Redbox will start carrying video games this Friday among its selections. Or sign him up for a monthly Netflix account. You pay the first month; if he likes it, he can keep it up.
As for Dale Kingsbury, he said he'd be happy to know Paul is learning responsibility and "growing up right. I know that sounds super corny, but that's what I really want."