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Top 5 Inexpensive Gifts For Dad on Father's Day

By Edited Aug 20, 2016 0 1

What Dad Wants For Father's Day

What does Dad really want for Father's Day that won't break the bank?  We all know the most common thought when we think of a gift for Dad used to be a new tie, but really, who wears a tie any more?

Let me tell you a secret.  Dad doesn't really want anything made of fabric.  No tie, shirt, socks, or pants.  He'll appreciate it, of course, but that's not what is on his mind.

Dad wants something that is all his.  Generally speaking, you can say that if it doesn't plug-in, communicate with something else wirelessly, serve as a tool in some way, or make his stomach happy, he doesn't really want it.

Now, mind you, I'm talking about gifts in the $10-$40 range here.  Obviously if your budget is $500, Dad has a different wish list for that.  But as the title of this article indicates, these are not expensive Father's Day gift ideas.

Here we go.

Something For The Grill


Dads like to grill.  Why?  Well, I could say it's because he likes to do his part to help out with dinner while Mom sets the table.  But the real reason is that he can get a little peace and quiet in his own little world, be outside and not be setting the table, which is a bonus.  There is also something manly about grilling and trying to get the perfect criss-cross lines on a steak or the perfectly cooked chicken.

Since this is one of Dad's happy places, a new grilling tool is in order now and then.  Don't go cheap here.  Get Dad a $10-$20 spatula that he will want to show to the neighbors.  It will last and make him a happy griller for years to come.  

Other neat grill ideas include a big tongs, fork, a wire brush, a gauge to measure the gas tank or perhaps a grilling light for nighttime grilling.  All will be winners.  Don't think about the apron.  Remember, that is made of fabric.

Something For The Tool Rack

Dad likes to build or fix things.  At least he likes to think of himself building or fixing things.  There is no house I've been to where a fine tool of some sort wasn't needed, and you can get Dad a top of the line tool for a reasonable price.  Don't think about table saws and router packages here.  Just think about the nicest hammer Dad will ever own.  If he doesn't have a high quality 25' steel tape measure you could just stop there.

A high quality tool will last a lifetime but not many people will ever really buy themselves one.  Go ahead and put that on your list.  This idea may take some planning, though, especially if you're not sure what Dad really needs.  You could inspect his garage for some old broken down tool that needs replacement or you could ask, but asking in June is risky.  Better to start earlier in the Spring.

Just remember not to ask him to specifically, because if you put the thought in Dad's head that he needs a new hammer you know he'll go to the store and buy one and not tell anybody.  Be discreet.

Something To Drink

Do you know what Dad drinks?  Is it a house brand of something that he would upgrade if he wasn't buying?  Consider a fine bottle of top shelf liquor or high quality beer for dear old Dad.  Heck, he might even pour a glass and head straight out to the grill to make you dinner if you do.

You see, Dad's don't like a lot of stuff, but they do like food and drink, so you really can't go wrong here unless, of course, Dad has a drinking problem.  If Dad likes a good glass of wine but doesn't know what he's doing in the liquor store, a fine bottle of wine or two is a nice gift as well.

Let's face it, most people have no clue how to pick out a good wine, so do some research, ask around, and score on this one.  If you are a wine drinker, as an added bonus you get to share Dad's gift.  After all, he wouldn't want it to go bad, right?

Something To Eat

We would have to follow something to drink with something to eat wouldn't we?  Remember, Dad likes to grill, so a box of high quality steaks would be a big hit.  Don't go nuts, stay within the budget, but a 4 pack of first class beef can be reasonably priced.  You wouldn't buy it every day, but this is Father's Day.

jelly beans

If you want to stay away from the grill, the next best thing for Dad is candy.  He probably has a little stash somewhere in the house that he thinks Mom doesn't know about, but you could give him permission to eat sweets right out in the open.  At least until it is gone.

Consider a decorative candy jar or dispenser that can live in the family room and grab a big bag of M&Ms to put in it.  All dads like those. 

A Toy

This is really a wild card category, but there are some simple rules.  Dad's new toy should be electronic or otherwise have moving parts.  It should be something unusual that he wouldn't have purchased on his own.  If at all possible, it should be something he can tinker with and complain that it's too complicated while ignoring the manual.

My top pick would be a weather station.  These would show the indoor and outdoor temperature and perhaps the rainfall totals wirelessly.  You can pick these up for $20-$40.  Of course you can spend a lot more, but you do have a local weatherman for all that data don't you?

A rangefinder for golf, grilling thermometer, or flashlight for his car that needs no batteries are other options.  If it beeps, blinks, makes noise, or has a LCD screen, you are in the right neighborhood.

Now You Know

Now that you know the top 5 things that Dad really wants, all that's left is the shopping.  And one more tip.  When Christmas rolls around, this list may be repeated.

You might also be interested in these articles about things that interest Dad:

The 10 Most Common And Important Tools You Should Buy First

10 Important Home Maintenance Chores Every Homeowner Should Know About



May 18, 2011 11:17am
These are great suggestions and so true! I better let the kids read this to guide them in the right direction. Now off to find that secret stash of sweets.......
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