3 Smart Ways to Save on Father's Day

Father's Day is fast approaching, and dads and grandpas alike deserve some appreciation on their special day. Most of the nation agrees, considering this year, consumers will spend a record-breaking amount on Father's Day. From gifts to meals out, Americans plan to spend $14.3 billion on dads in 2016. That averages to about $125.92 spent per person on this holiday. However, this huge amount looks subpar when compared to how much was spent on Mother's Day this year, which was $21.4 billion.

While fathers deserve the best, you don't have to blow your budget to make your husband, dad, or a grandpa feel special this year.

What Dads Really Want

If you ask Dad what he really wants, he will probably give a frustrating answer of "nothing." In fact, many dads just want a day of relaxation rather than expensive cuff links or a stressful dinner at a packed restaurant. Here are a few last-minute Father's Day gift ideas that are extra thoughtful and budget-friendly.

See also: Best Money Tips: Frugal Father's Day Gift Ideas

1. Crafts Worth Keeping

While the cute handmade necktie cards are a sweet gesture, try doing a craft with your kids that incorporates their handprint or footprint. This is not only cute, but it seals the memory of just how little your children's hands and feet were in their younger years. Pinterest is filled with many handprint/footprint ideas, including putting two feet together to make a heart, making a football out of a baby footprint, or making a Star Wars Yoda out of a footprint with the phrase, "Yoda best, Dad!"

Another idea is to do a photo shoot with your kids holding up different words to a phrase, such as, "I love you." Two years ago, I had my daughter pose with a letter "D" and "A" and then arranged the pictures to spell "DAD" on a photo card. The total cost was less than $5, and my husband still has the card on his desk at work. You can do this idea for Grandpa, too, and even older children or adult children can do this for their fathers.

Last year, I found a printable dad survey on Pinterest and asked my three-year-old to answer questions about her daddy. The results were adorable and hilarious, and my husband asked if I would do that every year and save them.

2. Special Time Together

When's the last time you did something special just with you and your dad? Life can become so busy, and it is easy to put your relationship with your father on the back burner, especially since when we have our own families to manage. Try scheduling special one-on-one time with your father before or after Father's Day. Even if you just sit down and drink coffee together, it will be more meaningful to him then a generic card. Some other affordable ideas include hitting balls at a golfing range, going on a fishing trip (even if that is more your father's thing than yours), or seeing a local sports game together.

If you are a family of little ones, your husband might appreciate a day or weekend alone with you or just the guys. Eric Brantner, founder of Scribblrs and father to a one-year-old daughter, said, "What I really want for Father's Day is for a night alone with my wife. Having a one-year-old makes that next-to-impossible. But it's what I want more than anything."

Even a trip out as a family can make a great Father's Day treat. Marcus Kusi, marriage blogger at Our Peaceful Family and father to two toddler daughters, said, "What I really want for Father's Day is to spend time with my kids, and to appreciate the opportunity they have given me to become a better person." Try a simple, stress-free outing, such as a trip to the beach or a picnic in the park.

See also: 10 Father's Day Gifts Dads Actually Want for Under $100

3. Words Matter

So many times we can save the gushy stuff for Mother's Day and hand our dads a funny or generic card that we signed her name to. But Dad would also appreciate a handwritten note saying how much he is loved. Because who wouldn't want to know that all of their hard efforts and sacrifices have been noticed by their family?

Save money by avoiding the generic and cheesy Father's Day cards and opt for a handwritten note instead. Pair it with his favorite chocolate bar, and you have a meaningful gift for under $2.

Father's Day is a day to celebrate your day and show him that you appreciate him. Don't get tied up finding the perfect gift that will impress him.

What are you giving your dad/husband/grandfather for Father's Day this year?

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