Frugal Gift Ideas For Dad

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Father's Day is just a few short days away. If you're still looking for a gift for your Dad then you'll be sure to get some good ideas from reading my list.

The following is a contribution from my good friend Sean at One Smart Dollar. If you’re interested in contributing to Frugal Rules, please consult our guidelines and contact us.

Whether your Dad is the household handyman or the other end of the occasional pitch and catch, he most likely plays a large part in your life. What better way to say ‘thank you’ than by giving him a frugal Father’s Day gift?

The biggest obstacle is that shopping for Dad can be quite the task. With my Dad you can forget about him offering any ideas about what he wants or needs. For me, each year is harder then the last to find that perfect gift that I haven’t already bought him twice before.

To help you come up with a perfect gift that will not only show Dad that you are financially responsible, but also say I love you, consider one of these wallet friendly gift ideas.

Make Beer Together


If your Dad is a beer lover then the perfect gift might be a home brew kit. Not only will your Dad get to make his favorite brew, but he will also get the chance to spend some quality time with you during the process.

There are many different options when it comes to home brew kits, but one of the more popular brands is Mr. Beer. Home brew kits can vary in price but you can find good quality starter kits for around $40.

Redbox Gift Cards


If your dad is a movie buff then a great gift idea for him might be a Redbox eGift card. This will allow him to watch all of his favorite classics as well as new releases. Once he has finished using all of the credits you purchased for him, let him know that there are Redbox coupons available to help him save money on any future rentals.

Make Your Dad a Coupon Book

You can never go wrong when you make Dad a coupon book. It is a gift that comes straight from the heart and you are giving him a reprieve from some of his weekly duties around the house. You can give him a coupon that is good for mowing the lawn or washing the car. If your Dad is a golfer you can give him a coupon good for one free round of golf at his favorite golf course.

Make a DIY Gift


If you dad is more on the frugal side, then he will love it if you decide to give him a do-it-yourself (DIY) gift. There are endless options that will help say, ‘I love you.’ You could take one of your favorite photos of the two of you and put it in a frame that you have lying around the house.

Or, you could check out a thrift store, because they usually have stylish frames at reasonable prices. Another DIY option could be to bake him a sweet treat or put together a homemade BBQ spice rub. If he is anything like my dad then he loves both cookies and BBQ.

Buy Him Event Tickets


Most Dads would love to receive tickets to their favorite events. It could be a baseball game or a concert with his favorite band. The key is to be able to buy the tickets for as little as possible. One of my favorite websites to by baseball tickets from is They allow me to bid on the tickets I want based on the section of the stadium.

Another option is Craigslist, as they usually have a huge selection of tickets at great prices. If you decide to go this route, make sure you are careful because there a lot of people looking to run Craigslist scams on you just to get your money in exchange for fake tickets.

Father's Day is just a few short days away. If you're still looking for a gift for your Dad then you'll be sure to get some good ideas from reading my list.

Final Thought

Dad works hard both at the office and at home. Make him know that he is appreciated by giving him a great gift this Father’s Day. By making it budget-friendly, you will prove to him that he has helped make you into a financially responsible adult.


What will you be getting your father for Father’s Day this year? Is he as difficult as my father to shop for?

Sean Bryant is the founder of One Smart Dollar where he helps his readers increase their net worth one dollar at a time.


Editor’s note: Sean offers some great options if you’re still looking for a nice Father’s Day gift without breaking the bank.  I am always looking for ideas of gifts to buy my Dad and just might try one of the ones Sean listed.


Photo courtesy of: Mccun934


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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.


  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    We usually take my dad to a ball game for Father’s Day. It’s almost a tradition, as him and my uncle take my grandpa to a Twins game once a year as well for Father’s Day. I think knowing your Dad and what he enjoys to do in his free time makes buying gifts a lot easier.

    • Sean @ OneSmartDollar says:

      I love going to sporting events with my Dad. Its good quality time that we get to spend together.

  • Greg@ClubThrifty says:

    Ah, what could be better than making beer together…except for possibly drinking beer together. Mmmmm….beer….

  • KK @ Student Debt Survivor says:

    I’ve never made beer before but I think it would be a lot of fun (well a lot of fun to drink). A few years back we bought tickets to the red sox for my step dad and grandpa. We were living in Boston at the time so the came for the weekend. It was so much fun. My grandfather is probably the world’s biggest red sox fan so he was thrilled. One of those times I’ll never forget.

  • Matt Becker says:

    Both me and my dad are squarely in the camp of not offering up any ideas. The truth is, there aren’t a lot of “things” that I really want. I really like the suggestions of making beer or making a BBQ spice rub. Personally, I would probably like most some kind of experience-oriented gift. Making a memory is more valuable to me than something material.

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    LOVE the great and unique ideas here, Sean – thank you! I now know exactly what I’m going to get my dad. πŸ™‚

  • Kurt @ Money Counselor says:

    One Father’s Day my Dad and I spent the afternoon at the thoroughbred track. Definitely not a ‘frugal gift’… πŸ™‚

  • Sean @ OneSmartDollar says:

    Only frugal if you come home a winner. haha

  • Tara says:

    My dad isn’t big on gifts. He usually prefers us taking him out to eat at a reasonable place where he can drink beer. Normally when we meet up when he’s nearby, he pays for himself (due to my financial inability to always pay for him at my current stage in life) so on special occasions like Father’s Day, he appreciates the treat.

    • Sean @ OneSmartDollar says:

      I find that most Dads will appreciate most anything that shows we are thinking of them.

  • Midlife Finance says:

    I would love a brewing kit, but we don’t really have room for it.
    What I’d really like is a day off to relax and just chill out. The kid is great and all, but it would be nice to get away.

  • krantcents says:

    For me, the best Father’s Day is when my children spend times with me. It usually starts with a brunch or dinner at home. My children put something together that I enjoy. Thanks to technology, my daughter joins us via Skype. She lives out of town. This year, a picnic at the beach is in order. The gift of time is better than some object.

  • Grayson @ Debt RoundUp says:

    My Dad just loves beer, and I brewed him some a few years ago. I am working on getting a chest freezer, so I can lager beer, which is the type he likes. I won’t have it done in time this year, but I will get there.

  • anna says:

    These are great ideas, though I’m the only beer drinker in the family. My (step)dad is fairly low maintenance so usually a homemade dinner and conversation is fine by him. He does like baseball, though, so maybe I’ll switch it up this year – thanks for the idea!

  • Alexa says:

    Making beer is definitely what my Dad would like! Heck, he might be happy if I just pick him up a twelve pack of bud light lol. I think my Dad would appreciate anything I would get him. He just loves to know we think of him.

  • The Norwegian Girl says:

    a home brew kit? what an awesome idea!! I have to check out of they got something like that in Norway.

  • Nick @ says:

    I’m all about the DIY gifts!

  • Pretired Nick says:

    Funny, my wife just asked me what I wanted for my first father’s day and i had no idea. Still don’t! I think I’d be pretty happy just doing a picnic at the park.

  • Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce says:

    Making beer can also turn into an expensive but very rewarding pastime!

    • Sean @ OneSmartDollar says:

      Yeah if you really get into it the costs can add up, but just the basic beer kits are well priced.

  • Pauline says:

    I used to make custom things for my dad. Paint a mug, an ashtray, something to put his keys and spare change… cheap and easy!

  • Cat says:

    I try to buy my Dad things he wouldn’t get himself – like theatre tickets or premium alcohol!

  • John@MoneyPrinciple says:

    Hmm. I will have to send this to my sons except I am really difficult to buy for! In fact Father’s Day this year is the day before one of my sons birthday so it will be a double whammy!

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    My husband is super easy to shop for. He likes everything. My Dad is a bit harder, but food gifts seem to work well.

  • Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) says:

    Cute post! I always get my dad a book. He is so easy. He loves biographies, so all it takes is a quick look at Amazon and bam! gift’s done. πŸ™‚

  • Greg @ says:

    I did the make your own beer kit one year. It seemed to go over pretty well. Now, I just buy him a case of beer :).

    Actually, I take my dad out to dinner and a ballgame. At this stage in the game, spending time together is generally the best present.

  • femmefrugality says:

    My fiance spends A LOT of time with our kids and me, so he asked for a day of golfing with his buddies. I’m all about it. He gets a day off. I get a relatively cheap gift to give. And he gets an experience which is much better than another tie sitting in the closet.

    • Sean @ OneSmartDollar says:

      A day to himself is always a great idea as well. I try and get away during the winter to go up in the mountains snowboarding so that doesn’t really work for me πŸ™‚

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says:

    These are great ideas! I know my dad would love tickets to an event, preferably music. He’d also love to make beer. I should look into that option.

    • Sean @ OneSmartDollar says:

      The beer option seems to be a really popular one. I would not be upset if I got one. πŸ™‚

  • Squirrelers says:

    My Dad most certainly deserves a great gift, he’s had a challenging year. Of course, he always tells me not to spend money, so it takes some creativity to give a winning gift!

  • KC @ genxfinance says:

    I’d like to spend the day in the park too. Or maybe fishing. But for my old man, probably cigar or game tickets.

  • Jake Posey says:

    I love this post. The beer and DIY are my favorites. If only I could get my wife to let my 5 year old daughter make beer with me πŸ™‚ Keep up the great work.

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