Tag Archives: cheap gifts

5 Ideas for Cheap, Last-Minute Father’s Day Gifts

mike bradyFather’s Day is Sunday, and if you haven’t already put a card in the mail, there’s still time!

As I said about Mother’s Day, being unemployed does not excuse you from honoring that parent who has put up with you for, I’m guessing, 20+ years. Dad deserves it. That said, I know you don’t have $$$$ to spend. And if you’re reading this and have yet to get it together, you’re in luck. Here are five gifts you can get easily, quickly and, most importantly, cheaply. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s always the thought that counts.

  1. For the Beer Lover– Grab a painted or galvanized metal bucket or perhaps a small cooler and head over to your neighborhood liquor or grocery store. Fill with six different hand-selected microbrews or interesting import beers. Tailor them to your Dad’s taste, favorite locales or vacation spots. For example, if he loves New Orleans, grab a mix of Abita beers. You can probably put something together for around $20-30
  2. For the Sports Fan – Is your major or minor league baseball team in town Father’s Day weekend? Grab a couple of cheap-seat tickets on the fly and spend an afternoon or evening cheering on the home team. I know you can grab Atlanta Braves tickets for very reasonable prices, leaving you a few bucks for hot dogs or peanuts
  3. For the Movie Buff – Grab a DVD of his all-time favorite classic movie or childhood cartoon (My Dad LOVED getting a special-edition DVD of “Blazing Saddles” as well as “Bullwinkle & Rocky” DVDs) or treat Dad to a matinee at your local theater. There are some great flicks out right now, namely “The Hangover”, “Star Trek”, “Angels & Demons” and “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3”
  4. For the Reader – Personally select a brand-new hardcover novel or hot nonfiction title if your dad can’t put a book down. Just one volume can cost anywhere from $15-30. If you are a member of a bookstore savings program, you can even get $$ or certain percentages off. I love browsing the bookstore aisles, tailoring a selection to my Dad’s interests, habits and hobbies. I’ve been able to introduce him to new thriller writers as well as intriguing political and sports titles. It’s a gift that keeps on giving
  5. Yourself – If you’re in town or within driving distance, hop in the car and make an in-person visit. I promise that quality time together will make Dad happier than anything you can buy. Your only cost is gas for your car.

Happy Father’s Day!

5 Cheap But Charming Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is in six days. You may be broke (aren’t we all?) and jobless, but Mom still needs to know you care. And, believe me, Mom knows the situation you’re in and doesn’t expect you to buy a big gift.

You can honor her with something cheap, and that doesn’t have to mean crappy. It can be creative and very charming. These are often the gifts that take the most thought, and Mom will be so happy you didn’t let this day pass without some special token of affection.

  • A bouquet even Martha could love – Buy a couple of bunches of brightly colored tulips from your corner deli, farmer’s market, grocery. Tightly arrange without any filler in a simple vase. Tie raffia around the vase. Voila! You’ve got a simple, classy floral arrangement that probablybag cost you no more than $25 and looks like Martha.
  • Beach bag bingo – If your mom is a beach bunny, put together her beach bag for Summer 2009. Old Navy has the CUTEST canvas floral bags for $12.5o. Fill with a paperback, beach towel (you can get these for $9.99 and less at TJ Maxx, etc.), SPF 30+ sunscreen and, perhaps, for laughs, a $2.00 pair of huge, obnoxious sunglasses that remind you of her days carpooling in 1979.
  • Give to her favorite charity – Donate what you can ($10, $15, $20) to a cause that makes Mom smile. Put an acknowledgement in her Mother’s Day card. This is ideal for those Moms – like mine! – who give tirelessly of themselves to every one, every day. This is also ideal for you, because Mom won’t have to know just how much you gave.
  • Take Mom to a matinee – Take mom to a matinee movie (they’re cheaper!) and for ice cream after. The whole bill might be $25 (unless you’re in NYC), and she’ll be thrilled you chose to spend a precious weekend afternoon with her.
  • Sometimes a card says it best – You may not be able to get her a gift, but you can buy the best card you can afford. Many greeting cards these days are beautiful and look like gifts themselves. Check out Kate’s Paperie, PapyrusSam Flax and Target all have gorgeous high-end cards. I also love the eco-friendly greeting cards with flower seeds built into the paper. My mom thought that was too cool.

BONUS TIP: Get your siblings to chip in on a gift for Mother. You can get something nicer, and your mom will be too happy that her kids worked together in peace and (relative) harmony.