With Father’s Day coming up, you might be wondering what to get dad (or the father of your children) for that big day. If you’re on a tight budget, no worries! These eight really cheap (even free!) Father’s Day gifts are right up dad’s alley:

1. Yardwork or house work. Which chores does dad usually tackle on the weekends? Mowing the lawn? Trimming trees? Or handyman work around the house? Give him Father’s Day weekend off by taking care of these chores for him.

Better yet, consider giving dad a coupon book with tear-off coupons for all these chores, saying you’ll do them when he gives you the coupon. Then when he really needs a break from weeding or lightbulb-changing, he can cash in a coupon and relax.

shutterstock_231419622. A teaching session. Do you know a skill that your dad has always wanted to learn? Repay him for teaching you to pitch a ball, work with wood or play chess.

Maybe your dad wants to learn more about using his smartphone or new laptop. Or, maybe you’ve picked up more creative skills such as guitar playing or a foreign language he’s keen to learn. Give your dad a certificate for a few hours of learning the skill from you. It counts as time together, and teaching him something useful, to boot.

3. A home-cooked meal. Maybe your family is crunched for time and doesn’t get together for meals often anymore. If that’s the case, offer dad his favorite home-cooked meal with the whole family around the table.

Can’t get all the far-scattered kids and grandkids together? See if everyone can Skype or FaceTime in for a few minutes during the meal, so it’ll feel like you’re all together again.

4. A book about dad. If you’ve got little kids, hearing what they think about daddy can be heartwarming (and hilarious). Pinterest is chocked full of templates for books or activity sheets asking kids about their dads.

What does your 3-year-old think dad’s favorite food is? (Hint: it’s probably her favorite food!) And how tall does your 7-year-old think daddy stands? (Really, really tall!) Record these childish expressions in a little book that’s all about daddy.

5. Photos. Photo gifts are more popular, it seems, for Mother’s Day. But, moms aren’t the only ones who appreciate having photos of the kids and grandkids around. While dad might not want a purse or T-shirt with your photo on it, he might appreciate a more discreet photo gift.

A cheap photo album for 4 x 6-inch photos from the past year could be a good place to start. It would give dad something to look at or show off to his buddies. Another option is a photo key chain, which you could easily make yourself from inexpensive materials and Pinterest tutorials.

6. Baked goods. This Father’s Day, get creative with baked goods for dessert. The Internet is full of man-themed baked goods, such as Guinness cakes, stout brownies and all things bacon.

You’ll get bonus points for this one if you package extra baked goods to freeze, so dad can pull them out and enjoy later on.

7. Coffee mug crafts. Skip the traditional dinky “I Heart Dad” coffee mug this year. Instead, decorate (or help your kids decorate) a custom mug for your dad. You can pick up super cheap coffee mugs for a couple bucks at Target or your local dollar store. In fact, the cheaper the better because the cheaper mugs have a cheaper glaze, which melds better with do-it-yourself decorations.

Then, decorate the mug using Sharpies. Trace your hand. Write a message to dad. Or let your toddler color at will. Put the mug in the oven, and turn it to 450 degrees F. Set a timer for 30 minutes. After the timer goes off, turn off the oven, but don’t take the mug out until it’s completely cool. You should be able to hand wash the mug indefinitely without the design coming off.

8. Time together. Of course, whatever you do for dad this Father’s Day, be sure it involves spending some time together – either on the day of or on a day near Father’s Day. Go to the park. Play a few rounds of golf. Relax on the porch together.

Guaranteed, just spending time with you will be the best gift dad gets this year.

Source: www.usnews.com; Abby Hayes; June 8, 2014.

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