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Frugal Ideas for Father's Day

Ylan Mui

Ack! Father's Day is this weekend! Trying to be frugal doesn't seem to help us be less forgetful.

Unfortunately, Dad seems to be another victim of the economic downturn this year. According to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation, a trade group, consumers are expected to spend an average of $90.89 on Father's Day gifts, down from $94.54. Total spending is expected to reach $9.4 billion.

But spending less doesn't have to mean that the gift is not as special. We enlisted local blogger Amy Kossoff Smith, who runs Business of Motherhood, to help us come up with Father's Day finds that are wallet-friendly. Here are her suggestions:

Framed Certificate: Make it official that he’s Dad of the Year. Check out About.com for free printables for all kinds of Father’s Day-themed awards

Play Producer or Director: Create a CD with Dad’s favorite music from iTunes; customize the case with family photos. Or, if you’re really ambitious, edit some family movies and give him a homemade DVD.

Coupons for Dad-centric treats: That includes mowing the lawn, a movie and popcorn night, control of the remote, or taking out the trash. You can print Father’s Day coupons at Family Fun

Bake Dad Happy: Make Dad his favorite meal or baked treat. I found an adorable recipe for a cupcake called “Want Some Mower” that has a lawn mower on top of a patch of grass at Family Fun.

Cheers to Dad: The Web site Give Real allows you to send someone a cocktail anywhere in the country by purchasing a gift certificate for a drink that can be redeemed at any bar or restaurant that accepts credit or debit cards. They show everything from a gin and tonic to a Guinness.

Amy has more recession-proof Father's Day ideas on her mommy blog, The MomTini Lounge. So now I have no excuse for not sending a gift. I love you, Dad!

By Ylan Mui  |  June 17, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Bargains , Ylan Q. Mui  
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