News and Tribune


June 14, 2014

MAKING CENT$: Father’s Day on a budget

When I was growing up, I always remember that Mother’s Day meant that mom was going to get pampered and spoiled and a day to herself, and Father’s Day meant dad got a day to spend with the kids. I never questioned that. It seemed fair to me.

It especially became apparent that that arrangement was completely fair when I became a mom. My husband, however, pointed out the huge discrepancy in the celebratory patterns, so we did change things up a little. Seeing as my manly-man husband would definitely cringe at the thought of receiving flowers and I don’t remember a day other then our wedding when he wore a tie, we had to become slightly more creative in our gift choices.

Here are some thrifty ideas to pamper Dad for you to ponder:

• Yard work: Complete yard work that dad doesn’t have time to complete or so he won’t have to spend his weekend doing it. If you have teenagers, have them do it. If not, there are always teenagers looking to make some quick money, so hire them to do the yard work.

• Wash Dad’s car: It takes little to nothing to wash a car, so grab the hose, buckets and sponges and let the kids at it.

• Roll of quarters: I don’t know about your house, but in ours the “silver” change always managed to find its way out of the change jar and into someone’s pocket ... other then Dad’s. Have the kids give dad a roll of quarters that he can spend on whatever he wants.

• Dad’s day book: If you have young children, have them color a picture for Dad and write a few sentences about what they love best about Dad and make them into a book.

• Coffee mugs: They are cheap, are always useful, and can be customized. You can have a custom mug made with pictures via any of the in-store photo centers like Walgreens, CVS, Sam’s Club and more.

• Have the kids trace their hands then cut them out. On each of the fingers write a “coupon” good for something, like “good for one hug,” “good for one bed time with no fussing,” “good for one clean room,” etc.

• Take Dad out for ice cream

• Make Dad a homemade card and give him a gift from the heart. One of the gifts my husband cherishes the most is a rock. Yep I said a rock. His oldest daughter found a rock and wrote, “I love you Dad” on the rock in permanent marker and he drilled a hole in it, put a wire through it and hung it in his workshop. That was more than 16 years ago.

• Fathers get in free at the Louisville Zoo on Father’s Day, so take dad to the zoo.

• And last but not least: The best present ever — tell your dad you LOVE HIM!

— Questions or comments can be sent to Darlene Hilsenbeck at


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