With pandemic savings depleted for many families in 2024, people are keeping a closer eye on how much they spend.

Many of us want to get dad a great gift for Father’s Day but don’t want to spend a fortune.

But how much should we spend? The National Retail Federation said the average family will shell out $190 on gifts, dinner and outings for dad this year.

So we wanted to know how to do it creatively, without breaking the bank.

Non-hardware gift ideas

If grills and tools are too stereotypical for the dad in your life, Consumer Reports has posted several great alternatives.

Deals editor Samantha Gordon recommended the tech space, with stores running deals right now on smartwatches, fitness trackers and headphones.

If your dad loves to cook indoors, she said, “you’ll be able to find deals on small kitchen appliances, and new knives.”

For dads who like to mix things up, smart shopping expert Trae Bodge liked the idea of subscription boxes that come filled with a variety of food, craft beers or grooming accessories.

“If he’s not someone who likes to shop for himself, he might get something new and fun every month,” Bodge said.

According to the National Retail Federation, the top gifts some shoppers are planning to give this Father’s Day include:

  • Special outings
  • Clothing
  • Gift cards
  • Electronics
  • Personal care items

“I always try to think of what his hobbies are, how you might supplement that hobby,” Bodge said. “If he golfs, maybe it’s an SPF shirt that will keep his skin protected.”

Lilly Pascal was grabbing a few basic hardware items at Ace that she knows her dad needs.

“My dad’s very special,” she said. “I love my dad!”

She is proof that it is the thought, and not how much you pay, that counts.

So don’t waste your money.


“Don’t Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”).

Click here to view the original segment on WCPO.com

Related: Father’s Day Gifts Under $150