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Queen of free: Don’t be generic, honor dad creatively

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Dear ol’ dad. We love him. We’re thankful for him. We want to celebrate him in special ways, especially on Father’s Day on June 15.

Whether it’s the father of your children or your own dad, I know one thing he’d want you to do — get the best possible deal you can on whatever you give. It’s almost as good as giving him two gifts when you can spend less and still bless your pops. Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate the special fellas in your life without breaking the bank.

Creative gift wrap

Don’t you dare think about buying your day a generic “Happy Father’s Day” burgundy pinstriped gift bag that will be in the trash before you finish visiting him. I know very few dads who love a good gift bag.

Of course you could get all crafty, wrap in newspaper, or use an old bag you already have. Score extra points with your pops by putting your gift in something practical for your dad. Maybe it’s a popcorn bowl or maybe an oil pan or maybe a tackle box. Cruise past the wrapping aisle and opt for a creative and more practical gift receptacle.

Shop for favorites

Does your dad have a favorite brand of root beer? A snack food he loves? A fishing lure? A particular golf tee? Think through the practical, lower-cost everyday favorites of your father and put together a gift basket (with a practical container of course) themed with his favs in mind.

made by the kids

Whether it’s artwork, poems, musical numbers or cards, your dad is certain to love anything handmade by his children or grandchildren. It doesn’t have to be a complicated do-it-yourself or glue gun glitter extravaganza. Crack out the crayons or shoot a video. Remind your father how special he is with a work of art.

Say cheese

Any picture of the two of you together — from any era — is a great way to say I love you. Have the photo printed at a local office supply store and find an old frame. Or create a collage or make a special photo gift like a key chain or even a necktie. I like the selection, prices and timing best at Sam’s Club, but many pharmacies or office supply stores offer similar items.

Don’t have any good photos? Think about having a friend snap a shot or two this Father’s Day.

Coupon booklets

Dads love a discount. Why not make your own special coupon booklet filled with special ways to help him. Don’t forget to include free back rubs and offers to take out the trash or wash the car. He could also cash in for an hour of time with dad or the ability to sleep in. Head to Pinterest to search for free printables to construct your own booklet. I found dozens in a matter of seconds.

Ask him

Still not sure what to get dad? It might be a good idea to ask what he really wants. You might be surprised that he’d much rather have an hour alone to finish a project than a meal out and gifts galore. Take a few minutes to ask your father what would be the best way to honor him this Father’s Day.

Search for freebies Restaurants, destinations and more will offer special deals Father’s Day weekend. Do a quick search online or head to queenoffree.net the week before Father’s Day to see what deals I’ve been able to uncover to help you save or even score something for free for your dad.

More than anything, the special fathers in your life want to know that you appreciate and value their everyday sacrifices. Saying “thank you” is worth more than any gift imaginable.

So fire up the grill and cook his favorite dish or pick up a gift card from the nearest home improvement store. Just be sure to take a moment to show your gratitude for your dad this Father’s Day.

Greenwood resident Cherie Lowe and her husband paid off $127,000 in debt in four years and now live debt-free every day with their two kids. Send questions, column ideas and comments to newstips@dailyjournal.net.

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