Cutting Edge: Deals for Dad

Many of us are finding that our pockets aren’t quite as deep as they once were. With gas and grocery prices sky-high, the National Retail Federation expects Father’s Day spending to reach $9.6 billion this year–marking a decline of $3 million over last year’s tally. So if you need to scale back, as the big day approaches on June 15, take a few steps to make a smarter gift purchase.

What Do You Intend to Buy?
How consumers are expected to lighten their wallets

  1. Greeting Cards: 68.4%
  2. Special Outing Brunch/Dinner: 41.4%
  3. Apparel: 36.5%
  4. Gift Certificates/Gift Cards: 32.7%
  5. Books or CDs: 22.6%
  6. Consumer Electronics/Computer Related Accessories: 18.5%
  7. Other: 18%
  8. Sporting Goods/Leisure Items: 13.3%
  9. Tools/Appliances: 13.1%

Source: National Retail Federation 2008 Father’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey

Stick to a budget
One common problem of gift giving is that most of us don’t have a plan at the outset. We hit the stores or surf the Web hoping to stumble across something dad might like. To stay focused, it may be easier to use the Web. For instance, say you have a budget of $50, Websites such as, and have pages that offer a range of options at that price.

Compare prices online
If you want to find the best deal on an item, you should check out comparison shopping Websites such as,, or For instance, at, you can compare prices among 5,000 online and local stores ranging from home products to clothing to electronics.

Use coupon codes
Better deals are out there, you just have to know where to look. Websites such as,, and, put the spotlight on discounts and offer printable coupons and rebates for well-known stores such as the Apple Store, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Target.

Buy discount tickets
If your dad is a sports freak, music or comedy lover, check out Websites such as,, and to shave a few dollars off tickets to an event. These sites offer discount tickets for NFL or NBA games, or concerts from Al Jarreau to Chris Rock.

Don’t procrastinate
For domestic shipping, depending on the weight and size of your package, the United States Postal Service charges $4.80 and up for priority mail and $12.60 and up for overnight. With UPS or FedEx, you can calculate the time of delivery and cost directly online. Just a heads up, is offering free shipping on select Weber barbecue grills through Father’s Day. If you’re a last minute shopper, consider sending dad a card in time for the big day and explain that the gift is on its way. He’ll understand that you just wanted to avoid running up a shipping bill.

However you enjoy Father’s Day, know that dad won’t love you any less if you need to celebrate on a budget this year.