June 18, 2015 10:31 am
Updated: June 18, 2015 12:10 pm

What people are buying dad this Father’s Day vs what he wants: survey

There aren’t too many fathers that can say no to barbecue.

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TORONTO – You know the saying that the best things in life are free? Well, the same applies to the best Father’s Day gifts, according to a recent study.

“Your father doesn’t want you to waste money on a gift he doesn’t need; he wants to spend time with you,” said Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada and a father of three.

READ MORE: Last-minute gift ideas for dad

That’s one of the findings from a IPG Mediabrands survey, which discovered one in three dads don’t want a Father’s Day gift. The majority (56 per cent) rather spend quality time with family.

Another finding is that the gifts people are buying dad don’t really match up with that he’d like.

 What people are getting dadWhat dad really wants
Gift card29%12%
A restaurant meal18%22%
Electronics 16%10%


If you already bought a gift for Sunday, don’t worry. We’re sure your dad will like it. After all, it’s the thought that counts. But if you’re willing to put in some time (and give dad something he’ll love), or if you’ve procrastinated (which, this time, is a good thing), we’ve got you covered.

Here are four thoughtful Father’s Day gift ideas, courtesy of Consolidated Credit, that won’t break the bank, but will leave an impression:

  • Offer your services – Whether it’s mowing the lawn, tinkering in the garage, or washing the car, your father always has something to do around the house. So this Father’s Day, take care of the chores and let your old man put his feet up.
  • Gourmet grilling – There aren’t too many fathers that can say no to barbecue. To mark the occasion, forego the standard fare and look up an interesting recipe for the BBQ and bring all the material to his backyard. For some tasty suggestions on what you can throw on the grill, check out Food Network Canada’s grilling guide.
  • Take a hike – Pack a lunch, get out to a nearby piece of wilderness, and go on a nature hike with your dad. You’ll get some exercise and hopefully the quiet surroundings will give you the chance to chat with no distractions. It might be a good idea to ban the smartphone for this one.
  • Dining out – A restaurant meal is one of the more popular gift options, but if you want to cut costs and avoid long wait times, take dad to a brunch, mid-afternoon appetizers and drinks, or dessert. You’ll enjoy all the same joys of dining out at a much lower cost.

For bonus points, you can also make him a home-cooked meal. After all, the saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” could also ring true for your dad.

You can find some recipe ideas here.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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