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Garth Callaghan

Napkin Notes Dad




7 Father's Day Gifts That Don't Bust The Budget


The Napkin Notes Blog

7 Father's Day Gifts That Don't Bust The Budget

WGarth Callaghan

Dads don’t ask for much. Personally, I’d be perfectly fine receiving no gifts on Father’s Day! I know I am difficult to buy for. (Well, really, the most recent Star Wars book isn’t that hard to find, but I may have already purchased it myself!) 

You have two weeks to grab something meaningful and fun for dad! If you wait until Sunday morning, I guarantee you’re going to get a lousy patterned tie from a thrift shop. Nobody wins when that happens. You have two weeks to give dad some thought, write out a nice card, and give him a gift he’ll truly enjoy.  

Here are my Top 7 Father's Day Gifts That Don't Bust The Budget

1)    Ninety7 Battery Base for Google Home ($40 regular price

I love this thing! I love my Google Homes. I have three. I use them mostly to listen to music and podcasts. I’ve been stuck close to an electrical outlet until now. With the Ninety7 base, you can use your (full-sized) Google Home as a portable smart speaker for up to 10 hours! It replaces the bottom of your Google Home and is super easy to click on. You’ll use the standard AC adapter for your Google Home to charge up the base, and you can use it while it’s charging. When you want to go sit out on the deck, simply unplug it and go! 

I’ve seen this for as low as $30. The regular price is $40. It’s the best accessory for the best smart speaker. 

2)    Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker ($40 regular price)

You know how I start my day? I listen to music in the shower. I don’t want to get bogged down with news until I have had a chance to get my blood going. I have a warm morning beverage, first. Then I fire up my Anker Soundcore 2 and listen to some music in the shower. It’s a blast. The Soundcore 2 is protected for just this use: Water Jets! You’ll get up to 24-hours of continuous playtime, and it’s a much better way to start your day.  

Want to know what I listen to? Here's my morning Spotify Playlist

3)    Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook ($27 regular price)

Most of us need to take notes of one type or another, whether you’re in the office or saving ideas at home. I love the Rocketbook. It’s an 80-page smart notebook. I know. It’s $27!

How smart can it be for $27?!? 

The first thing it does is send your note to your places – e-mail, Evernote,, Google Drive, slack, OneDrive, OneNote, dropbox, and even Google Photos. (Here’s the best part! You can do all of that for FREE! No $27 Notebook necessary. Just download the Rocketbook App and use their free PDFs – CLICK HERE

The most important thing you get with the Rocketbook is do overs. Use the included pen. (Or, if you’re like me and a goofball about ink colors, order their 10-pack!) Once you’ve filled up the notebook, simply put it in the microwave with a mug of water and the ink erases itself and you have a fresh, new notebook! Since you have digital copies of all of your notes, you can use this notebook over and over. 

4)    Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living by Nick Offerman ($15 Hardcover)

Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman shares his humorous fulminations on life, manliness, meat, and much more in this New York Times bestseller.
I mean, come on! Nick Offerman is the Teddy Roosevelt of our time, a man’s man in almost every sense of the word. This book is hilarious even if you don’t want to be the world’s best steak griller.  

5)    Magnetic Car Phone Mount (2-pack for $9)

Don’t text and drive. Don’t Snapchat and drive. Do dads Snapchat? I don’t even know how to use that app and I am the biggest geek I know. But I absolutely don’t text and drive, and I want my family to see this as a serious issue. I use the MPOW magnetic Car Phone Mount to keep my phone out of reach, but I can still use Google Maps if I get lost. (I never get lost, but sometimes I forget where I am!!) Dads who use this are modeling the behavior they want to see in their kids.  

6)    Minor League Baseball Tickets ($8 - $12)

I love to watch baseball, but I find it difficult to tell my family that I am going to go out for 3 ½ hours on a Saturday afternoon when the lawn needs to be mowed. I just checked ticket prices for upcoming Richmond Flying Squirrels (check for your local team!) games and you can have great seats for about $12! Give your dad permission to go hang out with peanuts, popcorn, and a nice cold beverage while watching some of the greatest baseball we have to offer. 

7)    Time

You know, none of us have enough time. I have a stack of books on my nightstand that I am working through, but I keep adding books to the pile. There is always another chore to be done. I feel this perpetual pressure but know that I don’t have enough free time in my life to truly relax. 

Give your dad some time. Take him to the driving range and hit a couple of buckets. Grab your favorite books, go outside, and read side by side in quiet. Walk the dog for him. Clean up your mess. Put your dishes away. Send him out for coffee by himself and tell him not to come back for at least an hour. Or, better yet, join him after he’s had some alone time, and then share some things about you with him he doesn’t know. Open your heart to a conversation that you start and talk about some important things going on in your life. Then ask about his. 

Time is cheap, but it’s also priceless. 

BONUS - Backblaze Backup ($5/month or $50/year, Try for Free)

I know online storage and backup is not an exciting gift at all. However, you can help your dad not be the "Bad Dad" of the family when the PC crashes. Protect your pictures, videos, and music for $5/month. I use Backblaze and you should, too. You'll get unlimited data backup including any USB storage attached to your computer (i.e.- external hard drives or thumb drives) and it's all automatic. 

My PC crashed a couple of years ago and I had everything backed up. Backblaze shipped me a drive containing all of my data and I just copied it to my replacement. 

Totally not an exciting gift, but still better than a tie. CLICK HERE to check it out!