The Stingy Dad's Guide to Father's Day

Find it impossible to find the right gift for Dad? Try one of these unique Father's Day gifts: Telling him he was right when he told you to ...

...Do What He Says
Ah, the advice you hated to hear ... Have you noticed that these are the same sage tips recommended by the architects of the new green movement? Gasoline at $4 a gallon (pay less by doing this) and a world turned upside down by global warming have made Dad's attention to every watt of energy seem smart (do you know as much as he does?), even trendy.

Impress Dad this year by saving all that energy you might otherwise spend driving to the mall. Dads are notoriously hard to shop for, and notoriously stingy. So skip the gift and tell Dad he was right. Tell him he's always been right. Tell him he keeps getting more right all the time. (Just do it. Father's Day is only one day a year.)

...Save Hand-Me-Down Clothes
Few would look to Dad for fashion advice. In fact, most would look to anyone but Dad. But as frustrating as it was to slip into an older sibling's clothing, the ol' Hand-Me-Down Family Express is a great vehicle for reducing waste and stretching the family budget.

Besides, the photos of the younger generation squeezed into outdated styles are priceless. In some ways, he was just visionary. Those old corduroys would, given a decade or two, come back into style. For proof, check out these timeless vintage dresses.

If the shoe fits, tell your little brother to wear it. And get the most out of your clothes by doing this.

...Put On a Sweater if You're Cold
What is it about fathers and thermostats? The anger-to-temperature ratio seems to suggest the two communicate via some kind of wireless connection.

But you really can save about 1% on heating bills for every one degree cooler you dial down the thermostat, which is why he wanted you to pull on a sweater (to please Dad, choose the ugliest sweater available) and pile another blanket on the bed. The same savings rate applies to summer air-conditioning.

Not that Dad would approve of air-conditioning. What a waste. That's what cold showers are for.


...Shut Off the Lights
Who didn't hear it from Dad: "Turn off those lights when you leave the room!" Well, Dad may have been dead wrong about everything else (or so we'd like to think), but he was right about the lights.

By now you've probably heard that lighting is responsible for about 11% of a home's energy bills. And you've probably heard that a compact fluorescent light bulb uses about 75% less electricity than an incandescent bulb.

No bulb saves energy like one that's turned off. So flip the switch. And tell Dad he was right.

For more Father's Day ideas, try these last minute gifts.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.