6 Ways to Save Money When Buying Gifts for a Man

by Almost Frugal · 10 comments

in Living Frugally,Money & Spending

There is no question that buying a gift for a man can be difficult. Whether it’s a significant other, a father, or other family member, there are times when you just never know what they really want. Often, men tend to internalize feelings and desires, so you may have to work harder to come up with quality gift ideas. However, there’s no reason to let this difficulty cause you to pull your hair out or waste money when buying a gift for a man.

1. Ask Him What He Wants
The best approach is to just ask what he wants. I don’t mean ask him a few days before his birthday – rather, ask him questions several months before when you are out window shopping or doing anything else together. Often, he’ll drop clues that you can use at a later date. If you buy him something he doesn’t need, he may not return it for fear of offending you, but he also won’t use it.

2. Plan and Research
Last-minute gift shopping is a great way to waste money. If possible, you should have a pretty good idea what you’re going to get him at least a month or so before his birthday or Christmas. Use this time to watch out for deals, both in retail flyers and on the Internet.

Signing up for a daily deal website is another great idea. These sites send their deals to your email inbox on a daily basis. Take a look at what they have to offer, and you just might find something truly unique for the man in your life.

3. Be Practical
Most guys will greatly appreciate something that doesn’t cost a lot if it’s something they’ll use on a day-to-day basis. You don’t have to break the bank on a luxury item, such as a smart phone or flat-screen TV – many guys are not very materialistic, and value practicality.

4. Give a Homemade Gift
If you think your guy has everything he needs in life, consider preparing a homemade gift. A gift basket packed with some of his favorite foods, a funny card, and a few other treats is always a good idea. Many items may be able to be found at your local dollar store.

5. Consider a Gift Card
If you just can’t figure out exactly what he wants, consider giving a gift card. That way, you know he can choose something he really wants. There are a variety of websites where you can get gift cards at a discount – just be sure to purchase one with no fees and no expiration date.

6. Give Your Time
If you want to give a gift that costs no money at all, consider giving the gift of time. You can offer to wash his car for the next three months, do the grocery shopping, clean the house, or any other chore he performs on a regular basis. If he leads a fast-paced lifestyle, this could be one of the best gifts of all.

Final Thoughts

It’s important that you don’t over-complicate the process. Many men are really just looking for something simple or practical that will make their lives easier. And, of course, you can never go wrong with clothes. Women tend to have a much better fashion sense than guys, so consider choosing out something that will look good on him. And if he’s the frugal type, consider upgrading a facet of his life where’s he’s too cheap to spend money, such as a nice shaving kit or an updated cell phone.

What ways can you think of to save money when buying gifts for a man? What great gift ideas would you suggest?


1 Kristen ยป gezellig-girl.com March 3, 2012

This… seems like a lot of very sweeping generalizations for an entire gender. :-/

2 ImpulseSave March 6, 2012

LOVeD tip #3: “most guys value practicality.” It reminds me of when we would buy gifts for my dad: the most practical gifts were always his favorite. When we did get him something over-the-top, he kind of got overwhelmed and didn’t seem to like it as much. Good to remember.

3 Tips4savingmoney March 12, 2012

Great tips. I also set myself a budget when buying gifts and always make sure I stick to it.

4 J Marie March 21, 2012

I really helps when your man has a specific hobby or interest. I am always safe buying him a cigar or golf accessories. This ties in with #3 – practicality, because I know he will make use of it, but I doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

5 BowStrings March 26, 2012

Cook for him but don’t try too hard.
I definitely agree with #5 (or spa gift certificate) but instead of sending him in alone, consider going in together. ๐Ÿ™‚

6 Jeremiah Brown March 28, 2012

As a general rule of thumb, those are some great tips. When all else fails, just ask him what he wants as you said… then there is always cash. Great post, I will let my wife read this one. :-).

7 Alysa April 13, 2012

We just celebrated my husband’s birthday (April 11th) and for the first time in our married lives I got him something he wanted – success! How? I did exactly what you said, I just asked him. While that might seem unromantic to some he was so giddy when he got the gift he wanted that all my worries about it being lame were banished. So I totally agree if you don’t know – just ask!

8 Aaron April 15, 2012

Haha.. I’m with Alysa on this too – just asking the guy is usually the best approach. Men tend to be fairly particular (almost used picky) about stuff – so it’s always the best route to take.

9 Charlotte@EverythingFinance April 24, 2012

Asking is a good suggestion. As they get older I’ve found they just like to have family and friends around to share their day. I also like the idea of the basket full of their favorite treats.

10 John April 25, 2012

I think a lot of men would appreciate being asked what they want. For some reason, the “surprise” element of a gift isn’t what excites me. Rather, it’s getting something that I want! ๐Ÿ˜€

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