Open your wallet...for Pop

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Poor old Dad. Forever playing second fiddle to Good Old Mom. We gave Dad his own holiday in 1962, while people have been celebrating mothers since Roman times.

The least we can do is buy him a nice tie once a year. But when it comes to shelling out the dollars for a parent, Dad has traditionally gotten the short end of the stick. The good news, however, is that even with the ugly economy, people will open their wallets for Pop...and spend goodly amounts anyway.

This coming Father's Day (June 15,) one business research group is reckoning that U.S. consumers will spend some $11 billion on gifts, food, and outings with the Old Man. That's $7 billion less than they spend on Mother's Day, according to the same group, but still an eye-popping amount given the way things are going.
What are we going to buy him? It breaks down something like this:

The cost for outings with Dads is expected to be $2.42 billion this year, representing 22% of total Father's Day spending, according to the group. That means that despite gas pushing $5 a gallon in many locales, getting Dad off the couch and out into the wider world is still a priority.

Retailers can expect consumers to spend $1.45 billion on clothing for Dad. We'll spend $1.32 billion on gadgets of all sorts, representing 12% of Father's Day spending.

Sporting and leisure goods will generate some $770 million in sales, according to this group's predictions, while sales of tools will amount to $748 million.

If those sound like big numbers to you, ask yourself this: What would your dad enjoy more -- a gift of some sort? Or a lazy Sunday spent with his kids and grandkids, a couple of cold ones, and maybe a mom-sanctioned afternoon watching sports on TV. You could give your father a real Father's Day to remember by spending the least amount possible.
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