Five gift ideas for Dad -- dollar store style

Okay, June 21st is coming up fast and you need something to show Dad you're thinking about him. Problem one: men are notoriously hard to buy for. Problem two: the piggy bank is nearing empty.

This calls for some inventive thinking, and a trip to your friendly neighborhood dollar store. So while you can still get the colognes, ties and socks at the dollar store and these may still be fine for a dad who needs those things, lets look beyond the usual, shall we?

For the golfer -- How about three Top Flight golf balls and a package of 48 golf tees for a total cost of $2? I've seen other golfing accessories at Dollarama from time to time, as well. Pack your finds into a zippered 9" x 5" tote for a total cost of $3. Dad can then use the bag for toiletries when he travels. It struck me as being just the right size to pack an electric razor and cord in.

For the fisherman -- I saw a ton of stuff for the fisherman at Dollarama, including a sturdy folding stool for $2 so Dad can rest a spell while he's waiting for the big one to bite. You can get lures, spinners, flies, leaders, sinkers and a 656-yard spool of 8-lb. fishing line, all for a buck each, so you can pick and choose what you think Dad would like. You could even buy Pop a bamboo fishing rod for $1, so he can make like Tom Sawyer. And they have fishing reels for $2, as well. Everything mentioned here totals $11.

For the wine connoisseur -- Can't afford Pop's favorite wine? Pack a wine gift bag with two new wine glasses and a metal corkscrew/bottle opener. We found a neat, reusable wine bag made of jute with bamboo handles that cost $1.25. Everything else was only a buck each, making this gift total $4.25.

For the tool guy -- A good way to judge a tool is to feel the weight of it. A ratcheting screwdriver I found passed that test; it feels good and solid and comes with five interchangeable tips. The four that aren't in use store inside the handle. It cost $2. At only 5" long, it would be a good item for the tool box in Dad's car. Another $2 tool is an intriguing multi-purpose gizmo that's made of stainless steel and folds into a 2 1/2-inch pocket-size. The packaging says it's great for traveling, camping, hiking or fishing and includes pliers, a file, a small knife and a couple of mini-screwdrivers. Both of these come packaged; just slip them into a small gift bag and you're good to go.

For the camper -- I saw lots of great things for camping that Dad is sure to appreciate. One was a small LED lantern with two brightness settings for $2. Another was a hiking headlamp, which was also only $2. Just add batteries for a gift that costs about three bucks.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes ideas for-gift giving and home decorating using only items from the dollar store.

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