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Frugal Stocking Stuffers for Dads

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So far you’ve seen some great stocking stuffers for babies, small children and mommies.  Today, it is all about the daddies out there.  So ladies, listen up!  Gosh, I’ve always wanted to say that and actually have someone listen.  Anyway, today I want to share some ways you can make your man happy by putting good stuff in his Christmas stocking without spending a fortune to do it.  Before you see the list, keep in mind frugal doesn’t always mean cheap.  For instance, I’ll recommend a rockin’ awesome flashlight.  You can buy a flashlight at Dollar Tree and that type of light has its place.  But for what I recommend, a buck won’t buy it.  Okay, on to my list.


Do you know how hard it is for a man to claim gum or candy as his own?!  When there are kids and a wife around, that stuff doesn’t last long and dad usually ends up eating the unidentified remains of various candies in a weak attempt to satisfy his sweet tooth.  Give your man a candy stash that he can claim as his own with no sharing required.

Thank You Notes

I’m a big believer in thank you notes.  I was taught at a very young age that these notes should be common courtesy when you receive a gift or when someone has done something that truly deserves thanks.  But I’m a man.  I assume most men don’t write these types of notes, but I also assume it is because they can only find pink, flowery, girly cards to write them on!  I don’t do Hallmark.  I don’t understand frilly, pretty notes for men.  It makes no sense.  Give me some nice, manly thank you notes (or even better, some blank cards) that I can use to send notes throughout the year.

A Good USB “Thumb” Drive

In 2008, I bought a good thumb drive for my key chain and have carried it every day since.  It was $40 then, but an even better one can be bought on Amazon for $15 or less.  You’d be surprised how often that thing comes in handy to hang on to files from my work computer, a friend’s laptop or even moving data from one machine to another when I’m doing misc. tasks between machines.  If your man has any nerdiness in him at all, he’ll appreciate a decent USB drive for his key ring.

A Really Good Flashlight

A few years ago I took up the shooting sports and realized you can spend a ton of money on anything that includes the word “tactical” in its title.  Most of it is all hype.  You can buy tactical pens, tactical bracelets, tactical belts, and just about everything else out there you might imagine.  Most of them (certainly not all) are all hype, but every man needs a good flashlight.  The one I carry every day, whether wearing jeans or a suit and tie is my Streamlight PT1L.  It is a “tactical flashlight”, but this one is worth it.  Yes, it is expensive.  Yes, it is awesome. Stacy borrows it.  Annie wants to play with it.  Good gift for any man.

Shaving Stuff

I’m not recommending the cheap, strong-smelling stuff made almost purely from alcohol – I’m talking about the good, luxurious stuff he wouldn’t buy himself but would like to have.  Since razors are a very personal choice, maybe a good aftershave or shave soap would be nice.  Vitacost has a lot of these options and most are very reasonably priced.

Other Ideas

If the things I’ve mentioned above don’t tickle your fancy, there are always some popular alternatives:

  • Pens
  • Golf balls
  • Car care products
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Coffee single pack
  • Gift card
  • Homemade coupons for help with “manly chores”
  • Lip balm (remember, manly…so no fruity flavors, color or glitter…unless you want it as a prank…just thinking out loud)

What else will you put in your man’s stocking this year?

Reminder!!! This is the LAST DAY to enter the $100 Target gift card giveaway!

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Barry

Barry is the husband half of the Stacy Makes Cents team, responsible for all the marketing, website development, sanity management and taste testing. Barry writes about personal finance issues, helping people get out of debt, live on a budget and make the most of every cent that comes into their hands. He is the author of From Debtor to Better: The Details of Debt and How to Get Out! and writes periodically on his own site, Debtor to Better.


  1. roxanne cyrankowski says:

    Great ideas! Love the gum… my girls always take dad’s gum!

    My hubby likes to fish so I usually add fishing magazines, lures, bait etc.. I also include manly body wash (Axe).

  2. I love all of these! I’ve also put a few free samples in along the way – coffee kcup samples, breathe right strips (must have those around here!). I love your ideas too! I need to add some things I’ve actually bought – LOL! So I’ll work on that! Thanks Stacy and Barry for this!

    • Good ideas. When I wrote this post I didn’t think it would prompt so many new things for me to consider for the stocking but I’m enjoying that side benefit.

  3. My hubby’s favorite Stocking treat is a large Toblerone bar. I get them at Cost Plus/World Market, but they only come out just after Thanksgiving, so that’s one gift I end up having in the fridge or freezer for a month before it goes in his stocking!

  4. A bottle of red wine to be shared over dinner together and a bottle of his favorite Root Beer will fill my husbands stocking this year.

  5. a homemade giftcard allowing him to take a time out : his quiet time !!
    ofcourse al kinds of stuff for his hobby’s (!) Also practical gifts like socks and underwear.

    • Good ideas. I’m almost always BUSY so I appreciate a brief quiet moment or two occasionally. Although I have to admit it is a little odd not having anything to do. Sometimes even a little scary.

  6. Andrea R. says:

    My husband loves junky chips- Doritos, Munchies , etc. I never buy them for him (cause I’d end up scarfing down the whole bag on the way home from the store). Think I’ll buy the individual sized bags for him to take to work.

    • Good plan. A treat that if you do happen to scarf down the whole bag won’t be too detrimental to your health. ;0)

  7. My husband has that exact flashlight. He has a “thing” for flashlights! :)

    Like someone above, I always get my husband Toblerone chocolate. Our Kroger usually has them in case someone is interested. I also get him Flipz, the white chocolate covered pretzels (I get them when they’re BOGO at Publix.)

  8. Great ideas! I’ve been filling my hubby’s stocking for 16 years, but never thought of thank you notes. You deserve a thank you note just for putting that bug in my ear.

    So…what you’re saying is glitter lip balm is a no-no? Really? I have to rethink the stocking. 😉

    Thanks for the ideas, Barry!

  9. Really great idea’s! My husband likes the small things of lotion. He works contruction and gets really dry. I also throw in those small mens manicure sets topped with a manly pair of house shoes :)

  10. Good ideas! I usually do special candy (he loves white chocolate) and gum or mints (otherwise this stuff gets lost in the depths of my purse, LOL). One other thing I like to toss in for my guy since he loves fishing are lures. And, I’m giving him new socks too. Seems insignificant but it’s kinda a need-it type item that (on a budget) just makes it’s way into a gift! 😉

  11. These ideas are awesome…and you didn’t once mention a tie! Thanks for mentioning things that men would actually like. There are a lot of cool thumb drives out there. I have a superman one and green lantern one because I’m a big superhero fan, so if your husband has an affiliation with a favorite sports team or other interest, chances are that there is a flash drive to match. Also, since Barry mentioned shaving stuff, if any of you wives have bald husbands, you should check out The Headblade.

    • Thanks for the Headblade link, Will… I hadn’t heard of this. It looks like a great, inexpensive gift idea for my hubby who constantly complains about the pain of using a regular razor on his head. =o)
      I LOVE how I always get great ideas from this blog. ;o)

  12. Small drill bits, zip ties ( not the kind you wear LOL), and Super glue are always in my hubby’s stocking!

    • Super glue! Perfect! I buy the huge tub of zip ties since they’re cheaper that way but I’m always sad when I run out. Stock up! (pun intended)

  13. I just ordered the survival bracelet! We’ve been married for 10 years and we don’t normally do Christmas gifts, let alone stockings, for each other, so this will be a fun surprise! Thank you!!

    • Stacy bought me a watch with a para cord band. It is great and although I’d hope to never need to use the cord it is nice to know it is there. Plus it looks really cool…and most of the time that’s what matters to a guy.

  14. I’m getting so many great ideas! I get my husband lip balm only he requests strawberry! 😉

  15. My hubby’s stocking will contain: From Target(a backscratcher and 3 different types of massage tools), from Clinique(men’s face gel- When I order my make-up from Clinique they always offer free samples. I sometimes choose the men’s products to save for Christmas stockings.) and from Ulta (fragrance samples, same deal as the Clinique samples.)

  16. Can you hook the flashlight onto a keychain? He asked for one of those for work.

  17. So, I’ve been thinking and thinking of something spectacular for a man’s stocking, and it finally hit me….a laser pointer! My husband loves them and has given them to other men at our church. They all love them! It has something to do with the kid in the man, I think! :)

  18. Angela Bailey Coffman says:

    beef jerky :)

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