"What Inexpensive Gifts Will My Boyfriend Like For His Birthday?" [Ask a Dude]

Dear Dude,
I’m struggling with what to get my boyfriend for his upcoming birthday. I’m in college so I’m on a tight budget (like, under $100, preferably less), but I want to get him something he’ll actually like or use. Any ideas?
Girlfriend Gifter
Dear Girlfriend Gifter,
As we age and realize the implications of our tastes (read: spending), we become more aware of the wear-and-tear birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries have on our wallets. Sure, those shiny things are nice or those games look really cool, but everything is so expensive these days. My step-sister told me once that, “You should just pick something up that makes you think of them,” (or some crap along those lines) to avoid situations like this. Now that the date is approaching and you have to come up with a cheap idea quickly, however, this initial advice may save you some trouble.
What’s he like? Usually every interest has little intricacies in them that cannot be overlooked. If he defines as the gamer type, batteries and a game could run you between sixty to eighty bucks. If he’s a sports team fanatic, paraphernalia is a great option. If he’s into drugs, paraphernalia is a great option. Gym rat? Shaker, sweatbands, and tank tops. Books about his hobbies. Books in his favorite genre. Booze. These are just the things you can buy.
There are ways to show appreciation that don’t need to be expensive. Cook him dinner. Make a picture frame or a collage (recommended for longer relationships). Make a mock coupon book that has stuff like “free designated driver,” “immediate forgiveness for that stupid comment/thing I did,” “outfit of your choice during sex,” “wash dishes/laundry/car in bikini,” and things like that. If you’re really at a loss, just ask him what he wants. I know going down on him after (or before) giving him chocolate and a card will brighten up his special day.
Be creative and have some fun with this!
The Dude

[Got a Dude itch you just can’t scratch? Sick of trying to come up with a not-totally-crazy-girl way to bring it up to your guy friends and get their take on things? Totally over over-analyzing the cryptic messages he leave on your Facebook Wall? We got your back, girlfriend. Send your question over to askthedude [at] collegecandy [dot] com. The Dude won’t sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. Like a nice, juicy hot dog, he’ll be 100% real beef, 100% of the time. So bring. it. on.]
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