Sending holiday greeting cards can get pretty pricey. And when you’re busy creating personal holiday greetings, it’s easy to forget that you also have to pay to mail them.
Here are a few ways you can save money on your holiday cards:
Saving Money on Holiday Cards
Have a plan. Determine what type of holiday cards you want to send so you can watch for sales. If you’re planning on photo cards, decide what photos you will use in advance. If you’re planning to make your own cards, watch for sales on supplies.
Shop early…as in, January. Buy your holiday cards for the next year during the after-the-holiday clearance sales and you’ll save as much as 90%. Start watching for photo card deals during the summer and fall and order cards when they are on sale.
Take advantage of photo card freebies. Have a collection of photos picked out to design your greeting cards and you’ll be ready when a great photo card freebie pops up. Sometimes companies like Snapfish, Shutterfly, and Walgreens will offer free cards in quantities of 5 or 10. Order just enough to get the best deal. No one says that you have to give all of your family and friends the exact same photo card from the same company. With a plan for your photos and a little patience, you could get all of your photo cards for free from several different vendors. And if you collect MyCokeRewards, check for photo freebies you can score with your codes.
Stick to newsletters. Use your computer’s word processing program to write a fun newsletter. Then use a simple photo editing software program like PicMonkey or Canva to create a black & white photo collage that you can photocopy on the backside of your holiday newsletter. You’ll be able to send photos and your family’s news for just pennies a copy. Or create a newsletter and then send a 4×6 photo. Standard 4×6 photo prints are much cheaper than holiday photo card designs.
Consider postcards. Postcards cost less to print and less to mail, so send holiday photo postcards and save. One friend of ours put their entire newsletter on a website, and then put the link and a short holiday message on their postcard.
Stick to e-greetings. If you really want to save money on your holiday cards, send e-cards or e-newsletters instead. This money-saving option is also more environmentally friendly. It’s free, but you will spend some time tracking down e-mail addresses, and you may not reach those who have chosen to unplug.
Make your own. If you’re crafty, then raid your scrapbooking supplies to create your own greetings. By using scraps , leftover embellishments and supplies you get on sale, you’ll save money.
Trim your holiday card list. Consider trimming your list of recipients in order to save on greetings. The first to go – people that never acknowledge your greetings. You could also cut people that you see all the time. Send e-cards to internet-savvy family and friends instead.
Triple check your list. There’s nothing worse than spending the money to send a card, only to have it show up in your mailbox marked “Return to Sender.” Check your mailing list closely to make sure every address is current and correct.
Use a service that prints and sends cards for you. Companies like Cardstore.com usually include the cost of postage in their cards. You can watch for deals, design your cards and send them right from the website. You’ll save on shipping, and you’ll save time, too, especially if you already have your addresses in a database you can upload to the site.
Send New Year’s greetings instead. If you’re willing to wait, a bit, there are usually some fabulous last minute photo card deals before the holidays. You won’t get them shipped to you in time to send them before Christmas, but you’ll save a ton of money. You could also purchase boxes of holiday greeting cards (look for more neutral “holiday greetings” types of messages) at the after-Christmas clearance sales.
Remember that it’s the thought that counts when it comes to sending holiday cards. If you are just doing the cards out of rote obligation, you may want to rethink your plan.
Your turn: How do you save on holiday greeting cards?
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