Thursday, September 11, 2008

Keeping the Cost of Greeting Cards Low!

Today was a fun day for me!

My daughter started her first day back to dance class ( ballet and tap ) and was SOOOOOO excited!

And, I have to say that watching a group of 4 years old do ballet is one of the most adorable things EVER! And, well, tap is just hilarious. To watch her wiggle her little hips to a Hannah Montana song is PRICELESS!

Well, explaining the fun I had at dance class leads into my post today. You see, we are in the class with 4 of my friends and their daughters. And, well, one of them just had a beautiful daughter, Anastasia!! So, we came to class with our gifts in tow to give to the "new" baby.

Along with the gift, I also included a card, of course. And, this is one of the areas that you can potentially spend a lot.

If you simply go into a store to pick up a card, they can be quite pricey. I used to always try to find the 99 cent cards, and still do...if I am running low on my stash at home, but I have found I can get an even better deal on cards.


Well, there are two simple ways.

First, I take advantage of the Box of Cards they sell at stores. Over the years, I have found them at CVS and Target. But, even then, I try to watch for them to go on sale or clearance. This past year, I found a box of 20 cards for $5. That is approx. 25 cents a card. Now, that is more like it!

Of course, I usually end up paying more like $8 to $10 a box, and spending about 50 cents a card.

The reason I do this?

It is so handy to have all occasion cards on hand for parties, births, weddings, etc. I can pull them out and be ready to go in minutes. And, it keeps me from running into a store at the last minute and paying "big" dollars for a greeting card. :-)

Another place I pick up a box of greeting cards every year is from school fundraisers, such as Sally Foster. For one, they donate 50% of what you spend to the school. so, I am able to count that money spent towards my donation tally for the year ( for personal purposes...not tax ) while helping my son's elementary. For another, I buy the box of cards from the clearance section for half off.

For example, click here to go to Sally Foster. Then, click on Clearance. Once in there, you will see the 2nd item is a box of 20 greeting cards on sale for $5!! Now, shipping is $5.95, but you are getting 20 cards for that price......a total of approx. 50 cents a card! Great deal!

How else do I take advantage of discounts on cards?

Well, I use e-cards.

For example, today was my mother-in-law's birthday. And, due to school and meetings at work for my husband, we were not able to see her today. We will be going up over the weekend, instead.

I also like to use e cards for those "Hallmark" Holidays. Such as: Grandparents Day, Sweetest Day, etc.

But, I wanted to get something to her today. So, I take advantage of free electronic card programs.

One of my favorites is Smilebox.

It is a wonderful program. You can send simple cards, or you can send albums with slideshows and music, video, electronic scrapbooks and much more. They can even print your scrapbook pages for themselves, when you send to others.

Here is a copy of what I sent today, and it took me about 2 minutes to get this out. Of course, you can do more elaborate items as well. This was just a quick standard template.

Click to play Love You - Happy Birthday
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox greeting

Smilebox does have their free service, which I highly recommend joining. Click here.

But, they also have a subscription program where you can add the music and other extra features. Click here. It has a wonderful 14 day free trial, so since I knew I was going to need the extras..I signed up for the free trial and marked the cancellation date in my calendars ( email, phone and planner ) in case I don't want to keep the service after that.

And, here is another free e-card program, I have talked about before. My Fun Cards.

If you have any other fun and helpful suggestions on how to keep the cost of cards down, make sure to leave a comment below!!

Don't forget to enter my September $25 Giveaway. Simply click here to read the details and enter.


seesawstar said...

I like to make my own cards with family pictures and such. I edit them on my computer so the whole "card" fits on a 4x6 or even a 5x6. Nothing gets more personalized than that, and even a 5x6 is pretty cheap.

When my daughter gets older, I intend to enlist her for my card/giftwrap making. I know that every single one of our family and friends would much rather get one of her masterpieces than a card from Hallmark any day! =P

Carrie @ said...

That is such a good idea, and I totally forgot about that. I did that with my 3rd babies birth announcements.

I took a picture, and then created my own design with my Photo Software. I had it measued at 4X6 and then used my free prints from all the photo sites and had them print them.

I got all the announcements...70 plus, for under $5.00, due to shipping.

Then, I punched holes and tied blue ribbon thru the top to personalize them.

Thanks for reminding me of this great money saver.

When free prints or sales are on, it might be a good time to pre-print cards!

Denise said...

I've been using the boxed sets from Walgreen's. There's 20 in a box and I believe they have them on sale for $1.50 sometimes but regular price is $1.99 if I remember correctly. (I haven't stocked up in a little while.)

Carrie @ said...

Holy Cow!

$1.9 for a box of 20..I am going down the card aisle at Walgreens this weekend.

That is an unbelievalbe price.

Anonymous said...

Just discovered a new site! Their e-cards are very stylish and unique. And best of all they're 100% free and no registration forms to fill out. My favorite categories are their birthday cards and hi, hello cards. Very cool! Check them out!