How to Save Money on Christmas CardsPosted: November 29, 2013
I enjoy sending Christmas cards. I’ve mentioned this before, but I find it a nice way to show people that while I’m not consistently in contact with them, I still think about them. However, there can be no denying that mailing Christmas cards can add additional costs to the already expensive holiday season.
Over the last couple of years I’ve started to develop a system to decrease the cost of sending Christmas cards. Keep in mind that I’m talking about mailing hard copies, not using an electronic version. I know some people prefer to save money this way. However, I know how much I like getting real mail (you know, something besides bills and credit card offers), so I try to continue to send out physical copies of Christmas cards. If you don’t like getting personal letters in the mail, please let me know and I’ll cross you off my list. :p
Anyway, here is how I try to cut costs during Christmas card season:
Buy cards 11 months early: Have you noticed how cheap Christmas supplies are after Christmas? The weeks following December 25 is a great time to stock up on Christmas trimmings that aren’t perishable. Either you can buy your cards for next Christmas or you can procrastinate and send your annual card after Christmas. Either way, you can easily cut the cost of cards in half! The cost of an individual card can be as low as $0.16.
Order basic prints for photos: I got this idea from my mother. Every year my mom would line my brother, sister, and me up around Thanksgiving, took our picture several times, and ordered multiples of the best one. This has only become more cost effective with digital cameras. For my Christmas card, I simply find a decent picture of my husband and me from the past year and order my prints. Since prints typically cost $0.09-$0.15 apiece, this helps keep costs down. This year I found a coupon for 50 free prints off from Shutterfly.com, so my cost for prints came out to be $0.12 apiece–most of that cost was for shipping.
Keep the newsletter simple: One of my favorite parts about receiving Christmas cards are the newsletters–I love catching up on what people have been doing over the past year! However, I care more about the content than how the newsletter looks. Consequently, I print our 1 page, black and white newsletter on plain paper at home. I’m not sure how much this adds to the total cost, but I figure if my husband is starting to print entire books with our printer (long story), I can print 60 copies of our newsletter. I estimate it costs about $0.10 apiece.
Plan ahead and save up for stamps: Whenever we get an ad from USPS, I secretly hope that it’s a coupon for discounted stamps. Since this has yet to happen, I try to spread out the cost of buying stamps over a couple of months. This way spending $30 on stamps doesn’t seem like an unexpected blow to our budget. Still, stamps are the most expensive aspect of Christmas cards, costing about $0.50 apiece.
With these techniques, I’ve found that I’m able to send out Christmas cards for about $0.88 apiece. That’s not too shabby considering the number of things you can get for less than $1.00!
How do you save money on Christmas cards?