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Tis the season for joy, peace and love. Tis the season for great food, great friends and so much to be thankful for. Tis the season for charitable giving. Tis NOT the season for spending an arm and a leg on holiday cards. Let's be real here - while we all love to show off our new engagement, our favorite wedding photo, or for me this year, our beautiful new baby - do we really need to spend $160-$200 to do it? Those are actual figures based on the most popular holiday card sites - and they are baseline - no gold foil, no glitter. I love my family and friends and want to send good tidings and cute pictures but I'm certainly not going to broke doing so - I mean there's a college fund to support now...
$28.04 for 100, double-sided, 110lb cardstock Christmas cards. That's over an 80% savings from the standard card retailers.
Luckily, my friends, there's a better way. I spent $28.04 on 100 Christmas cards. Postage cost more than my cards this year - let that sink in. $28.04 for 100, double-sided, 110lb cardstock Christmas cards. That's over an 80% savings from the standard card retailers. I love Minted, Shutterfly and Tiny Prints but I just can't justify spending that much money on something that's going to end up in everyone's trash after a week or so (if you're lucky to make it) on the fridge/wall of fame.
You could pay me a a design fee to do yours and still save over 50%. Bonus? You're getting something that's uniquely you. No one else will have the same card as you and your family's personality can really shine. Read on to learn how you can take a more affordable go at Holiday cards and feel free to contact me if you want something personally designed just for your fam!
How to Save on Holiday Cards
Forget the Major Card Retailers
I did my printing at Office Max (Depot). You really can't get much cheaper printing around these parts. Look at printers in your area though, and if you can find a local guy to do it at a rate you can afford - I'll never argue against supporting small businesses!
Maximize Your Paper Usage
Two 5x7 cards with bleed can fit on one 8.5x11 page. So for every page of printing, you're actually getting two Christmas cards. Say every double-sided color page costs $0.94. That means you're only paying $0.47 per card. That's $0.89 cheaper than some of the cheapest options I found online. #savings
Want to make it even cheaper? Forgo double sided printing and just do a single sided design - only one side at a time can be on display anyways!
Never Pay Full Price
Shop the sales. Even if you're on a time crunch and can't wait for a print sale, the savings mentioned above are still worth taking on this DIY hack. Stores like Office Max run sales though all. the. time. Sign up for their email lists to get special offers as well. A great habit to get into is to have your cards designed early in November so when Cyber Monday deals roll around you're ready to add to cart and checkout.
It's also a great idea to buy your envelopes in bulk ahead of time during a sale. A great option we like are these from Amazon - a great deal either way, but if you catch them on sale, pounce!
Utilize Rewards Programs
Office Max (Depot) has it's own rewards program that gives you a percentage back to use on future purchases. They also allow you to select a local school to receive a percentage of your purchase as well, so that's gotta make you feel good!
The other free program I love is Ebates! You get 3% cash back on orders from Office Max so tack that onto your Christmas Card savings! You should never purchase anything online without checking to see if Ebates is activated - most of your favorite online retailers have their own agreement as to what percentage you earn back. A simple toolbar add-on makes it easy to check and they'll even automatically remind you to activate cash back and apply any additional coupon codes they can find! Accrue cash back and enjoy your "Big Fat Check" in the mail. It literally could not be easier and if you're not using it you're seriously just throwing money out the window. Oh and you get $10 just for signing up. Click here to get started. You're welcome!
Cut Them Yourself
At printers, you pay by the cut and it adds up quick. Format your designs (or have me do it for you) to print appropriately and include faint cut guides so you can use the paper cutter to cut them yourself. That's another nice thing about using the major box stores like Office Max - pick up your prints and walk right over to their self-service professional grade paper cutters. Do a few sheets at a time and in about 10 minutes you have all of your cards cut and ready to stuff into envelopes. If you want to get fancy and have some extra time, go buy one of those scrapbook paper cutter things that round the corners or give you other fancy embellishments.
As you can see, following a few simple tips and investing just a little bit of your own time can save you hundreds of dollars when it comes to print materials. Throw that extra money towards Christmas gifts, your favorite charity or save it for a rainy day!
What money-saving tips would you add? Comment below to share your wisdom with the rest of us! :)
Make your own holiday cards? We'd love to see them and learn where all our readers come from! If you have an extra, make a note that you're a melaniewinters.com reader and send to PO Box 322, Spring Park, MN 55384. We won't hesitate to put you on our wall-of-fame! ;)