Friday, December 9, 2011

Let's Talk about Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are truly so much fun to make, to send and to receive.  They can also get pretty expensive if you're not careful and if you don't plan ahead.  For the last few years, we've found ourselves purchasing our Christmas Cards at Walmart about 10 days before Christmas.  They provide 1 hour service and the quality is good.

We need about 70 cards every year, and we typically pay $0.44 per 4" x 8" card plus $0.44 per stamp to mail them.  Our typical cost to send Christmas cards every year comes out to about $62.  Whoa.  (Side note:  I've been wanting to purchase 5" x 7" card stock Christmas cards for the longest time, but even on Walmart photo paper, a 5" x 7" card is almost twice the cost of a 4" x 8" card.  We've never ordered 5" x 7".  Enter sad face here.)

To reduce some of this cost, we've considered making a simple bordered picture from Walmart and including it in a paper card.  Bordered pictures are substantially less expensive than the actual Christmas Card option at Walmart, and range in price from $0.09 to $0.19 each depending on if the photos are picked up in store or shipped...but then we'd want to buy an additional paper card as well which brings the cost back up.

This year, I decided that I would keep my eyes peeled for a good online Christmas Card deal, and when I came across this one from Card Store last Saturday, we jumped on it!  I found the deal on Hip2Save, one of my very favorite coupon and deal shopping sites.  Basically, everything at Card Store was on sale for 70% off and included free shipping, free address printing, and free postage!  We ordered up a 5" x 7" flat card stock photo card that came in at $29.31 and included 70 cards, addressed envelopes and stamps.  Since 70 stamps would cost $30.80 alone, this card deal is a steal!

I'll be honest, I was a little nervous about what would show up at our door and how long it would take to receive our cards, but last night a little box arrived that contained these:




I'm ecstatic!  They are addressed and stamped!  We just have to stuff them and plop them in the mail!  (Side note: Card Store is happy to stuff them and mail them to your recipients for you, if you desire.  Personally, I don't mind stuffing them and mailing them myself, because I'm sure they are all going out that way!)

Other things of note:

*Bill was the designer of our card this year.  The card is a compilation of all the 'bad' Christmas Card photos we attempted to take this year, and the card reads, "We Tried!"  Bill's one funny man.  I know he's funny because sometimes he laughs at his own jokes:).

*I hand entered all of the addresses into Card Store's website.  We keep our card recipient list in an Excel file that I use to print labels every year (except this year!).  Apparently, there is a way to upload the Excel file onto Card Store's website.  That would have been a big time saver!

*We did not buy the cheapest card available at Card Store.  The 4" x 8" are cheaper, and people have commented at Hip2Save that they were able to purchase 50 stamped and addressed cards for $14.  Insanity!

*As for the quality, we got the basic 5" x 7" finish which is good, not great.  Also, some of the ink from addressing the envelopes is a little smeared in places.  For the money, though, you cannot go wrong, unless you are a super perfectionist, which I used to be, but now I'm not.  Life is too short.

*Card Store is offering different discounts every day.  As I write this post (Thursday Night), they are offering 60% off.  When we placed our order, the site was offering 70% off.

*We placed our order at 5pm Saturday night and received our order Thursday, so it took about 4 business days.

*Finally, this purchase is definitely a nearly $30 zinger on our  'No Spend December' Goal, but Christmas Cards are a necessity, right:)?  Perhaps I picked a bad month to try to be ultra frugal.

Has anyone else found a good deal on Christmas Cards?  Does anyone send e-cards?  I'll be back later this afternoon to show you an idea for displaying Christmas Cards now that they are rolling in!

2 comments:

  1. O man! Where was this post two days ago? LOL. I did the Walmart thing again but it looks like I could've saved a bit huh? Next year! Thanks for the info Bethmeister!

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  2. Shoot...I thought about posting the card deal earlier, but it kind of seemed like an 'it's too good to be true' deal, so I wanted the cards in my hands before mentioning it to anyone. Like you said, there is always next year!

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