greeting cards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2991/all en-US 4 Ways to Save Money on Photo Announcement Cards http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-on-photo-announcement-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-save-money-on-photo-announcement-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5928087597_587c888d5c_z.jpg" alt="baby photo card" title="baby photo card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Photo cards are a great way to announce life events or send out family updates because they include pictures, making the message much more personal. We started using them for holiday cards once we had kids so we could show friends and family how the little ones had grown.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the personalization of the card does cost more than a traditional card. This year, every Christmas card we received in the mail was a photo card, so I thought it was time to share a few ways you can save money on photo cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-5-cheap-greeting-cards-that-blow-hallmark-away">5 Cheap Greeting Cards That Blow Hallmark Away</a>)</p> <h2>1. Shop Local &amp; Buy in Bulk</h2> <p>I've found that stores like Sam&rsquo;s Club, Walgreens, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-parents-save-money-at-costco" target="_blank">Costco</a> offer lower prices than online services like <a href="http://www.shutterfly.com/">Shutterfly</a>, <a href="http://www.vistaprint.com">Vistaprint</a>, or <a href="http://www.snapfish.com/">Snapfish</a>.</p> <p>They don't offer the customization options the online providers do, but if you're looking to save money, the local stores are your choice. How big are the savings?</p> <p>Costco will charge you $15 before tax for 50 cards (6 x 7&frac12;). Here are the lowest prices for 50 holiday greeting cards from the some of the online services:</p> <ul> <li>Vistaprint &ndash; $32.45 (5x7) or $23.70 (4x8)</li> <li>Snapfish &ndash; $40 (5x7) or $32.50 (4x8)</li> <li>Shutterfly &ndash; $42.50 (5x7) or $35 (4x8)</li> </ul> <p>If you need more than 50, you can order additional sets of 25 from Costco for $5.50. One downside to Costco is that the minimum order is 50 cards. Places like Shutterfly and Snapfish do give you the option of ordering cards in varying amounts. They offer tiered pricing, so the fewer the cards you order, the higher the price per card.</p> <p>Here's a look at the lowest prices for 20 cards:</p> <ul> <li>Vistaprint &ndash; $12.98 (5x7) or $9.48 (4x8)</li> <li>Snapfish &ndash; $18 (5x7) or $14.60 (4x8)</li> <li>Shutterfly &ndash; $19 (5x7) or $16 (4x8)</li> </ul> <p>Another benefit of buying local is that you don't have to pay shipping costs. The online photo services offer free shipping, but you have to spend a minimum amount to qualify. Right now it&rsquo;s a $65 minimum for Vistaprint and a $30 minimum for Shutterfly and Snapfish.</p> <h2>2. Skip the Upgrades</h2> <p>One of the nice things about the Vistaprint, Shutterfly, and Snapfish websites is that they have search filters that let you narrow down the best card for you based on a variety of features.</p> <p>When you&rsquo;re choosing your card, the fewer features you choose, the more you&rsquo;ll save on your cards. For example, Shutterfly lets you pick between Photo Paper and a more expensive Premium Card Stock. TinyPrints.com gives you the option of upgrading to a Shimmer or DoubleThick Matte finish, both of which are more than the regular Matte or Semi-Glossy finish. Adding more options does make for a fancier card, but it will also cost you more money.</p> <p>We keep all of the cards we get over the holidays on a big ring so we can flip through them later. You can tell which ones are on nicer card stock, but the thing that makes the biggest difference is the picture on the card itself. So choose a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-tips-for-taking-a-phenomenal-family-photo">great picture</a>, and the options and upgrades won&rsquo;t make that much difference.</p> <h2>3. Use Coupons</h2> <p>We saved an additional $5 off our Costco photo card order by using a coupon from the monthly mailer. Many online photo services offer discount codes that you can get if you&rsquo;re on their customer list. You can also find them by just searching the web for &ldquo;photo card coupon code.&rdquo; Some services have a current discounts page, like this <a href="http://www.snapfish.com/snapfish/photo-gifts/coupon-codes" target="_blank">Snapfish deals page</a>.</p> <p>Earlier I mentioned saving on shipping costs by ordering a minimum amount. Some places will also offer discount codes on shipping.</p> <h2>4. Send Some Cards Electronically</h2> <p>My wife doesn&rsquo;t agree with this tip, but if you&rsquo;re really looking to cut costs, it&rsquo;s definitely an option. If you have lots of people you&rsquo;d like to send photos to but don&rsquo;t want to spend the money to buy and mail all those photo cards, you can send some electronically.</p> <p>After you buy and mail physical cards for 10-20 people, you can share the photos on the card with everyone else via email. From their sites, Costco and Shutterfly both let you enter the email addresses you want to share your pictures with. Unfortunately, Costco requires anyone who gets your email to actually sign up for a photo center account before they can view the photos. Shutterfly doesn&rsquo;t force recipients to join their service to see the photos and they even let you add a message to the back of each photo.</p> <h2>Shopping for Value</h2> <p>When you're buying things like holiday cards or baby announcements, you tend to feel a little more sentimental, and your emotions might try to talk you into <a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/10-money-mistakes-to-avoid/" target="_blank">spending extra money</a> because &quot;it's your family and they're worth it.&quot; I agree that they are worth it, but here are a few ways you can send out great family photos that do them justice but don't break the budget. If you can't bring yourself to spend the money on cards even after cutting your costs with these tips you can always <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/expert-tips-to-help-you-make-your-own-holiday-cards-and-save-a-small-fortune" target="_blank">make your own cards</a>.</p> <p><em>How have you found ways to save on photo and announcement cards?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-on-photo-announcement-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-buy-nothing-lifestyle-lessons-from-a-frugal-experiment">The Buy-Nothing Lifestyle: Lessons from a Frugal Experiment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle costco greeting cards holiday cards Thu, 10 Jan 2013 10:48:31 +0000 Ben Edwards 961758 at http://www.wisebread.com Make 5 cheap ‘greeting cards’ that blow Hallmark away. http://www.wisebread.com/make-5-cheap-greeting-cards-that-blow-hallmark-away <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-5-cheap-greeting-cards-that-blow-hallmark-away" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/scissors.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before I share with you my 5 great ways to make outstanding greeting cards, I'd like to rant about the four issues I have with store-bought greeting cards, like those produced by Hallmark in the millions.</p> <p>The first is the price. On average, $4-$5 for a folded piece of card with a stock photo and a humdrum message seems just a little overpriced to me. <br /> <br /> Second, the messages themselves are so generically impersonal, I have a hard time believing you couldn&rsquo;t write something better yourself that&rsquo;s really from the heart. That&rsquo;s why, if I am absolutely in a rush and have no time, I&rsquo;ll buy a blank card and write the verse myself.<br /> <br /> Third, the printing of the price on the back of the card. I know, I&rsquo;m cheap. But it&rsquo;s the first thing people look at when they&rsquo;re shopping around for cards. It&rsquo;s kind of a &ldquo;yes, I like that person&hellip;but not enough to buy this $5 card.&rdquo; Then, the reverse happens. That person casually glances at the back of the card you do buy and says &ldquo;hmm, they like me&hellip;but only enough to buy a $2.99 card. I&rsquo;ll be moving them down my speed dial list.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s like Hallmark is guilting us into buying the more expensive ones.<br /> <br /> Finally, it&rsquo;s the occasions now available. &ldquo;Congratulations on taking the toll road this morning&rdquo; or &ldquo;Sorry to hear your ex-wife got remarried.&rdquo; If you can think of it, there&rsquo;s a card for it. Argh. Sorry, rant over.<br /> <br /> Anyway, I&rsquo;ve always tried to make my own cards. My wife, my folks, my nieces, they&rsquo;ve all received them and they all love them to pieces. And guess what. They&rsquo;re cheaper, more original and way more impressive than anything you can get in the card aisle. So here are 5 cards you can make quickly and easily, with very little talent required. And I guarantee, you will be in that person&rsquo;s good books for months. (By the way, I&rsquo;m assuming everyone has things like scissors, glue, and the usual office supplies.)<br /> <br /> <strong>Number 1 &ndash; The message in a bottle. $2.15 - $3.15</strong></p> <p><img height="224" width="300" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/735867___message__.jpg" alt="Message bottle" title="message bottle" /><br /> <em>Shopping list - </em> <script type="text/javascript">spId="NUsC3MFARg6KCAfHbx3Kqg==/NTxkvscVQXSyd96_E9Z0PQ==";spLabel="Spring It!";spTextColor="#000099";</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://my.springpadit.com/public/badge.js"></script> <br /> 1 glass bottle with cork - $2 (I got mine from Michaels, try any craft store) <br /> 1 piece of scrapbooking paper &ndash; 15 cents (choose a theme appropriate to the message)<br /> A few small shells from the beach &ndash; FREE (or, get a bag for $1 from a craft store)<br /> <br /> <em>Instructions - </em><br /> Do I have to spell it out? Ok. Take the cork out of the bottle, write a lovely message on the paper, put a few shells in the bottom of the bottle, roll up the paper, pop it inside and put the cork back on. Really simple. Do it on Valentine&rsquo;s Day or an anniversary, or a message to friends/relatives overseas. Trust me, it&rsquo;s a winner. <br /> <br /> <strong>Number 2 &ndash; The Sweetheart Note. $1.65 - $2.00</strong><br /> <img height="250" width="223" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/k9a.jpg" alt="sweethearts" title="sweethearts" /><br /> <em>Shopping list - </em><script type="text/javascript">spId="NUsC3MFARg6KCAfHbx3Kqg==/NTBQImW_QrWJHifRFz4zIA==";spLabel="Spring It!";spTextColor="#000099";</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://my.springpadit.com/public/badge.js"></script><br /> 1 box of sweethearts candy &ndash; 50 cents <br /> 1 piece of scrapbooking paper &ndash; 15 cents (choose a theme appropriate to the message)<br /> 1 large envelope &ndash; Around $1<br /> Glue<br /> <br /> <em>Instructions - </em><br /> This one takes a little creative thinking, but c&rsquo;mon, you can do it. Take a box of sweethearts candy, tip them out onto the kitchen table and find the ones most appropriate to your message. Then, simply write your message on the paper, and replace certain words/phrases with candy sweethearts. For instance&hellip;.<em>you have always been <strong>my love</strong> and I will give you <strong>2000 hugs</strong> every day</em>&hellip;etc, etc. <br /> <br /> You have to glue the candy onto the paper, so it&rsquo;s inedible (unless you use sugar paste) but the message and the delivery is great. Just pop the finished masterpiece into your envelope and wait for the reaction. It&rsquo;s really only for couples, but any occasion between two lovers is fine&hellip;a marriage proposal, anniversary, Valentine&hellip;anything. <br /> <br /> <strong>3 &ndash; Photographic Memory - $1.00</strong><br /> <img height="209" width="300" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/252799_memories.jpg" alt="memory lane" title="memory lane" /><br /> <em>Shopping list - </em><script type="text/javascript">spId="NUsC3MFARg6KCAfHbx3Kqg==/NTkl9dQ0SjuVefPy-S19IQ==";spLabel="Spring It!";spTextColor="#000099";</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://my.springpadit.com/public/badge.js"></script><br /> 1 photograph of something special &ndash; 20 cents <br /> 1 piece of card &ndash; 30 cents <br /> 1 envelope &ndash; Around 50 cents<br /> Glue<br /> <br /> <em>Instructions - </em><br /> It&rsquo;s the thought that counts on this one.<br /> Find a photograph of something very special between yourself and the recipient. Maybe it&rsquo;s a photograph of the bench where you had your first kiss. Maybe it&rsquo;s you as a young child. It&rsquo;s really anything that has sentimental value.<br /> <br /> Just glue that to the front of a folded piece of card, with a headline underneath like REMEMBER WHEN&hellip;<br /> With a touching message inside, you&rsquo;ll hit a home run every single time. It&rsquo;s personal, it&rsquo;s from the heart, and it&rsquo;s about 4 times cheaper than your average greeting card.<br /> <br /> <strong>4 &ndash; Origami 101 &ndash; 95 cents</strong><br /> <img height="225" width="300" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/paper_boat_sea.jpg" alt="Origami boat" title="Origami boat" /><br /> <em>Shopping list - </em><script type="text/javascript">spId="NUsC3MFARg6KCAfHbx3Kqg==/NTP7K4C3SwqQxfojfUZv9Q==";spLabel="Spring It!";spTextColor="#000099";</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://my.springpadit.com/public/badge.js"></script><br /> 3 sheets of scrapbooking paper &ndash; 45 cents <br /> 1 envelope &ndash; Around 50 cents<br /> Origami pattern (free on the Internet or from your local library)<br /> <br /> <em>Instructions - </em><br /> Ok, you&rsquo;ll need a few practice runs at this one, which is why I&rsquo;ve included 3 sheets of paper in the budget. Scrapbooking paper is perfect because it&rsquo;s square, and almost all origami patterns start with a square sheet of paper.<br /> Find a pattern appropriate to your occasion (there are thousands of patterns out there), and also your skill level. Be realistic. I&rsquo;ve included a link to get you started <a href="http://dev.origami.com/diagram.cfm">here</a> . <br /> Practice on your two sheets of paper. You want to get this right. Then, write your message on the 3rd sheet of paper, fold it into your Origami shape and pop it into your envelope. The words on the paper will be visible but the message won&rsquo;t be readable until the recipient opens up the folded paper. It&rsquo;s a nice surprise. <br /> <br /> <strong>5 &ndash; The Candy Bar Wrapper - $1 &ndash; whatever you want to spend!</strong><br /> <img height="300" width="200" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/chocolat_au_lait.jpg" alt="Choccy bar" title="Choccy bar" /><br /> <em>Shopping list - </em><br /> 1 sheet of scrapbooking paper &ndash; 15 cents <br /> 1 candy bar &ndash; Anywhere from 30 cents to as expensive as you want to go<br /> Pens, pencils, markers (or use a desktop printer)<br /> Scissors, glue.<br /> <br /> <em>Instructions - </em><script type="text/javascript">spId="NUsC3MFARg6KCAfHbx3Kqg==/NTqbHGByTcuRlgwwU7nUsg==";spLabel="Spring It!";spTextColor="#000099";</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://my.springpadit.com/public/badge.js"></script><br /> This one requires the most skill if you want it to look authentic. I happen to have training in Photoshop and Illustrator so I&rsquo;m good to go. But that really doesn&rsquo;t matter. As far as I&rsquo;m concerned, anything that takes your thought and your time will be looked upon wonderfully by your loved one, even childish scrawl.<br /> So, pick your candy bar. Probably something the shape of a Hershey Bar to make life easy, but if you want to attack a Toblerone be my guest. Measure and cut your piece of paper to size, then write a nice message with a catchy headline. <br /> <br /> <em>A few ideas &ndash; </em><br /> A Giant Hershey&rsquo;s Kiss &ndash; <strong>COULD I GIVE YOU A KISS?</strong><br /> Any candy bar &ndash; <strong>I&rsquo;M SWEET ON YOU</strong><br /> <br /> Those ones just popped into my head, they are lame. And they are based around Valentine&rsquo;s Day, but this could work for a birthday or any other occasion. So, there you have it. 5 great cards, cheap as can be and full of thought and personality. I guarantee any one of these will make you look like a superstar. Have fun with them!</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-5-cheap-greeting-cards-that-blow-hallmark-away">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-valentines-day-gifts-for-10-or-less">20 Valentine&#039;s Day Gifts for $10 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-meaningful-mothers-day-gifts-for-every-budget">30 Meaningful Mother&#039;s Day Gifts for Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-gifts-you-can-get-through-bartering">5 Gifts You Can Get Through Bartering</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-clock-with-frugal-and-simple-valentines-day-ideas">Beat the Clock with Frugal and Simple Valentine&#039;s Day Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living anniversaries birthdays cheap cards cheap gifts creative greeting cards greetings occasions Valentine's Day Mon, 02 Apr 2007 16:52:24 +0000 Paul Michael 435 at http://www.wisebread.com