My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Frugal Holiday Cards



Christmas is fast approaching, and I'm sure Christmas cards are on everyone's mind. I pretty things, and I anything that will make my card stand out from amongst the rest. Then it occurred to me that no one really displays or even keep their cards anymore, so why am I going to spend good money on a box of cards that's just going to go into the trash? But...no one will throw away a photo card with a picture of an adorable baby on it!

Our bare-bones "must send a card to or else rot in hell for eternity" mailing list consists of 24 families, so cost is always a major concern of mine when sending holiday cards. Just the postage alone will cost $10, so I cannot afford to spend a lot of money on the actual card, and photo cards can get pretty expensive!

One solution that I've found is to make my own 4x6 photo cards in Photoshop. I took advantage of the recent Snapfish 1 cent print deal, and got 25 copies of two different cards - one for Halloween and one for Thanksgiving. I got them yesterday along with my awesome Mailbox of Goodies, and proceeded to package them.

When I first made the decision to design and send out my photo cards, I had the thought to just shove the card in an envelope and mail in. Well, when it actually came to the "shoving", things didn't go quite as planned. I could not possibly stick a 4x6 picture in a huge #10 envelope by itself! It looked so tacky, and I was afraid of the picture being bent out of shape by the time it got to its destination.

I dug through my stockpile of note cards for anything that would be Halloween appropriate, but came up empty. Most of the note cards that I had were "thank you" cards. I was getting pretty desperate, so I finally decided to make my own card out of a piece of letter paper. I made a cute little image with the words "Halloween is fast approaching, and I would like to be amongst the first to say...", so when they opened the card, they would see the actual photo card that says "boo".

Originally, I had thought to print return address labels and also addressees labels. Then I had an eureka moment. I need to use an envelope ANYWAY, so why in the world am I wasting a couple sheets of labels and making more work for myself to stick them on the envelope? Why not just print them directly onto the envelope? So I used the Microsoft Word mail merge and printed out all of my envelopes.

The total time that I spent putting my 25 envelopes together was probably an hour, while tweeting and entertaining the baby. My final cost is under $12 for sending out 25 sets of cards, including postage. I already had the paper and envelopes on hand, so all I had to pay for were the prints and postage. My paper "card" isn't exactly the best one out there, but no one is going to pay attention to that. They're going to pay attention to the photo card on the inside.

It's just like the wrapping on a present - no one stares intently at the wrapping and remembers it after a year...it's the present that matters, not the packaging that it comes in.That being said, I still like to make the packaging as appealing as possible. The packaging is part of the gift, but it's something that I will never spend a lot of money on.

I'm so happy with my frugal holiday cards. These Halloween cards will bring a lot of smiles, and I am very happy to be frugally spreading the joy that is a pouty baby dressed in a penguin suit.

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