Christmas Cards on a Budget

‘Tis that time of year again, isn’t it?  Yeppity yep!  And who has it together enough to get Christmas cards out?  I mean, first you have to actually take pictures, burn an hour of time picking the one with the most eyeballs and smiles, spend another half hour second guessing yourself, stick a design with it, print it, buy stamps, get any addresses you might need, and finally, hand ‘em to the snail but HEY, it’s easy right?

HA HA HA

That’s why I have zero side-eyes for anyone who chooses to forgo sending out Christmas cards and the utmost respect for those who send theirs digitally…smart!!

I like sending out physical cards when I can, that is, when all of the stars align.  Even then, they might make it out before Christmas.  ;)  However, they can get pricey, right?  I hate to break it to anyone and everyone but as much as we love getting the cards in the mail, they get hung until the last day of Christmas and then they get tossed into the recycling bin.  I always feel so guilty for tossing them because I know the work and a lot of the times, the $$ that goes into them but I just can’t stand clutter so, whoop, they go.  Sorry! 

With that, I also get that ours will probably also get tossed BUT I don’t feel so bad because over the past couple of years, I’ve wised up and made our own cards.  The cards, envelopes, and stamps cost us around $70 for 75 cards.  I know that’s not a drop in the bucket but, considering that you’ll pay double, triple, and quadruple that at some online stores, it’s fantastic.  I mean, I won’t name the popular store, but their smallest (4.25” x 6” postcard) holiday cards start at $1.30 per card ($130 for 100 cards).  Yipe!  That’s not even including an envelope (since it’s a postcard) and stamps!  You’ve already eaten up our kids’ Christmas gift budget with that! 

Here’s how we do it so affordably.  Hold on tight…we take a picture, put some words on it, print 4 x 6 photos of it, stick them in envelopes, and send ‘em.  It’s still a good amount of work but with not a lot of money. 


The Picture
We take it ourselves…with the exception of last year’s card.  Someone gifted us a studio session (four years ago…we are photo procrastitors) so we used that as a card. 

The Design
I’ve used pixlr.com to place words and designs and more recently, I’ve used the Rhonna Designs app.  Last year I bought a winter designs package that cost 99 cents and this year I bought an additional font pack that ran us back the same amount.  Things are adding UP.  ;)

The Prints
We get our “cards” printed at Sam’s.  4 x 6 prints are only 17 cents each (14 cents each if you order more than 100) so that brings our grand total to $12.75 plus tax for 75 prints.  **Update:  Apparently, it’s cheaper if you have your prints printed and sent to you!  I just ordered ours and paid $10.67 TOTAL for 80 prints to be shipped to me!  It ended up being 8 cents per print plus $3.30 for shipping from Sam’s!**   If you want to go for a slightly larger 5 x 7, the total would be $43.50 for the same amount of cards.  I don’t have any experience with any other picture printers to know who has the best quality but Sam’s has worked just fine for us.  What printer do you use and like?  Free Prints might be a good way to go too!  Anyone ever tried them? 

If you’re not keen on the generic background of a print, you could always glue some pretty cardstock to the back of each card.  Buy precut, cut-to-size, or cut slightly larger than your print so the design peeks out around the edges of the front of the card (just make sure you get a larger envelope if you go this route).

The Envelopes
The slight downfall of not ordering pre-designed prints is the fact that you have to buy your envelopes.  But whoop-dee-do, good thing they’re cheap.  We use these envelopes.  My fave color is green, but they come in red, or a pack of metallic holiday colors, or just about every other color of the rainbow so you can match your card to your envelope.  Yay!  If you go with 5 x 7s, these foil-lined envelopes are gorgeous!  And just to add a little more fun to the envelope, I started printing addresses onto them last year.  I downloaded a cool font, pulled addresses from a running spreadsheet, and printed.  It’s easy and has me pushing off arthritis just a tad longer.

Postage

Stamps are obviously the biggest bulk of the cost of our cards but I always make sure to buy Forever Stamps in rolls so that I can reuse whatever I have left later.

And that’s how we holiday card.  Here’s what Christmas memory lane looks like for us:

2015
  christmas2015b

2016
IMG_2193

Stay tuned for this year’s card!

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5 comments

  1. you're a genius!!! Last year I got 80 cards (card stock) + envelopes for $43 on Snapfish on Black Friday (not so on top of it this year) and they were JUST as nice as the crazy pricey Minted ones!! Or so I thought ha

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  2. Love all of these ideas! I definitely spent too much last year. Even with coupons. :(

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  3. Lauren at Here We GeauxFriday, December 08, 2017

    Yours are totally cute but still a good bit of work. I always get amazing deals on shutterfly, like we ordered 10 calendars, a water bottle, place at, and 50 cards for $108. You can't beat that!!!

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    Replies
    1. Wow! That is a great price for all of that Lauren!

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