You either love it or dread it, the time of year when sending Christmas cards to family and friends have arrived. For some, it hangs over their head as a massive to-do list. For others, it’s a fun-filled task, and exciting to share.
Regardless of which side of the fence you fall when it comes to Christmas cards, there are plenty of ways to get a good deal on what you’ll place in the mail. If only there was an option to save on postage, but for now, here’s how to make decisions that are cost-effective and stay on budget.
Invest in a Return Address Stamp
First, consider this small investment regardless of how many Christmas cards you are sending out. Unless you know you’ll be moving soon, consider purchasing a return address stamp rather than fancy return address labels. Labels can get expensive if you need a large quantity of them. A return address stamp will cost you about the same as one pack of return address labels and last much longer.
Decide a Style
Before you even set a budget, it’s ok to dream a little. Do some quick research to find which Christmas card designs are your favorite. You might decide you want to have a beautiful family photo this year, or individual pics of you and the kids to include. Perhaps, you’ll even add your fur kids this year. There’s also the possibility of switching it up, skipping the pic, and choosing a style with flowing lettering that shows lots of holiday spirit with a thoughtful message.
Once you decide on your favorite style, then you can determine what the cost is for that particular look. You’ll want to consider different card stocks or materials also when calculating the final price. You might end up sending a wooden ornament as your card this year or include some intricate lace as envelope insert.
You’ll want to keep in mind these two things when using heavier and additional materials for your cards:
- Other materials usually mean higher cost for you to purchase
- More substantial and/or more details mean higher prices for you to send
Take Stunning Photos
Whether your card includes a photo as part of the design or you’re including one as a separate piece, you don’t have to spend a fortune on getting a beautiful photo. This is an expense you should take into consideration when making your Christmas card budget if you’re including a picture of some sort.
The best deal for photos to use in your Christmas card are ones that were taken throughout the year, so you don’t need to gather the family all together for a new photo. However, if you do need a shot of everyone looking put together, the power of cell phone photography can save you big bucks.
As cell phone cameras are improving, users are able to capture fantastic photos that are Christmas card worthy. Here are some tips to get the most out of your smartphone when you pose for this year’s portrait.
Calculate Bundle Pricing
Have you noticed that most Christmas card providers give you a deal when you order higher quantities of your card? It’s a great way to save money if you’re ordering in bulk, but be wary that you could end up spending more than you planned if you only need a few extra.
For example, it might cost $.60 for each card up to 100, and $.50/each if you order 150 cards. Jumping to the next tier in the ordering chart is an additional $15 plus the cost of postage. If you need less than half of the cards you’ll get, consider shortening your list or finding alternate ways to send Christmas tidings to those loved ones.
Also, when it comes to ordering Christmas cards, be wary of the cost of envelopes. If you’re ok with simple envelopes, there are so many options that include free envelopes. Basically, don’t pay for envelopes!
Now that you’ve put so much work into creating the perfect Christmas card this year, you want to make sure that it goes out on time or you’ll risk spending more trying to rush it to the mailboxes of your family and friends. When it comes to postage, the only hack for saving is to make sure they’re sent out with plenty of time to arrive before Christmas Day.
Regardless of where you live, your local mail courier likely has a schedule posted that recommends when to have your Christmas cards mailed by. If you haven’t started your Christmas card journey, these dates are a good starting point to build your timeline backward. While you’re at the post office, grab some stamps so you won’t need to later on. Even if the cards arrive a few days late, remember it’s the thought that counts.
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