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Making And Sending Christmas Cards For Less Money.

In an attempt to reduce both our cash outlay (on cards, at least) and our environmental footprint, my wife and I decided that we would make Christmas (or holiday, depending on the recipient) postcards this year – from scratch. Most years we would do what everyone else does – buy box upon box of Christmas cards and sit for hours signing our name, stuffing envelopes, and licking stamps. And as we all know, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of oh, 100% of these cards end up in a landfill or a recycling station somewhere. Most holiday cards also use virgin paper instead of recycled paper, so it is really a huge waste of paper to make all these cards every year! So this year we wanted to do something different, and here is the front of what we made:

holiday-card-front.jpg

We bought a ream of 100% recycled card stock for $14, a few rubber stamps at Michael’s (a few of them were only $1 each!) and two ink pads – red and green. For a few hours, we stamped the different designs and colors on both sides, with the front being only for the card and the back being split in two like a typical postcard: the left for our greeting and the right for the stamp and address:

holiday-back.jpg

And since stamps for postcards are only $.26 compared to stamps for regular mail at $.41, the post cards cost $.15 less to send. Sure, not a big difference if you are sending 2 or 3 cards, but there are 65 people on our Christmas card list at a minimum, so that switch alone saved us $10. So for a grand total of less than $45 we were able to send handmade Christmas cards to 65 people while at the same time reducing the amount of waste our cards produced. I know my mom will be thrilled – it will be like the old days when I made her cards in school! ;-)

So my question to you is – Do you have any ideas for saving money on holiday cards this year?

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Comments (14)

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  1. Randall says:

    We’ve been using the digital camera+preprinted card+printer stuff for years. The preprinted cards are a little more expensive than plain paper, but they look prettier than COMPLETELY printing your own, and they are cheaper than the completely pre-made variety. Kind of a balance of frugal and nice.

  2. DebtDieter says:

    I send a lot of emails these days instead. I love your idea though, might put it on the list to do next year, as it’s always nice to get something handwritten in the post!

    Also, from a ‘green’ perspective, here in Australia we have a huge greeting card recycling program that runs after Christmas, where you can drop off your cards.

  3. Lazy Man says:

    We just went with Shutterfly. It costs a little more, but we sent three pictures of our wedding in a nice professional layout. Best part is that it didn’t take hours for us to send out. Well it might have been close to an hour and half, but we did something like 120 cards. Some of that time was simply gathering and printing addresses.

  4. david says:

    We went with the wedding pics after ours too, everyone loved them!

  5. Pam says:

    David,

    Thanks for the tips on making the holiday cards.

    I have an unrelated question — can you please explain how bloggers make money by blogging? It is tied to advertising? How do you go about making money once you start blogging? I am sure other readers of your site too find this information useful.

    Thanks.

    Pam.

  6. david says:

    Maybe in a future post Pam – that’s a big subject that can require a lot of information!

  7. Shay says:

    I buy my christmas cards in the after christmas sales for the following years, I pay around 50 -79c (AUD) for each pack, I send my cards when Australia Post brings in the stamps for christmas cards (reduced rate for postage) and if I don’t use the cards I receive the following year for craft they go to the recycling programme we have here for christmas cards.

  8. Great idea! We do holiday pictures at JCPenney with a 50% off coupon, then send them out with holiday postage stamps discounted.

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