With the cost of postage steadily rising, the cost of sending holiday cards has gone up, too. I love to send Christmas cards, but this year I decided to skip it. For one thing, I didn’t really have time. For another, I didn’t want to spend the money. However, I hope to resume the practice next year because I’ve found that the more cards you send, the more you receive. Oh, how I love to receive them and use them as decorations!

If you do a little planning, you can find Christmas cards very cheaply. I’ve found ways to save money on photo cards and traditional holiday cards. It didn’t even take that much effort. I haven’t found ways to save a lot money on custom-printed cards, but I’m not a fan of those anyway. I much prefer a simple scrawled signature to a pre-printed family name on a traditional card. It just feels too much like a business greeting that way.

Photo Holiday Cards
There are two ways to save on holiday photo cards: order a batch of cards with a personalized message from Costco, Wal-Mart, or another online photo store. Rather than folded cards with an image embedded, these are usually templates that you digitally insert your photo into and add a message to. They then print them as a single sheet on photo paper. The year I bought them, we got a set of 50 from Costco for $15.99, envelopes included. I got another 50 for $12. That’s much less than I would have spent on 100 boxed cards.

Some friends usually buy boxed cards and then just stick a photo reprint inside the card. That works, too, if you can find cheap traditional cards.

Cheap Boxed Holiday Cards
The best way to save a lot of money on boxed holiday cards is to buy them the year before. Visit a card store, grocery store, or craft store on December 26 to buy boxed cards at 50-90% off. All you have to do is remember where you put them the next year.

Christmas Card Smorgasbord
I always have a few cards left over at the end of the season. I save them up, and then every five years or so, I use those again instead of buying new cards.

Holiday Newsletters
If you like to send a family newsletter, don’t waste money on the fancy stationery. Instead use free clipart to gussy up the edges of the document and print it on plain white paper. No one really cares what the edges look alike. They only care whether they did better than you this year.

Now that I’ve written this, I wish I had sent holiday cards this year, but where will I ever find the time? Sigh, I’ll just be sure to send them next year.

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