(Courtesy Attitude of Gratitude)
I like getting greeting cards. They are thoughtful and fun. But there are a lot of holidays in the year–birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.–and most of them require giving a card of some kind. That can really add up. Usually I buy cards ahead of time, but Mother’s Day sneaked up on me and I had to buy the cards at a drugstore. I was surprised to see that some greeting cards are getting up to around $7 a card now. That’s a lot to pay for a piece of paper that most people will read once and throw away.
Even at the average $4 a card, greeting cards can cost a surprising amount of money. If I bought cards for all the people I love at that price, I would probably spend about $75 a year on cards, and I have a small family. My usual method is to spend under $10 a year on greeting cards, saving about $65. The trick is to think ahead and buy a lot of cards at a cheap resource. I usually get all my cards at once and keep them in a box in a drawer for when I need them. This is also more efficient and saves extra trips to the store.
But there to get cheap cards? Here is what I have discovered:
Make Your Own–If done correctly, a homemade card will illicit smiles and chuckles and cost about as much as a piece of paper. Homemade cards do look cheesier, but they are also more personal and thoughtful. I am sure you can make them for under $.10 each.
Card Outlets–This is an outlet store that just specializes in greeting cards. They cost about $.40 each. I usually go about once a year and get all of the cards I will need for about $8. If you have a card outlet near you, take advantage of it.
Boxed Cards–Boxed sets of cards are an efficient source for cards. About two years ago I bought a set of generic birthday cards with cakes on them for $8.99 and I am still using them. There were 16 cards in the box, which means each card costs $.56 each.
Blank Cards–There’s nothing wrong with using a blank cards. You can get interesting, beautiful cards in boxed sets that you can write your own message in. They cost about the same as my birthday cards, roughly $.60 a card.
Dollar Stores–If none of the above works, it’s still pretty common to find cards for $.99 each. Even the drugstore I was in yesterday had a $.99 section. Dollar stores are the most reliable source for this–sometimes they even have half-off sales, so keep an eye open.