I love gift giving, but I also want to be smart about it by not spending money unnecessarily. Get typically expensive greeting cards with these tips:
- Join a rewards program at a card store like Hallmark. Their free program offers monthly e-mail coupons (like a BOGO printable) as well as point accumulations for purchases. Redeem points for more cards or other store merchandise.
- Check your favorite dollar store, which sell cards at a fraction of the price. Most have price points of $2.00-$3.00 printed on the back of the card, even though they sell for $1.00 or less. If you pair a promotion, like Dollar General's $5.00 off a $25 purchase (with coupon) on some Saturdays, a cart full of 50 greeting cards priced at 2 for $1.00 only cost $0.40 cents each!
- Seek bundled cards. Some gift shops and retail stores will bundle their discontinued or "last-of" cards for deep discounts. My local card store packages 5 cards in grab bags with general titles like "Get Well," "Birthday," and "Love" for $1.99—but customers have to know to look because they are in brown paper bags and kept in the back of the store.
- Donate to a favorite charity in exchange for greeting cards. Charitable organizations like the World Wildlife Federation, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, and many others often offer greeting cards as a "Thank you" gift for a monetary donation. So if you are planning a donation anyway, getting cards in return is a positive bonus. (The organization's logo or web address is usually printed on the back).
- Check garage sales and resale shops. Greeting cards are an often-overlooked product for people who shop second-hand. Look for assorted, bundled greeting cards in zip-top bags.
- Reuse cards you receive, especially pretty ones. Cut a card along its fold line, punch a hole in the top, and attach the card to a gift bag or box. Write your gift message on the back side of the card, which is blank. Voila! A "new" card!
- Never buy a wedding card. Instead, use the bride and groom's existing paper invitation as a stand-in. Write special sentiments on the back of the invitation and affix if to the gift.
- Stock-up on cards after the season has ended. After-Christmas sales are perfect, but make a habit of checking for boxed cards after other holidays, like Valentine's Day and Halloween.
- Free card for a free code. Cardstore.com and Treat.com routinely offer free promo codes for personalized cards.
- Make one—or, better yet, have your children make cards. Their grandparents, friends, and other recipients will cherish these.
- Does the recipient really NEED a card? Your toddler nephew may prefer the gift and not extra paper; your graduating-from-high-school babysitter might well prefer cash in an envelope and a nice note.
Spending less on cards leaves more money in your pocket for actual gifts. Also, using these methods creates a stockpile of cards that you didn't spend full price on.
This has been a guest post by Audrey from TX
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