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Have you ever stopped to think about just how much you’re spending on Greetings Cards each year?
This post is inspired by No-Spend-Year who’s journey I have been following with interest on Instagram. She went on a bit of a rant recently about how much money people waste on greetings cards and it got me thinking about them and how we spend quite a bit on them over the course of the year. Christmas, Birthdays, Valentines, the list goes on and on.
We often buy Greetings Cards as and when they are needed, so it might seem like we’re not spending much. But £2.95 here and £2.20 there soon adds up. You could be into the hundreds by the end of the year, especially if you have a big family.
Then there’s Christmas – with the keeping up with the Jones’s by sending the worlds sparkliest Christmas cards, as well as all the individual ‘Mum’ and ‘Uncle’ cards for the family. You could easily spend £50 in Clinton’s to cover that lot.
So what happens to all these lovely cards post birthday and post Christmas? Unless a special card, for a big birthday or one with a particularly poignant message, I imagine most end up in the (recycling) bin.
Using the classic mantra of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, I want to look at ways to save money on Greetings Cards and hopefully prevent a few from ending up in the bin! Now, I’m not advocating never sending a card again. Especially to older members of the family who may really appreciate the contact receiving a card brings. I just want to consider how necessary each card is, how much I’m spending and where that money is going.
The first thing I want to look at is reducing our consumption of Greetings Cards. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are definitely occasions that call for a card, especially when the card will kept and cherished, such as a Christening or a Wedding. But there are other occasions where the amount of cards we send could be reduced, in particular at Christmas.
Here are some ways to reduce how many Greetings Cards you buy
- Buy a card for the whole family at Christmas rather than individuals.
- Do a ‘to the whole office’ card instead of cards for each person at work. Some workplaces even have message boards where you can write something in lieu of sending any cards at all.
- Donate an amount to charity instead of sending Cards and put a post on Facebook explaining what you have done (I saw a lot of people doing that this year!)
- Send an E-card or short video message instead. I am sure friends and relatives would love to see your happy smiling face!
- Give a framed ‘Forever’ Christmas card which can be got out and displayed along with other decorations each year.
These are some ways to spend less on greetings cards
- If you are going for cheapest then Card Factory is probably your best bet. Many cards are 7 or 10 for £1. Stock up to avoid last minute purchases later in the year. Particularly good for children’s cards if you have a lot of kids parties to attend throughout the year.
- If you have the o2 Priority moments app they often have FREE Greetings Cards, usually from WHSmith. In recent years there have been a box of cards at Christmas as well as Mothers day and Valentines cards.
- Buy out of Season for Christmas, Easter, Valentines etc. Grab in the sales and hide away for next year.
There are so many ways that Greetings Cards can be reused or re-purposed. A friend of ours, Jackie Curtis, is a print-maker based near us in Somerset. She has her Prints and other art made into Greetings cards to promote her work and we have been lucky enough to receive some. They are so beautiful we’ve not wanted to throw them away! So instead we framed one or two and they are now hanging in various spots around the house. The one below has been on our fridge over Christmas!
If you have a large number of cards from a wedding or a special birthday you could cut out a small piece of each and turn them into one large piece of art. Something Turquoise have an excellent tutorial for it here. You could also keep special cards in a Memory Box or cut them up for a Scrapbook.
Save all of your Christmas cards each year and then turn them in gift tags the following year. Simply cut out the most attractive part of the card and hole punch one corner for the ribbon. It’s a simple crafty task that children can help with and it saves money.
You could also just never buy another card for your spouse and continue to keep giving the same one year after year like this couple did. They must have saved quite a bit of money over the years!
If you don’t plan to do any of the above please make sure you are putting your cards in the recycling. Any particularly fancy cards I usually deconstruct, removing bows, tags, ribbon and stashing them away in my craft box for later use.
And finally. . .
If you are prepared to do all of the above it’s worth also thinking about where your greetings cards are coming from. As I mentioned above, many local artists, print makers and photographers have their work made into cards. The price is usually around what you would pay for nice card from Clinton’s or the supermarket. Not only will you be giving something special and unique you will also be supporting a small local business which is definitely something we need more of. A favorite of mine is the work of Susie Thomas from Rocket & Co. You can find her Greetings Cards at the The emporium, Somerset which features lots of crafts people from the local area.