Fall is here and so are all the holidays that come with the season. Although Christmas seems far away, it’s time to start getting ready for this holiday if you want to save money.
Starting early assures you will find the best prices on wrapping paper and gifts. It’s time to make your list and check it twice before you try to brave the mall. If you are giving up gift giving this year because of the bad economy, consider inexpensive homemade gift ideas.
For those of you who have made it a tradition to send out personalized Christmas cards with your family’s portrait, the clock is ticking to jump on the good deals. Here are some frugal tips to getting it done on a budget.
Costco – The mega warehouse not only sells toilet paper by the bulk, but it also provides discounted prices on photos for its customers through its photo center. Their 6×7 ½ photo greeting card is only $14.50 for a set of 50- that’s $.29 per card.
Go online – There are many online printing companies with deals for the early birds looking to get their holiday cards out of the way as soon as possible, like Shutterfly.com, MyPublisher.com, or Snapfish.com. Shop around or ask a friend for a recommendation.
Do it yourself – If you have access to software like Apple’s iPhoto or Google’s Picasa, it is easy to create your own cards. All you need is a family photo and a good printer to get the job done. This is your best bet if you are sending only a few cards out. Remember that you have to buy the paper, ink and mail the cards, so factor this in when considering this option.
Have a semi-professional do it – Don’t have the creativity or time to do it yourself? How about looking for photo and graphic design students to create your cards for you. Students are usually cash strapped during the holidays and are in search of ways to make money. These semi-professionals are sometimes more attentive to your requests since you may be their sole customer and whatever work they create they can use for their portfolios when looking for a job. If you chose this option, make sure to ask for samples of work.
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