Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Frugal Ways To Send Greetings

I put myself through college, and one way I earned the funds was by working at the various Don's Hallmark Stores located around Madison, Wisconsin. Ever since I have been a sucker for greeting cards for holidays. Of course there are the big ones: Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day. And there are the fun ones: Halloween, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, and of course birthdays. But when I flip over one of those lovely Hallmark greetings, my frugal heart sputters....some are more than $5 a card!!! We have a large family, and that will start to add up quickly. Until recently I used to go to Factory Card Outlet and stock up on cards, but you can't stock up on holiday cards very easily. And with two small children and a demanding career, I don't have a lot of time to make a trip there for each holiday. This past Valentine's Day I stumbled on a great solution. Send a homemade card or collage, crafted by my toddler. Even his 8 month sister got into the act recently by pounding a crayon on Grandma's birthday card. Here are some thoughts on doing this in our home, with our without children:
  1. have a good supply of colored construction paper;
  2. trace cookie-cutters to make shapes;
  3. pick up a variety of stickers;
  4. invest in nice crayons, markers, and colored pencils;
  5. buy blank card stock that can be painted or drawn upon; and
  6. have a drawer filled with odds and ends that can be glued on.
Once again, it is a great way to spend time with your children, or with yourself, and minimizes that time you need to spend in a store and goes easy on the wallet. And from the people who have received our creations, the one-of-a-kind mailing is greatly appreciated.

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