Abby Slutsky is the bargain hunter for greeting cards in her family.
Giving cards to acknowledge holidays is a way to let the recipient know you are thinking of them. In an age when emails are the norm, a handwritten, physical card sends a special warmth to the recipient and does not get lost in a sea of of junk email messages. Many people enjoy displaying physical cards when they receive them for a holiday.
Unfortunately, if you are not a careful shopper, physical greeting cards can easily cost upwards of four or five dollars a card. However, if you plan ahead and know where to shop, you can find greeting cards much cheaper than that. Here are my favorite places to buy them.
1. Dollar Stores
1. When buying cards for a national holiday at a store specializing in dollar items, remember to shop early. For example, if you attempt to buy a Mother’s Day card the day before the holiday, you are likely to see a picked over selection or cards with incorrectly sized envelopes. However, last minute shopping is usually fine for personal holidays such as birthdays, anniversaries and baby namings.
2. If you are stocking up on individual cards for later use, choose cards with unisex designs that are suitable for any gender.
3. Avoid graduation cards with a specific graduation year. If you do not use these cards promptly, you will not be able to use them at all.
4. Try to choose birthday and anniversary cards that do not mention a specific age or anniversary year. They will be appropriate for more friends and family members, so you will be more likely to use them.
Many stores that specialize in selling dollar store items have a selection of greeting cards that sell for as little as two for a dollar. Some of the nicer cards at these stores cost a dollar. Stock up when you are shopping, and keep a few generic personal holiday cards in your house, so you do not have to run out every time you need a card.
2. Costco - Gift Card Box
Pro Tip: The selection of cards in gift card boxes usually changes from year-to-year, so if you purchase them yearly, you are likely to get a different boxed set.
Costco sells a general all-purpose gift card box that is only available around the holidays. The cards in this box are about $1.00 each. These cards are a step-up from cards you will find at a dollar store and look special. They are frequently individually wrapped in cellophane. The durable box includes tabbed dividers for birthday, sympathy, get well, thank you, anniversary, wedding, baby and blank cards.
The disadvantages to the Costco personal holiday cards is that the store does not carry them all year round. These cards are suitable for friends or relatives, but they are generic, so they are not appropriate if you need a card with the name of a particular relative on it. For example, expect to run out for a Father’s or Mother’s Day card unless you modify one of the blank cards to meet your needs. In my experience, some cards, depending on the design, may be more appropriate for males or females. However, these reasonably-priced cards are made on quality stock and standout when you give them.
3. Gift Card Boxes From Amazon
Depending on the gift card box you choose, gift card boxes from Amazon can be some of the most economical gift cards you can buy. Similar to the Costco gift card box, the messages and wording are suitable for personal holidays. Some of the boxes have more upscale cards than others, but you really cannot go wrong with any of these boxes if you just want to have cards on hand to acknowledge personal celebrations. I have purchased several of these boxes, and here are some of my favorites.
The Hallmark All Occasion Handmade Boxed Set of All Occasion Cards contains cards that are similar in quality to the Costco all-occasion boxed set. Purchasers can see pictures of the individual cards online, and they are quality cards that have eye-catching embellishments. The cards from this set almost always receive compliments when I send them or include them with birthday gifts. The price of this box changes periodically, but the cards are frequently about $1.00 a card or slightly more, depending on when you buy the box.
If you prefer to buy a boxed set of cards that is not quite as upscale but gives you more cards for your buck, the Bargain Paradise 100 All Occasion Cards may be the perfect choice. This card box does contain some cards that are geared to specific relatives as well as plenty of cards that are not personalized for specific individuals. At under $26.00 for 100 cards, it is tough to beat the price of this greeting card set. Given that most recipients are just happy that you acknowledged their day and cards are usually tossed out shortly after they are opened, the cards in this box get the job done even though they are not as heavy or as special looking as the Hallmark boxed set.
4. Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and HomeGoods
- Stay away from the 3-dimensional cards right before the holiday you would give them unless you are willing to spend about $4.00.
- However, sometimes you can find the fancier (3-D and pop-up) cards at a discount if you happen to see them leftover after a major holiday. They are perfect for putting away for the following year.
Although Marshall’s, TJ Maxx , and HomeGoods do not immediately come to mind as a place to purchase greeting cards, they do sell individual cards that are unique and frequently geared to national holidays.
These stores usually have specific displays of fancy pop-up cards that they sell. However, you can also find reasonably-priced cards at these stores too; selections vary depending on the store and upcoming holidays. You may have to look in the stationary department to find less expensive cards at these stores as they do not usually have their own displays.
No matter your greeting card budget, purchasing discounted cards is convenient, saves money and helps you make a positive impression. By shopping for cards at these places, you can show your thoughtfulness inexpensively.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Abby Slutsky
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on April 28, 2021:
Thanks for reading. I think high prices hit us no matter where we live.
Liz Westwood from UK on April 28, 2021:
Greetings cards do not come cheap. So any way of saving a little is welcome. Similar principles can be applied in the UK.