Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Getting Organized: Greeting Cards

I am a notorious piler! And, going through one such pile recently came across a great greeting card organizer that a friend had given me. The first year she gave it to me - I had it filled January through June and sailed through sending out cards on time! Since then, well - I haven't really thought much about it until it came time to send each of the cards I did not have on hand!

Determined to make a change, I set the organizer out on the counter and added it to my weekly to-do goals. I discovered some CVS Extra Bucks in my purse getting ready to expire that night and made plans to visit that evening. There wasn't much on sale I needed or was really interested in, so I decided to see how many greeting cards I could get for my organizer with my Bucks.

With my card, I purchased eight 0.99 American Greetings cards and one anniversary card that was a few dollars. My total was 0.03 out of pocket! And, with my husband's card, I purchased eight 0.99 American Greetings cards for 0.04 out of pocket. There was a sign in the card aisle that if you bought eight cards you would get a coupon for a free one within two days on your CVS receipt! So, I ended up with 19 cards for 0.07 out of my pocket and used the Extra Bucks that were expiring anyway.

This was a great start on my cards, but I still needed a few more! So, I snagged my Rite Aid ad with two $25 gift card coupons for transferred prescriptions. I will use the prescriptions anyway - so the gift cards are an added bonus! These gift cards will more than finish off my card needs and I'll have some left over for other things.

I really like having my cards divided by month and ready to send - plus there are extra pockets at the front and back for additional cards that may be extras or just to have on hand. My Mom has her cards organized by category in a box which is great for pulling what you need when you need it! Either of these options can be made on your own very frugally!

For the box: just grab a box that will fit greeting cards and cut dividers out of sturdy paper or light cardboard. Label and organize away!

For the notebook: a three-ring binder with folders or plastic sheet protectors would work great at dividing either by month or category.

If you have rebate dollars to spend at a store, that is a great way to stock your cards. Watching for transferred prescription deals is another option. And, many of us like to make all or some of our own cards as well! Re-purposed children's artwork would be great for some of these cards! And, you know how I love magazine page cards and envelopes! Sliding your cards into an appropriate category is an easy way to keep them and be ready for sending them out on time!

Having my cards organized, ready to send and getting them for just a few cents is certainly a workable system for me! What works for you?


Mom said...

Wow -- that's great that you got so many greeting cards for so little cost! :) I know it's a good feeling to have these organized! :) Love you, Mom

Wendi said...

I was gifted a Hallmark card organizing box. It has dividers by month and then by catagory. (You could easily make a homemade version for pennies.) I love it! At the beginning of the year when I am transferring dates from my old calander to my new I will make a list of all the people and dates I need cards for. I go through my card box and pick out cards from my stash. I will address the cards and put them in the appropriate month. At the beginning of each month I just have to pull the cards and write a quick note. This has been so helpful since I keep remembering important dates after they happened!

One Pretty Little Box said...

Another good frugal way to get the cards you need is going to a Dollar Tree store ~ they have them for 50cents a piece.

The Gaertegang Homestead said...

HEy there Monica!! Thanks for the great post I love this idea!!! Way to go on the scoring of all your cards for almost nothing!!!! I loved the Freezer organization idea yesterday as well.....Just in case your interested I am doing a giveaway for some Hollyhock flowers seeds on my blog starting today and ending June 9th!! Here is the link if you'd like to enter!! http://gaertegang.blogspot.com/2009/06/flower-giveaway.html

Sharon said...

What a great deal Monica! I have used the spiral card organizers in the past but find that they tend to burst open. I also took a 3-ring binder decorated it and punched holes in the pocket pages to transfer in the binder. Much nicer now :) I do love the idea of being organized with my cards and ready for those Birthdays and anniversaries. Thanks for your tips and encouragement :)

Sara said...

I love visiting Dollar Tree for my card needs, they are 2/$1! I keep them organized in a little box, although I will be on the lookout for one of those books on clearance! It's a great idea!

Jessica said...

I got a box from Hallmark when I was in college and that's where I store all my cards. I really need to organize it (after 7 years of having it) and actually put cards in for people's birthdays and anniversaries. Thanks for the reminder!!

*carrie* said...

Great deals and system, Monica! I haven't bought a greeting card in probably a year (since the Hallmark burned). =( I still send quite a few, but they're ones I make or have on hand already. I usually just turn the calendar page and then plan ahead for that month, but that can be tricky with occasions that fall in that first week!

Anonymous said...

I too have a card organizer. I use it for a few years then stop then get it out again. Thanks for bringing it up I am getting it out today and going to Dollar tree. I am always needing sympathy cards and you never know when they will be needed.

Michelle said...

Since I mail most of my cards, each year when I transfer dates to the next calendar, I count back about 2 weeks from each event needing a card mailed and mark on the calendar to mail the card for that event. That way the events at the beginning of each month don't catch me by surprise when I flip the calendar page.

I store my cards in a wicker basket, divided by occasion, much as you said your Mom does. I agree that both methods you describe work well, but mine suits me a little better because then I'm ready for unexpected needs. The important thing is to be organized, however it works best. :)

Anonymous said...

I got a Hallmark Card Organizer that I use to put cards in for each month from my boxes.

I have several Card Organizer Boxes
1.Blank Note Cards
2.Christmas & Holiday
3.Birthday, Congratulations
4.Thinking of You, Thank You, Get Well, and Sympathy
5.Stationary, Postcards, and Self Sealing Notes

I know that sounds like a lot but I probably didn’t even pay $10 for the cards or the boxes. I have been going to the thrift stores and buying bags of cards for $1.00 for 20-30 cards. I donate the ones that are not of my taste and throw away damaged ones. My sister had given me a box and the others I recycled from ramen noodle boxes.

We also love making cards but this is much less expensive so we make cards when we want to and know we have plenty for when we don’t.

I am collecting enough cards for myself and my 2 daughters (18 and 20 years old) so that I can make a box for them to take to their first home.


Cheryl said...

Wow! lots of great tips Monica and from your fellow bloggers that posted. Getting cards out on time was something on my goals list this year and had I been organized..I would of done well. I am loving these ideas and hope to put one together by this weekend.