Saving Strategy: The Reusable Greeting Card

I love celebrations – holidays, birthdays and pretty much anything else that involves family & friends getting together and having a good time.

But lately I’ve noticed the cost of greeting cards has slowly crept upwards over the years. I can remember when the average greeting card was around $3 but now it seems like all decent greeting cards are around $6 (or more) – plus taxes. Some premium greeting cards can cost even more.

Image Credit: Ognjen Odobasic

Image Credit: Ognjen Odobasic

I go to around 5-10 celebrations per year (birthdays, anniversaries, etc) so the costs of getting a card for each one can start to add up. It’s a small amount overall and of course it’s necessary to get a card for anyone celebrating something, but there has to be a cheaper alternative.

The Reusable Birthday Card

Last week I was chatting with a co-worker who mentioned he had lost the birthday card he was going to give to his brother. Not a big deal (so I thought) since he could easily pick up another one at the card store and I mentioned that.

He said it’s a much bigger deal than just a regular card because this particular card has been used for 10 years. His brother bought a generic birthday card for him 10 years ago and rather than buying a new card every year for each other, they simply kept using the same one. The person who received the card was responsible for holding onto it until it was his turn to give it to his brother. They’ve done this for 10 years and have no plans on stopping.

Automatic Memories

The nice thing about using the same card every year is that it’s filled with memories. Throughout the years the brothers would write messages to each other that were relevant for that year, so every time they received the card they could look back at the messages each person wrote over the years. This of course brought back some funny memories and (as he explained to me) that was worth it alone. The only time they would get a new card in the future is when the original card gets completely filled with messages and there is no more room to write anything else.

The Savings

The savings from reusing a greeting card aren’t huge, but they add up over the years. If you buy 10 greeting cards per year at $6 per card, and instead choose to buy one and reuse it for 10 years you’d save over $500. Not a huge amount over 10 years but it’s worth considering if you get annoyed every time you have to buy a greeting card and notice that the prices have increased again.

Letter of a Lifetime

Recently I saw a story on the news about two friends who used the same birthday card for years. They used the card for so long that it became a never ending letter. 56 years later, the card is still going as strong as their friendship.

Click here to see the story.

Conclusion – reusing the same greeting card for years is a cool idea for anyone who isn’t great at finding the ‘perfect’ greeting card (like me), and it also saves some money.

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