Thursday, February 26, 2009

Greeting Card Mathematics

Well I haven't been thrifting for several days since my mom has been here. I'm starting to get the itch. We did, however, go to the mall yesterday, discovered and was saddened that my coveted Chick-fil-A went out of business, figured out how to use the stroller, and scored some awesome greeting cards for 90% off from a soon-to-be-out-of-business Carlton Cards. I got over thirty dollars worth of cards for a mere $3-something! I got a rabbit thank you card for my mom for all the help that she's been this past week, birthday cards for tons of family members... the list goes on and on! I now have two years worth of birthday cards for my parents, husband, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and husband's cousin's daughter, and am covered for 2009 for just about everyone else. Does anyone else do that? I like to buy up cards when they're really cheap and save them in a little drawer so I don't have to run out and spend full price when the time comes. If you do the math, the amount I'm saving is quite staggering. Now if I could just get my husband to think ahead and buy my cards cheaply. Or maybe I should just start buying my own cards to give to him to give to me...

My husband comes from a big family. There's two parents, a sister, brother-in-law, two nephews, a grandma, two aunts, two uncles, three cousins, a cousin's spouse, and a cousin's child, plus my husband and our son. And that's just his mom's side of the family. We're not very close to his dad's side, so we don't send cards or gifts to them.

Then for my side of the family, I send cards to my parents, brother, aunt, and grandma. That's 23 birthdays I have to buy for. That's not to mention the three friends I send birthday cards too, so now we're up to 26. There's also graduations, weddings, showers, get-well-soons, thank-yous, sympathies, etc. for which I keep cards on hand, but since the number of those fluctuate each year, I will leave them out of my count. Plus there's mother's day and father's day, for a grand total of at least 31 cards I buy each year. If you figure that most cards cost somewhere between 2.99 and 3.99, we'll take the average and multiply times 31, and we get $77.50. In actuality, however, I usually spend 50c on greeting cards (and my haul at Carlton Cards yielded cards for even less than that!). If you multiply 31 by 50 cents, we see that I'm spending only about $15.50 on cards per year. Yay :)

My favorite place to get greeting cards is The Book Loft in German Village. For those of you who live in Columbus, you should totally check it out. It's 32 rooms of book-buying wonderment. Down in the basement of one of the wings is the 50c card room. They have greeting cards throughout the store in many of the 32 rooms, but when they get new inventory and have to pull older cards off the shelves, they get priced with a dot-sticker and then go to the basement. I can spend F.O.R.E.V.E.R in that little room, looking at each card, filling up my basket with cards for cheap. I feel sad for these cards that have been banished to the basement... a greeting card graveyard of sorts. But it makes me happy that I am able to purchase them and give them a good home!

Now I know that dollar stores sell cards two for a dollar, so why is buying from The Book Loft better? Well first of all because it's not a chain. The Book Loft is an independent book store, owned and operated here in Columbus. Second, the cards at the Book Loft are not the same kind of cards you would get at the Dollar Store. They're not Hallmark or American Greetings either... they're unique and unusual! No offense if you buy Dollar Store cards... truth be told, we do sometimes too!

Speaking of greeting cards, does anyone else recycle them to extend their life? I have a large basket full of cards that sits upon my Hoosier Cabinet. I am getting into scrapbooking, so I have been dismantling my old cards to use in a scrapbook for my son. I also cut up Christmas cards and make tags for Christmas gifts with them. I have a stamp somewhere that says "to" and "from" which I will place on the back of these little recycled goodies. I'll leave you with some pics.

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