One of my goal areas for this year was to do a better job with keeping up with family correspondence. While I would love to spend time making homemade cards for each special occasion, I also realize the importance of “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” In other words, I probably wouldn’t be reaching my goal at this season of life if I followed my ideal picture of the perfect family correspondent.
Send My Mail for Me
Enter Cardstore.com to the rescue. I discovered them at the end of last year, and I used their company to send out my Christmas cards (as it turned out, they were running a huge discount at that time, with free postage and shipping). One of my favorite things about Cardstore.com is that they have the option of mailing out the cards for you, and occasionally run deals that may include heavy discounts, free postage, or even free cards. You can even import your address book from an Excel File or online contact list. You can choose a card design, upload your pictures, and often have the option of personalizing most of the text. It might not be handwritten, but it is personalized and it is “snail mail.” This was their main selling point to me. 🙂
And if you do want to sign it by hand, they also offer the option of mailing pre-stamped, pre-addressed cards to your home, as well as unstamped and unaddressed cards. I did this with some of our birthday cards, as it was less expensive to order in bulk during a sale and we can sign them before we send them out.
Free Card Today and Tomorrow
Around major holidays, they usually offer discounts, and usually have at least one “free card” giveaway around holidays. They are actually running one right now:
The first 50,000 people to enter code: CCE2326, will be able to send a free Easter card via Cardstore.com. This offer is running through Tuesday, March 27.
Having used Cardstore for several months, here are some things that have helped me:
- I keep my address and contact info here, and up to date. That way, I only need to enter them once. I entered several at Christmas time, and when I send out our Easter cards and our birth announcements later this year, I just have to click a few buttons and my cards are ready to send.
- I try to keep one pre-made photo card ready to send to a relative (like Great Grandmothers), and when a free code comes along, it only takes me a few minutes to put the card in my cart and enter the free code.
- I have 2 overseas addresses to which I send out cards. Sometimes, the free card offers do not cover postage for these. Sometimes they do. However, for the cost of a stamp, it’s nice to be able to send out a card to my relatives overseas. And, I’ve noticed sending them out from Cardstore somehow gets them there more quickly.
- Make sure you order in time for the holiday you’re anticipating.
- If there is a deal going on offering free postage (there is right now) and you have cards you can order ahead of time (and have sent to you), order at this time. Then just send them out when it’s time–you can have them pre-stamped and pre-addressed.
- I also usually check a site like Retail Me Not to see if there are coupon codes that can bring my order down to less. There is currently a code for 30%. You can only use one code per order, so if there is a free card offer, split your order into 2 orders: 1 for everything you want at 30% off and 1 for the 1 free card.
Keeping it Simple
Right now, I’m focusing mainly on making sure I get family members birthday cards and that I get out cards for major holidays. But it’s also been fun to send out extra cards here and there. And of course, my girls sometimes like to send out their drawings and cards, and sometimes we mail those via regular old envelope. Cardstore has definitely helped me with getting closer to keeping up with this goal.
Another “Mail It for You” Option
Since I’ve been using Instagram to keep up with some of my daily phone photos, I’ve also discovered Instapost, an app you can download for free to your iPhone. For 99 cents, you can choose an Instagram photo and they’ll mail it for you as a postcard. This is an okay deal, especially if you’re on vacation and can’t get to a post office. But this app comes in quite nicely for mailing postcards overseas. Overseas postage has now gone up to $1.05, so 99 cents to have a postcard mailed for you with postage is less expensive than the postage itself. (I’ve used this once, but it’s been within the last 2 weeks, and I’m not quite sure that my postcard has made it.)