Be Good-at-Greeting-Cards

If you’ve received more than one birthday card, wedding card, or thank you note from me in the past five years or so, you probably noticed that all of these cards look mighty similar.

Why is that?

The answer is two-fold:

  1. Money
  2. Time

I recently replenished my supply of notecards during what I hope will be my last visit to Target during 2016. The box, pictured above, contains 200 cards and 200 envelopes, for a total of $14.99. Yes, mathematicians, that is a cost of what we’ll round up to 7 and a half cents per card.

Now consider a traditional birthday card. Because it’s been years since I’ve ever bought one, I entered the words “birthday card” on the Target website.

The site appeared to be pushing “Papyrus Taylor Swift” cards, which, I kid you not, ranged in price from $5.95 to $9.95!

I’m sure that there’s a mark-up for T-Swift’s name, so I visited the Hallmark site (I was not about to return to Target for a price check!), clicked on “birthday cards,” and sorted from low to high prices.

High price for an individual birthday card?

$7.99 was the highest I found.

Lowest price I saw?


So let’s say you always buy the cheap $1.99 card. I will have sent 26 (and a half) birthday cards for the price of your one!

Now what about your time? Each time I need a card, I walk to the office closet – a commute of approximately 8 seconds. How long does it take you to run to the store? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? If you buy each card separately as the need arises, you’ll have to make 200 trips to get the same number of cards I got in only one trip! That’s 199 saved trips over the course of however it takes you to use 200 cards. Maybe four to eight years depending on how much snail mail you send?

Even if each trip takes only 5 minutes, that’s 995 saved minutes over the course of 200 cards.

I’m just saying.

Sure, there are downsides. You have to actually write a message on the card – more than just your name. It is blank after all.

Among certain members of my family, cheap cards are becoming the norm. Whether my brother grabs a page out of the printer and scrawls a coupon to Chipotle on it or my mom transforms a Unicef “get well” card into a “get well… It’s your birthday,” I’ve receive my fair share of cheap and quick cards too.

If you’ve been generous enough to give me real birthday cards, feel free to stop. Just put marker to Target stationary or rip a page out of your journal.

Knowing you saved time and money will be the greatest gift of all.

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