The birthday banner post brought out one of my favorite frugal points:
It is ALWAYS correct to send a handwritten note instead of a greeting card.
Greeting cards (of any price) are fine, so long as they are appropriate to the occasion AND include your own note. Check Amy Vanderbiltfor a second opinion! But, really, greeting cards are mass produced to mimic personal communication, a warmth you can get for free with 5 minutes and a simple piece of paper.
I love it when the frugal option is also the most exclusive! According to my favorite Miss Manner's Guide To Painfully Proper Weddings,a bride whose mother handwrites her wedding invitations is more elegant (and correct) than the bride who has a fancy card 3-fold card custom-printed. Engraving developed as the only suitable alternative to handwriting formal invitations.
When Hallmark sets the cultural gold standard, sometimes you can't convince everyone. I pick the decent cards from Dollar General's 50-cent rack for my card-loving relatives. Dollar Tree stores have a similar selection.
Don't despair! While everyone else hits Walgreens, we can acquire their old stationery for pennies. Most of my blank notes come from yard sales and thrift stores. The Cranecorrespondence cards (above) cost 99 cents for 14 at Southern Thrift.
From the archives:
Greeting Card Organizer
Mismatched Christmas Cards
The Sparrow Post Family Mailbox
Children's Thank You Notes
Photo Of The Week Notes For Grandparents