But, long before we were expecting our first baby, I knew my husband really wanted us to send out announcements after our child was born.
I also knew that if we were going to send them out I wanted them to be 1) inexpensive and 2) good looking.
If you've ever looked at baby announcements online, you know that you can spend an absolute fortune on them. We had no fortune, absolute or otherwise, so this wasn't really a good option for us.
Instead, I figured out what components I needed and how little I could spend on each part:
- I needed a photograph. We have a nice camera, so we could have taken it ourselves, but happily, a friend of ours is professional photographer and she offered to come take some newborn pictures for free. That's my favorite price. If you don't have a nice camera, I bet you know someone who does and might let you use it for a few hours - it seems like everyone I know owns an SLR now.
- I needed an announcement design. I spent quite a lot of time (and forced my husband to also) browsing the announcements on Minted so I could get some ideas and see what kind of things we both liked. Then we mocked up a few of our own in Photoshop. Also free!
- We need to actually print the announcements. I made our mockups to be a 4x6 (standard picture size) and then plan to upload them to Snapfish (Shutterfly and other online photography places also would work). When you sign up for an account, you get some number of free prints (depends on what current deal is going on - sometimes it's 20, sometimes it is 50) and you can usually print them right to your local drugstore or Walmart. Freeeeeee (depending on how many you need, of course).
- Envelopes. I hoarded all my Staples rewards dollars and waited until invitation envelopes (which fit a 4x6 perfectly) went on sale and then I bought those. Free again!
- Stamps. Sadly, I haven't yet figured out a great way to get discount postage, although I know it is possible. But when stamps are the only thing you're paying for, I figure that's pretty good.