Remember the days when you made a beeline for the nearest Clintons’ for your greeting cards? Then Paperchase came along for those wanting a little more style.
The only cheap alternative was the local market stall, and cards there tended to be flimsy as blotting paper with designs that wouldn’t look out of place on your gran’s walls.
Well, not anymore, bargain seekers.
Now, you can get your birthday cards from all manner of places, and the very good news is, you no longer have to fork out £3+ for one.
With racks of affordable cards springing up everywhere from supermarkets to bargain stores and even outdoor shops, competition is fierce. Which means, prices are going down and quality is going up. So much so, that I now flatly refuse to pay more than £1.50 per card, or £2 at a push.
Here are my top tips for the best bargains.
The snob in me assumed these cards would be on the lower end of the quality scale but I couldn’t be more wrong. Give them a try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Probably the least obvious place to look for a Happy Birthday card, but if you happen to be browsing for waterproofs and camping stoves, you’ll also find a small but perfectly pleasing stock of cards (usually near the counter.) These are such good value that I now find myself heading to Mountain Warehouse just for their cards, many priced just 99p and excellent quality and design. Like these:
Marks & Spencer
Gotta love M&S for their brilliant range of cards, and true to the brand, they are always pretty chic in design too. Marks is my number one port of call for all cards, because you know they’ll have one for every occasion, and there’s always a good selection of £1 ones, like these below. And, if you happen to pass the fresh cookies on the bakery stall while there then so be it…
Yup, everyone knows you can get cards from Tesco, Asda etc, but they really have improved in quality of late. I particularly recommend the blank ones. Get a stash in and whip them out for any emergency occasion.
Asda had a 3 for £3 offer on when I bought these beauties below:
Aha! Bet you didn’t think you’d see this on the list. And I confess, neither did I, but while searching for cheapie party favours for my son’s birthday last year, I chanced upon the cards. And low and behold, I grabbed myself a 10-pack of Thomas the Tank engine and another of Peppa Pig for just £1 each! Not only does that make them my absolute cheapest buys, but they are on good sturdy card and brilliant to keep in stock for when the rush of parties kicks in.
Paperchase is one of my favourite shops. The beautiful cards, the pretty notebooks, the gorgeous journals…. I could spend a fortune kitting out my stationery needs in there. But, alas, their single greetings cards are mostly priced outside by boundaries.
However…. they do some very satisfying multi-pack sets. Not by the card stands, but usually futher back by the party invitations or look for “Notecards” if shopping online. The price per card works out very well, and again always good to have in stock in the cupboard (I think by now, you realise how forgetful and last minute I am that I need such a stock!)
I bought this adorable pack of children’s birthday cards, with the lion in a hot-air balloon and the princess castle. I think, but my memory is hazy, they cost £6.50 for 8, making them 81p each.
Currently got my eye on these beautiful Siamese cat notecards, below, at £8.50 for 10 – so 85p each. I’m also eyeing up the black and white cityscape pack, by Five Dollar Shake, which cost £8 for 6 and would suit any grown up birthday or thank you note.