How To Catch Up Your Photos Without Breaking The Bank


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I have a confession, I am not 100% caught up on my photos. In fact I am several years behind. There once was a time when I spent at least one evening a week scrapbooking (the type that required fancy papers and stickers)  and I swore I would not be that mom looking back at years worth of photo’s going “when was that”? But God has a way of humbling the proud and now I am facing years of “is……. 10 or 12 in this photo?” ” What year did we visit …..anyways?” .

How to catch up your photos without breaking the bank

Lately I have had a few more evening hours available and have decided this would be a great time slot to fill in with photo book making. This time I am not scrapbooking with stickers and paper, this time I am keeping it simple with digital books and prints placed in simple albums.

I am also keeping it as low cost a possible. Here are a few tips I have discovered on how  to catch up your photo’s without breaking the bank or loosing your sanity.

1. Stick with one company for the sake of your sanity 

The following tips on reducing the prices of digital photo books or prints could be used at various companies. In fact I suppose one could jump from site to site to take advantage of every deal, however, you have to consider the time to upload the photos to all those different sites. I find it much easier to keep all my photos stored on just one site and then take advantage of all the different ways to find free codes for that one site.

I use Shutterfly since I find free photo book codes and prints offered regularly for them and I really like how their site works. I have also been happy with how quick their service is .

2. Follow a bargain site that lists photo deals

I follow Money Saving Mom for announcements of Shutterfly free photo book codes. I have my personal Facebook account set up so that I see all the notifications for Money Saving Mom and therefore can jump on the deals as the come up.

If you are not active on Facebook you could try signing up for email notifications.

3.  Follow your company of choice on Facebook

I liked Shutterfly’s Facebook page a while back and quickly discovered they not only share a lot of the codes that I was finding on Money Saving Mom but they were also sharing even more great free or discounted offers. If you are working on catching up a great deal of photos you just might want to make sure to click the “get notifications” tab so that you don’t miss out on any of the deals.

4. Join point programs that offer free codes

Mycokerewards offers codes for both free photo books and prints at Shutterfly starting at just 25 points.  My husband is an avid coke drinker so this works well for our family but if you don’t have a pop drinker in your home (and truly I wish mine didn’t either) perhaps someone you know drinks coke products but doesn’t take part in the program and might let you have the codes.

A few other companies that offer free album Shutterfly codes as cash outs..

A few reward programs that offer Shutterfly e-gift cards as rewards …

5. Watch Daily Deal Sites

Just last week Groupon offered a 67% off sale for a photobook at Shutterfly. No it is not a free book but it still saves you almost $20 off paying regular price.

6. Photo books are less work than organizing prints

Some might argue with me on this point but I find that although photo books take longer to order prints take a lot more work once they arrive. You have to remember to buy the album and then label them all. When you order a photo book you do all that work online and therefore cannot procrastinate or put it off a minute longer.

Others might say that shipping cost is less on prints than books and that is true but once you get the prints you still need to purchase a book or box to put them in plus any supplies you need to store them in such a way that they include the stories behind the photo ( such as photo safe pens used to label them).

7. If you want to take advantage of free print deals here is a simple scrapbook idea

If you run out of free photo book prints though and you still want to keep catching up on you current photos for less, you could take advantage of the free print codes and then use this idea I found on Simple Mom on how to create a minimal fuss photo book using prints .

I love that this idea uses inexpensive brag books often found for just $1 and printable quotes and memory boxes. It takes  some of the work and the expense out of traditional scrapbooking and I think it could be replicated for more themes than just summer. In fact if you visit the blog Simple As That you will find many more great low fuss and low cost scrapbooking ideas.

Do you have any tips for printing photo’s inexpensively to add?
Follow Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations’s board Saving Money Tips on Pinterest.

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 Now that you have figured out how to make catching up your family’s photos a reality perhaps you are wondering how on earth to squeeze actually making photo albums into  your already packed day. You want to…you just don’t see how? A great course that can help you find more time in your day by living it with intention is Crystal Paine’s course Make Over Your Mornings. NO Crystal is not going to tell you to begin your day at the crack of dawn to squeeze more in….what time you get up is up to you. The course simply shows you how to set your day up with intention so you finally achieve your goals and dreams.


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  1. Oh goodness. I’m horrible about this! Have you ever heard Jim Gaffigan in his stand-up routine talk about how we have a computer for each major life event? Instead of doing anything with the pictures, we just save the computer they’re on. GUILTY!

    • No I had not heard of him but I so agree. One of the reasons I am trying to catch up right now is because a laptop with a lot of photo’s is dying! So I would say that guy has it 100% correct and I am guilty too!

  2. I’m catching up a bit. My oldest son now 17 has lots of photo albums. The other 4 – not so much. The First Communion Album I have to do for each of them has helped, plus I’ve started doing a photo book of their Kindergarten year and one of their Flat Stanley project.

    Thanks for sharing your tips at Fabulously Frugal Thursday.

  3. Thank you for this article, it helps me not feel so overwhelmed. I too was one of those moms who was never going to get behind on the albums, all of my children will have lots of pictures and I will keep up with their baby books. As you can well guess, I have many years of pictures to organize, and my 4th child, a girl who cares about when she did all the new things babies do, has very little written in her baby book, sigh. We are in the middle of the years of having 4 teenagers, and one who thinks she is life is busy but this helps me by thinking it is possible to do a little at a time and not break the bank, thank you.

  4. Oh man I am YEARS behind! Hoping to use some time this summer to get all caught up. Thanks for these tips!

  5. I’m also several years behind. I finally got all my photos updated, sorted, and uploaded to dropbox. Now I can start ordering the photo books.


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