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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?”.
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 losing your sanity.
How To Catch Up On Your Photos Without Breaking The Bank
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 regularly offered for them and I 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 they 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 additional free or discounted offers. If you are working on catching up a lot 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 Brand Reward Programs That Offer Free Product Codes
Mycokerewards offers codes for both free photo books and prints at Shutterfly. 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 honestly 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 cashouts…
5. Get On the Email List Of Companies That Send Out Free Product Codes
I receive several free product codes for Shutterfly throughout the year in my email box from various companies. The product that is offered varies from a luggage tag to a photo book to a $20 off a purchase of $20 or more coupon code.
Here is a list of the companies that have sent me free Shutterfly codes…
- Ibotta: Not just a great app for earning cash back on your purchases of hundreds of different stores. Use the link in blue when you sign-up and get $10 credited to your account when you submit your first valid receipt within 14 days of signing up. (offer could change at any time)
- Joann’s – Not only will you get daily coupons for Joann’s, but generally several times a year they send out a Shutterfly free product code.
- Kellogg’s Family Rewards– I mention this program in the last section, but they also send out free codes in their emails that don’t require points.
6. Join Point Reward Programs That Offer Shutterfly Gift Cards
The above will give you Shutterfly free product codes however point programs will give you gift cards. What you might not know is you can use both a free product code and a gift card in one purchase- meaning the code will cover the cost of the item and the gift card the cost of the shipping. (at least that is what I do right now the policy could change)
Although there are several point reward programs and even one app that offers Shutterfly gift cards as a cash-out option, I use InstaGC the most often. I use InstaGC because it provides a $10 gift card option for Shutterfly whereas all the other point programs start their Shutterfly gift cards at $25. I haven’t yet ordered an item that cost more than $10 to ship so a $10 Shutterfly gift card from InstaGC meets my need. The best part is InstaGC delivers their gift cards instantly as in I don’t have to wait days for my gift card to arrive by email. So if a free product code that is only good for 24 hours or so becomes available I can go and grab a gift card from InstaGC and use it that very day to cover the shipping.
A few other point reward programs that offer Shutterfly e-gift cards as rewards …
- Swagbucks (I have readers earning $100 a month with Swagbucks)
- PrizeRebel ( PrizeRebel currently has 9 ways to earn gift cards)
- FetchRewards ( This is an app. You can read my how-to guide for Fetch Rewards here) If you sign-up use my referral code RE9FU and receive 1500 points once you submit your first qualifying receipt.
7. Watch Daily Deal Sites
I have used daily deal sites like Living Social to purchase photo books at deep discounts.
8. Us A Cash Back Browser Extension
I use the Ebates browser extension to make sure I never miss out on a chance to earn a cash back through a purchase Shutterfly. MrRebates also offers similar cash back browser extension.
9. 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).
10. If You Want To Take Advantage Of Free Print Deals Here Is A Simple Scrapbook Idea
If you run out of free photo book codes 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 in dollar stores 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.
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.
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