School has been in full swing for a few weeks now, meaning big time money spent! You bought/paid for school supplies, new clothes, new bookbags, new shoes, new haircuts, hair accessories and the list goes on and on! If you are not careful you could spend up to $500-$600 per child just in the first month of school! This doesn’t include school fees and our favorite cost, school pictures!
With 3 kiddos in school now and all of them playing some sport that requires pictures, we get new pictures taken at least every other month! We also have Christmas pictures taken and every few years birthday pictures (they all have summer birthdays, so we group them together). This can get pretty pricey! School pictures this year are $42 each child per package, sports pictures range anywhere from $10-$40 per child, Christmas pictures are usually $40-$80 for a family package and birthday packages can cost in the range of $70-$80! So all said and done we could spend $500 a year just on pictures! YIKES!!!
With this, I have started to realize that we do not need to buy all of these pictures or at least find ways to save while purchasing them! Here are a few tips we use to save big on pictures each year:
- Help Out at School on Picture Day: This is probably my biggest way to save on school pictures. The photography company that comes to our school, offers parents a certain $ amount off per hour they work in a form of a coupon voucher. This is a very easy job! Helping the students comb their hair, wipe off the milk mustache from morning breakfast, button shirts, etc. Our school packages usually run $42 per child, I was able to get all 3 of our girls school pictures last fall for just $30 out of pocket. I worked a few hours at each of their picture days and got enough picture vouchers to save $96!
- Skip Individual Pictures: With our girls playing 2 and 3 sports a year, we tend to pile up on team pictures, individual pictures, action pictures, etc. So last year we skipped the individual pictures and just purchased the team photo, which in most cases was around $5-$7. Instead we took our own individual pictures! We love to get those pictures of each of them in front of the same tree each year at the beginning and end of each season or school year- uniforms, soccer balls, etc!
- Take Your Own Individual Pictures: With so many new cameras out there offering amazing tools to create photos that look as if they came straight from a professional, you can take some great photos all on your own!
- Ask for a Discount: The economy stinks right now and the photography companies are looking to make every sale they can. So if you tell them no, then they get nothing and you get nothing. But if you talk to them and ask for either a discount or a smaller package that may not be available on the order form, they may be willing to work with you to get you the pictures you want and make the sale!
- Just Order The Disc: Some companies offer you a disc of all the photos they take for a decent price. Most of these companies will also include the copyright to print your own photos as you want. You can then check Walmart or Shutterfly to grab a hot deal on FREE prints or .10 prints! Only print the ones you want now and save the rest on a compact disc!