The 6 Secrets to Saving Money on Photos You’ll Cherish

Family tripAs we head out for summer adventures, many of us will be documenting the fun with our camera or phone.

Digital photography makes it easy to snap pics, but you don’t want those memories languishing on your SIM card or hard drive. Use these tips to find affordable prints, canvas photo art, photo books and more.

Watch for deals around major holidays

Holidays are prime time for photo deals. We just saw a number of great deals in the weeks leading up to Father’s Day.

These included 50 percent off mounted photos at Meijer, a $10 coupon for a $10 purchase at Shutterfly and a free photo collage from CVS. Keep an eye on the blog and newsletter where we post many of these deals.

Spread your business around

Many sites offer free prints with your first order. Take full advantage of this by rotating where you buy your photos.

Normally, these offers will be advertised directly on the website. If you don’t see one, try searching for the site on just to be sure a coupon isn’t available.

Find a coupon code

Speaking of RetailMeNot, you should be searching for a coupon code every time you print photos even if you aren’t a first time customer.

You can also find coupons through the store website, in weekly ad circulars or on digital coupon apps such as Meijer mPerks.

Choose in-store pick-up

When you order online, you can save money by picking up your purchase in the store. Even web-only retailers have partnerships allowing for in-store pickup.

For example, Shutterfly will let you pick up many orders at Target, Walgreens or CVS. Snapfish orders can often be collected from Walgreens or Walmart locations.

Buy frames at the dollar store

Once you have your photos printed, you want to be able to display them proudly. Rather than spend a lot of money at a regular retailer, head to the dollar store for a bargain.

Although not everything at the dollar store is of good quality, many discount stores have surprisingly nice frames. Double check their joints to make sure they are secure and inspect them for any wayward glue.

If you’re crafty, you can make those frames really shine with a little paint or other adornments. Go to and search for “dollar store frame” for inspiration.

Finally: a word about quality

In my experience, there isn’t much difference in quality among the major players when it comes to prints.

However, bigger ticket items such as canvas prints or mounted photos can be a hit or miss with some of the cheaper companies. Bargain basement websites may have sloppy canvas wraps or odd cropping.

If you’re planning to spend some serious money on a larger photo, my advice is to definitely search for reviews. In addition to a web search, check out the site’s Facebook page to see if other customers are complaining or complimenting the business’s work.

With so many great deals out there, you have plenty of options to get low cost prints and photo items to help keep those special memories alive.