I love digital photo albums! Years ago, I used to create paper scrapbooks. That was before digital scrapbooks even existed. I have some pretty elaborate scrapbooks from my high school days. Once I discovered that I could create scrapbooks online, I made the switch.
I love that digital scrapbooks are printed and professionally. I can check my spelling after I write to eliminate mistakes, although they do still slip by on occasion! I can move the pictures around to my heart’s content before deciding on a layout. Plus, I can even add digital stickers to my pages now. That said, they are still scrapbooks that you can hold in your hands to flip through anytime you want.
The best part of digital photo albums is that they are stored online forever. If something happens to one? If a page tears or something spills on it? If you lose it in a move? If your child wants another copy when he / she is grown? Just order another one.
The fact that I can create beautiful photo albums online to preserve family members is a joy to me. A couple years ago, I decided to start creating 8×8 photo books for every vacation we went on. I decided to use Shutterfly for several reasons. (Please note that I am a Shutterfly affiliate now, but I was using them long before I became an affiliate, simply because I love their photo books so much!)
One of the main reasons I chose Shutterfly is that there are countless ways to get free books with them. I have created a dozen of these 8×8 books for myself – and printed extra copies for others – and the most I’ve ever spent on a book is $1.99. Almost all of them have actually been free! Considering that these hardcover books normally cost $29.99, I am saving a lot by creating Shutterfly photo albums for free! Yes, I have paid shipping, but the cost of $7.99 for a beautiful book is well worth it to me.
1. Join rewards programs to earn free Shutterfly books. Two of my favorite ways to earn Shutterfly books are through My Coke Rewards and Pampers Gifts to Grow. If you don’t drink Coke, you can ask friends who do to save their points for you. The same goes for Pampers codes, plus they regularly release free codes online for extra Pampers points. I share those bonus points here on my blog when they pop up.
2. Watch for Shutterfly free offers. Several times a year, Shutterfly will release codes for free 8×8 books. The trick is that these codes are usually only good for a couple days. If you have a book already made, this is the perfect time to redeem it. Again, I share any of these free offers that I find here on the blog.
3. Get your Kohls bill delivered in the mail. We’re switching back from electronic bills to paper for this very reason. I’ve heard from several different Kohls members that they receive Shutterfly freebies almost every month in the mail, whether they have a balance on their bill or not! I don’t know what sort of partnership Kohls and Shutterfly have, but I’ll always take free photo books.
4. Sign up for Kelloggs Family Rewards emails. If you are a member of Kelloggs Family Rewards, you will receive free Shutterfly offers in your email at least every other month or so. In the past year, I’ve gotten a free photo book, a free calendar, a free notepad, a free set of address labels and a free magnet. I haven’t redeemed all of them (because you are still responsible for shipping) but I have redeemed the free photo book and calendar.
5. Bid for free Shutterfly books on Ebay. This final way does cost a tiny bit of money but did you know that many people sell their free Shutterfly codes on Ebay? Most of the time, I create a book and wait for a free code offer to come along. Every once in awhile, I can’t wait so I look on Ebay. I’ve been able to buy a free book code for as little as $0.99 or $1.99. Compared to the $29.99 price tag, this is still a great source of savings. Most of the sellers are willing to email you the code so you have it instantly. Do read the fine print carefully before you buy!
One of the most important things about creating Shutterfly photo books for free is to work ahead. Don’t wait for a free offer to come along and then get started. Work ahead of time and wait patiently for the code. Your book will look much nicer if you create it without the pressure of a deadline!
Have you created any Shutterfly photo albums? Do you have any extra tips for getting them for free? Be sure to check the comments for more ideas!
Oh, and if you like creating things at Shutterfly for free, check out how I made these adorable family magnets at Shutterfly for free!