Hi! Delurking with a ? re: pictures

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2003
Hi! Delurking with a ? re: pictures
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 12:30pm
Hi all,

First, a quick intro. I've been lurking for awhile off and on and always find some great ideas here. I am married and have one child, I work full time and am in grad school part time. When we have child #2 (not ttc yet), I would like to leave my job and stay home with the kids and just finish school, so I am trying to plan ahead by finding frugal ways to live now and get in the habit, otherwise we will not be able to afford to consider this option.

I'm trying to curb my spending in all the non-essential areas of my life to see just how much money I can save without feeling totally deprived. Does anyone have good suggestions about where to get rolls of film developed? I have an APS camera (big frugal flop made 7 years ago, the darn film and developing are always more expensive. I was seduced by the novelty and the coolness factor at the time. LOL.), so any little bit saved is appreciated.

I've noticed tons of websites now about photo developing (Ofoto, etc.,), but I have no idea who is good, etc. I get very nervous about sending the rolls of film away~ once about 10 years ago I did that and they lost the roll, so it makes me anxious. (Even though I know my local CVS sends them out, too, but still, it feels more in control to me to drop them off and pick them up rather than mail them.) BUT, I need to think more about cost now, so I'd much rather save on each roll than drop them off my self.

Any tips would be appreciated.



Avatar for sarahfran
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 12:54pm
If you want to go with an internet processor, I'd recommend Snapfish. You can pay in advance for processing and then just use it when you need it, and by doing this, you save money off of their usual price. They send you labels for your film that you put on each roll so they can be tracked easily. They also let you know each step along the way where your film is. You get emails saying that they received the film, processed it, mailed it, and a link to the photos online. They've never lost any of my film.

But if you want to go cheaper, go to Sam's Club if you have a membership. My sister gets her APS film developed there. They use the same equipment and essentially the same chemicals as Ritz Camera (I'm told that the chemicals are one step down from what Ritz uses) and it's really inexpensive. They also sell film for much less than I've seen elsewhere.


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Avatar for saram6778
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 1:38pm
I think that using a digital camera is much much more frugal than a regular camera---I would get a good (3 megapixel) digital camera when your current camera needs replacing. You can have 4x6 prints made for about 25 cents, and only print the pictures you really need. And you can take as many pictures as you want, which is great with my 2 year old who won't sit still! most of my pictures are of his head or his back, or they are blurry because he jumped up...LOL

I've had digital prints made at ofoto, snapfish and walmart.com. I've been happy with all of them. I used to have a 1 megapixel camera and the prints weren't good with it--that's why I said to get at least a 3 megapixel one.

I have a printer that makes prints, but it is expensive to use. 4x6 paper is about 25 cents a sheet, so by the time you buy ink you are paying almost 50 cents a print. Then you have to figure in the cost of buying the printer and the wasted paper and ink when you make a mistake--it gets really expensive.

Whenever I have tried getting cheaper film developing, I'm usually not happy with the results. The colors are off, or the paper is thin and not as high quality. I want pictures to last a long time, so going cheap doesn't really feel like I'm saving money, you know?

One thing you can do is just take fewer pictures, and buy good film in bulk instead of a single roll at a time. I'm usually not happy with cheap or store brand film.

Maybe I'm pickier about pictures than some people :)

WAH Momma to Nicholas 4-7-01 and Katherine 3-9-05

Baby Slings

Avatar for heidee0
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 1:47pm
Welcome, Chris-

Here is my response to someone else from back in August. I take great shots on a manual 25 y/o, 35mm Pentax w/Kodak film.

Heidi, very frugal mom to twins Patrick & Connor, 8.

This is one of the few areas where I am not frugal.

I have had so many great shots ruined by poor film developing by drug store type film centers. They do not develop and print your pictures one negative at a time. They just run all the negatives through on the same setting. I watched, time after time, as LOTS of money went down the drain along with some potentially great pictures.

About a year ago I took some bad prints (which were developed and printed at a local Arbor Drug) to our local camera store. I wanted their opinion on what went wrong. They offered to reprint a few shots for free to show me how the prints should REALLY look. The difference was amazing! I will never go to another drug store type film processing place again. For the extra $1-2 per roll, I now have beautiful colored prints.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2003
Tue, 10-28-2003 - 7:54am
Thank you all for your replies! It is so great to get three very different ideas. Someday we'll go for a digital camera, but that doesn't solve my need to develop the 8 rolls of APS film I have sitting in my bedroom. DH would love a reason to buy a digital, but it'll have to wait.

Thanks again, everyone!