If there are two things I love, it’s saving money and cheating the system! You can do both, the next time you renew your passport. Walgreens wanted to charge me $15, but there’s an easy way to get cheap passport photos.
The Best Way to Get Cheap Passport Photos
My passport is expiring in May, so I figured it was about time to renew it. You can renew it by mail if you meet certain requirements, but you need to send in a 2×2″ photo. I took one by myself easily enough, but the problem came when I tried to print it out. Walgreens wanted to charge me $14.99 for 2 passport photos. That seemed crazy to me, especially considering they only charge 33 cents to print a regular 4×6″ photo. At this point you need to ask yourself how much your time is worth to you. Sure, you could plunk down the $15 and be done with it, but not me. I decided to drive home and figure out a way to hack the system!
Take a Selfie
We’re all experts at this by now, right? Take a selfie against a white wall, making sure you adhere to all the official passport photo requirements. Edit the crop of your photo so that the aspect ratio is square, or 1:1.
Create a Collage
Use a picture collage app, and make a 4×6″ compatible collage. Save that photo to your phone.
Print Your 4×6 Collage Photo for 33 Cents at Walgreens
Download the Walgreens app, and create a profile. (at this point I ended up adjusting the exposure of my photo to even out the white background) Upload your 4×6 collage photo, and place the order to get it printed. It costs 33 cents. So now instead of 2 passport sized photos for $15, you get 6 for 33 cents. Like a smooth criminal.
Put Your Kindergarten Skills to Work
You do know how to use a scissors, yes? Ok cool. Cut yourself 6 passport-sized photos. Good luck, Lefties.
Congratulations, you just scored some cheap passport photos, and saved about $15. That’s enough for lunch in Thailand for 10 days, or one cocktail made by a bearded, hipster mixologist in Los Angeles.
I got my new passport back, and the photo worked. I mailed in my application with Priority Mail, and did the standard non-rush passport service for $110. Estimated turn-around time was 4-6 weeks, but I got my passport back in exactly 2 weeks, so that was a nice surprise.