Thursday, November 15, 2012

Frugal Mailing Methods

As the holidays approach many people probably feel a sense of dread about a rather mundane activity....going to the post office.  The temperatures drop, lines go on forever, and good moods are hard if not impossible to find.  But I have a solution for you, and I consider it frugal.  Use on-line mailing.  And by that I mean get to know the US Postal Service's on-line shopping.  My two favorite options are:

  1. Click-and-Ship priority mail.  Every few months my husband or I stop in the post office and pick up a supply of FREE priority boxes.  We stash them in the basement and pull them out when it is time to mail a package.  The box is free and ships at a flat rate, so no weighing is required.  If you can stuff it in the box, it ships for the flat rate.  You go on-line, select ship a package, opt for flat rate, input your address, the destination, and the size box you used.  In the end you receive a form to print or save as a PDF for later printing.  Tape it to the box and leave it for the mail delivery person to pick up.  You know they will be going by your house six days a week.  No trip to the post office.  No paying for a box to ship the item in.  No long lines.  It is a wonderful option, and quite easy.  The small box flat rate is $5.15;
  2. Order stamps on-line.  Until recently I had my office assistant go to the post office and buy postage for my legal practice.  No more!  For $1.25 fee I can order postage on-line and receive it in the mail.  The cost is less than paying an assistant their hourly rate to run this errand.  And I also used this method to buy the holiday stamps I want to use on our holiday cards at home.  Again, they will be delivered to my door.  No extra trip to the post office; no gas, no wear and tear on the car, no time wasted in long lines.
Sure, if you have lots of time on your hands a walk to the post office may be a nice afternoon outing.  But, if like me you are balancing work, family, home, and a desire to limit errands, give the on-line option a try.  The fee is the same, so order bulk (Forever postage will forever be the cost of a first class stamp).  I have not received anything as of this post, and I do hope the packaging in minimal.  Watch for an update in the future.

Thanks for reading, and may you have a lovely and frugal holiday season.

Image credit:  www.sxc.hu - free image

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