Between Christmas cards and mailing gifts to out-of-town relatives, postage costs can really add up. Here are 5 tips to keeping shipping costs down.
1. Digitally Remastered
I remember when my grandmother would proudly display every Christmas card she got on the back of her front door. She taped them up and didn’t take them down until way after Christmas. The little bits of tape would remain on the door (for little grandkids to peel off) all year long.
Some people still treasure getting Christmas cards in the mail, but more and more people are becoming accepting of e-cards. E-cards are great on your budget and easy to customize. Egreetings offers a huge selection of e-cards and they are all free. If you are looking for a good selection of free Christian e-cards, then DaySpring is the site for you.
With e-cards you don’t have to pay for cards, you don’t have to pay for shipping, you can customize them easily, and you can set them to be sent on a certain day. They can even be mailed on Christmas! The postman can’t do that!
2. Don’t Wait
Have you ever been to the post office the week before Christmas? Everyone is in a rush and sending packages by Express Mail at about 4 times the cost of Parcel Post. According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), it costs $4.90 to mail a 1-pound package using Parcel Post and up to $25.15 to mail the same package using Express Mail.
Using Parcel Post means that you have to get your shopping done earlier and your gifts packaged up and mailed in early December. It also means that you can save money (over $20 in the above example!) and that the person receiving the gift will know it was not a last-minute purchase.
3. Package Deal
If you live in San Francisco, California, but most of your family is back in Des Moines, Iowa, then you are probably spending a lot of money on shipping costs for Christmas gifts. Why not send one big package that the family can open together at Christmas. If Grandma’s cooking Christmas dinner and all the aunts and uncles will be there, then send the gift to Grandma’s house-just make sure she or someone else can lift the package.
Still not convinced? Let’s do the math.
Sending one package that weighs 5 pounds from San Francisco to Des Moines will cost $11.37 using Parcel Post. If you have 5 relatives in Des Moines, it will cost you over $50 to mail them all 5-pound gifts. Now, combine the shipping and that 25-pound package costs less than half the price at $26.18. See the USPS site for more details.
4. Make it a Priority
Parcel Post is a great postage saver, but it is not always the best deal. USPS has a great variety of flat-rate Priority Mail envelopes and boxes. The price for these containers ranges from $4.95 to $13.95. You are allowed to fit as much into one box as you can, provided it is able to close properly and weighs less than 70 pounds. The USPS even provides the tape and mailing labels for these packages.
Let’s look at the example of combined shipping again. If the 5 gifts fit into a box that measures 12″ x 12″ x 5 1/2″, then your shipping cost has been cut in half again to a whopping $13.95-and it will get there faster.
You can order the mailing supplies online for free or buy them at the post office near you.
5. Code Work
Okay, maybe you never even step foot in a post office and do all your holiday shopping through online stores. How do you save on shipping? Look for the codes!
There are many sites that offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount. This can help for large purchases, but does not usually help when there are multiple shipping addresses. The best thing to do with smaller purchases is too look for free or reduced shipping coupon codes at places like Free Shipping or MyRetailCodes.com. I never shop online without searching for a coupon.
Don’t feel like searching? You can also get special coupon codes by signing up to get emails from your favorite retailers.
“Price List,” United States Postal Service.