To save money on buying envelopes, take any pre-addressed envelopes that come in the mail that aren't going to be used and put white labels over the address. Make sure not to use envelopes that are obviously not suited to your purpose. Even the envelopes with the see through windows can be used. Just put the white label over the window part. We haven't purchased envelopes in ages!
By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO
I also reuse the envelopes, but the ones with the window I write my list on the other side and put all my coupons for that order in it and seal it so they don't fall out or blow away. I am not able to do my own shopping anymore so it makes it easier for the person doing the shopping for me to keep track of them, before doing this something always happened and not all coupons were applied. No more errors now. :) You can also use them to separate your coupons into categories and put them in an old envelope box and things go faster when making your list.
The archived suggestions on this topic are great. If the envelope is prepaid by the company sending it out, I do choose to return all the information that was sent to me-- unsolicited-- back to the company with instructions to remove me. This is the best use of the money already spent on the postage. You CANNOT legally reuse these prepaid envelopes for your own use other than to that originating company.
However, most envelopes that I receive from my bill companies do not have prepaid postage. Those I DO reuse for my own purposes, mailing other correspondence, etc. It saves me pennies each time which is my first concern, not the recycle center down the street.
I've used these for years, too! In fact, when desperate, I have opened up the envelopes at the glued seams (steam works well if it doesn't come apart easily) and turned them inside out. Some of them have really pretty printing on the inside to make them secure.
Some envelops have a bar code on them, either line this out or use WhiteOut. The bar code will mess up delivery of your other mail.
I was going to say what lindal did and also adding that if what you placed for mailing in that envelope is lost (if you don't cover up the bar code) will automatically go to the company that sent you the envelope rather than be returned to you or forwarded on to who you wanted it to go to. The bar codes are that company's personal mailing information and the mechanical postal readers accept that info before handwritten info.
Be sure to cover or black out any pre-printed bar code at the bottom of those envelopes (below the address area); otherwise the postal machines will scan the code and deliver them to the original addressee, not your intended addressee.
I've been saving envelopes like this for years - you will be amazed at how many you get and I can't keep all of them as there are too many!
I use them for shopping lists and coupon storage as well, but they are also handy to keep by the computer to use as scratch paper. And when you are done with the outside, you can cut the two shorter sealed sides of the envelopes, turn them inside out and you can keep using them.
Good tip, however, on any envelope with a bar code under the address, you should cover over (not just mark through) the bar code, or the envelope may go to the original addressee and not where you addressed it. Post Office scanners can sometimes pick up the bar code through the black marker.
I wholeheartedly agree with marinewife5, if you're receiving unsolicited advertising from a company you don't want to do business with. If they have to pay to get their junk back, you can bet they'll take you off their list and if enough people do it, they may be more careful about creating that list in the first place (and thereby save a lot of trees).
As for reusing instead of recycling: the three R's of green living are:
1. Reduce the amount of packaging, advertising, etc that comes into your home, then
2. Reuse everything you can (like backs of envelopes for scratch paper, and glass jars for food storage), and when you can't reuse it any more.
3. Recycle everything you can.
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