I save the envelopes that come with the credit card offers I receive almost daily. I use these for paying bills that I normally drop off myself, the dentist, for example, is just right up the street.
If we are making payments I have one of the kids just run in and put the envelope on the receptionist's desk. I scribble out the preprinted address and write the dentist's name on the envelope so they know it is intended for them to open. My kids' school requires that hot lunch payments be made in separate envelopes, that is two a week. I reuse the junk mail envelopes for this purpose. I don't know exactly how many envelopes that saves me every year, but I am guessing it is quite a few!
You can also use these for mailing! Use a label over the preprinted address and write in your own. The only thing you need to do is use a dark marker and cross out the bar code located at the bottom of the envelope. (if you don't, it will go to the preprinted address!) I use the 'window' envelopes just as you described, and the all paper envelopes for mailing. If you're really on top of it all, pre-print the mailing address on the labels for the common bills.
The envelopes that I receive in the mail with bills and such (ones that I don't need the return envelope) I just reuse. I put a label over the clear window portion and use the envelope as I would normally use. This saves on envelopes as well as recycling which is good for the environment.
This may seem a but overly frugal, but why toss something away that's useful. If you hate buying envelopes, save the ones you get in the mail. Turn then inside out and reuse them.
By Ardis Ilene Barnes
As mentioned above, BE SURE TO MARK OUT THE BAR CODE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ENVELOPE, because the post office's automatic sorter uses this code to send the envelope to the ORIGINAL address, not to the address you wrote on it.
This also may happen to letters you forward; they will come back to you, and you lose your postage. Oooops.
I save those envelopes that come in junk mail as they come in handy for several uses. I send lunch money and money to cover any field trip expense to my children's schools in those. I just cross out the address and write my child's name and what the envelope is for. I have used these to safely hold my children's pictures to hand out to relatives. I've used for holding coupons or reciepts in my purse. Sometimes I'll write my grocery list on the back of one and put the coupons inside. If you really want to be frugal and recycle, I suppose you can take an opened envelope and use the plain back for a note or list. We have a big recycling program in our community so any junk mail, sale ads, etc that come to the house on an almost daily basis gets recycled if nothing else. Oh and some of the ads and such can get shredded for packing material!
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