Saving Money on Postage Stamps

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
July 17, 2006

Postage rates climb every few years, and although $0.39 doesn't seem like a lot consider that three envelopes equals over $1 postage. Multiply that times twelve friends whom you're inviting to your summer picnic and it's costing nearly $5 in postage alone. A family's yearly spending on postage could add up to $100 or more just in letter mailings. Consider the postage that is spent on on-line or catalog purchases as well as parcel items that are sent via carrier. Instead, there are ways to curb that postage spending.

Electronic vs. Paper

When possible try to utilize the internet to complete transactions. Consider it a way to get more for the money since you most likely pay an internet carrier anyway. Suppose you mail eight bills each month. By the end of the year these bills cost $37.44 in postage. If your bank charges a small fee for on-line bill pay, consider your yearly spending on postage and weigh the savings.

If on-line bill pay through your bank is not possible, try direct pay to the companies themselves. Many allow on-line payments through their web sites or automatically deduct payments from a bank account. If either of these ways appeal to you, then opt to save on postage that way.

Party Postage

Stray away from paper invitations for informal events. For many people the personal invite on the phone means a lot more than the paper one in the mail. Use it as a great excuse to give a friend a call.

In times when a written invitation or thank you is needed opt for post cards. Purchase fun cards and save on the cheaper postal rate.

Combine the Orders

When ordering on-line or by catalog, combine your order to maximize the postal savings. Wait until there are several items to purchase at once and qualify for free or discounted shipping. If no offers are available, this at least saves by sharing the shipping costs between items. One fun idea is to gather orders from friends and split the shipping costs.

Some stores are even willing to ship items from their on-line catalog to a local retail store to avoid shipping charges. Check the catalog or simply call the store to ask.

Pay in Person

While shopping at the store, pay the credit card bill there as well. Most allow direct payments at the customer service window. Some also accept utility payments without an added surcharge.

Sharing Photos

Rather than purchasing extra photos to share by mail, create an on-line account which allows you to share "photo albums." By linking to the site, others can view and even purchase the photos without having to mail or purchase extras. This feature is often available at professional portrait studios as well.

While there are sensible ways to save money on postage, there are also the nonsensical. For instance, don't try to hand deliver your bills rather than mail them. In one trip from my home to pay my electric bill I drove fourteen miles. At 28 mpg, it cost me $1.39 to deliver my bill.

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November 3, 2004

Most utility companies, credit card companies, etc. offer the option of paying your bill on-line. This is an easy way to save money on stamps, checks, and bank processing fees.

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Postage stamps that have not been marked with the date due to machinery error can be reused. Pay attention to the mail you get and start cutting off the stamps you can reuse.

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March 14, 2006

If postage stamps become stuck together, put them in the freezer for an hour or two. When you remove them, they should come apart easily.

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May 9, 2008

Must act now. Buy US Postage "Forever" stamps before 5/12/08 when postal rates go up. The "Forever" stamps are good "forever" even when rates go above 41 cents. Even though next Monday's rate hike is only 1 cent, these "forever" stamps will be good no mater how high the rates go. Just an FYI!

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March 11, 2005

Fax or e-mail as much correspondence as possible, to save on postage and phone bills!

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December 29, 2006

Save On Postage. If you do a lot of mailing, you can save on postage by purchasing stamps at below face value.

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April 22, 2005

I carry stamps and address labels in my car's glove box. You never know when you might need them. One of our local stores charges extra for postage stamps. They're high enough already!

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January 14, 2019

Don't you hate it when you incorrectly address an envelope you have already applied postage too? Then peel off the stamp and it no longer has adhesive?

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 10, 2009

I just received a package from an individual on ebay that I purchased. The stamps are dated Oct 31, 08 and Dec 11, 08. Does this mean that these stamps were reused? Is this illegal and if so, how do I report and to whom?



February 10, 20091 found this helpful

Is it a label type stamp? They may have bought a handful of prepaid stamps. You CAN NOT reuse stamps. The sorting machines at the post office kicks the package out if the stamp has been used ( they have a UV watermark that the machine catches if its been used ).

Reply Was this helpful? 1
February 10, 20091 found this helpful

You need to take the package to the Post Office for the answer and if it was illegal they will probably keep the box as evidence and will thank you for the help! If they say it was illegal then you need to notify eBay with the sellers information/eBay ID.

You're doing the right thing to find out if this was on the up and up !!! There are too many people now days who cheat and/or could give a hoot about honesty! You're a good person for taking the time to find out!

Let us know what the answer is, okay?

Reply Was this helpful? 1
February 11, 20091 found this helpful

I'd definitely talk to the seller, but I'm not sure that I'd turn the person in. I don't feel it is up to you to police someone else. In my opinion, do-gooders put too much emphasis on their own works, and feel the entire world must live up to their standards. This may just be the slip of a visually impaired person who is trying to make ends meet so he/she doesn't lose their house, an immigrant who still isn't familiar with our laws, or as Becca said, a label type stamp. Give the person the benefit of the doubt and contact her/him, there may not be any dishonesty involved. You really shouldn't jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts; it can do much more harm than good. Don't judge too harshly, it may come back to bite you.

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By Shellim (Guest Post)
February 11, 20091 found this helpful

I agree. This should be brought to the Post Offices' attention just in case there is an issue. Also, I know you cannot reuse the same stamps once they've been barcoded. They probably are prepaid stamps. However if they are not and someone is trying to skirt the system, they should be taken to task. The rest of us have to pay for our stamps. So should they. On the last note, disregard the post regarding 'do gooders' and 'jumping to conclusions' and 'putting too much emphasis on their own works, and feel the entire world must live up to their standards." The point trying to be made was valid, 'not jumping to conclusions and taking into consideration there are different circumstances that can account for an outdated stamp, or even a mistake. It was just very worded and insulting.

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By Memere (Guest Post)
February 11, 20090 found this helpful

Remember, too, that you paid the seller for postage to ship the item to you. If the seller did indeed reuse stamps (yes, it is not permitted), then you got ripped off too along with the post office. I do agree, that reused stamps should have been caught by the post office, but then again, no system is perfect.

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February 15, 20090 found this helpful

Are you serious? The seller probably just printed out the earlier stamps in October and December and never used them until he shipped your package. What is there to report? We print stamps all the time and when we don't use them on the printed date, we use them whenever. We have to pay in advance for that postage so it's good until postage rates change....nothing illegal there.

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October 7, 20120 found this helpful

Wow, I have much better ways to spend my time.

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Answer this Question

October 28, 2013

In cleaning out my father-in-law's house, we found about 300 $1 stamps, so old that there is no bar code and the USPS will not exchange them. I'd like to trade them for forever stamps, if possible. Any thoughts?

By Dave C


October 30, 20130 found this helpful

If you can't get help with USPS, try these folks. They might be able to help. They are The Philatelic Society.

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October 30, 20130 found this helpful

I'm not sure that you can or cannot exchange them but I know many people collect stamps... is it possible to sell them to a collector? How old are they? Did you research any of them online to see the might have something a collector would be interested in?

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