Friday, February 26, 2010

Tip 36: Forever stamps

Stamps can be cute, but another thing that's cute in my book is saving time and money. This is why, though I often am nearly tempted otherwise, I try to follow...

Tip 36: Stick to purchasing forever stamps for your mailing needs.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like when I was a kid a stamp cost 25 cents for about 15 years, and then all of a sudden the price of a stamp increases every year, sometimes it even feels like multiple times per year. While I realize that last part is probably an exaggeration, I just don't send enough mail to even make it through one pack of 20 stamps before the stamp rate increases. The beauty of a forever stamp (currently the ones with the Liberty Bell image) is that even if you find yourself facing a rate increase mid-roll, it doesn't affect you.

The worst part about buying cute stamps is then having to go back to the post office to get smaller stamps to add to the original stamp.

Also, I rarely buy stamps at the post office because I try to go there as infrequently as possible. Instead, I've had success:

1) Buying stamps at grocery stores. How many other people do this? Usually when I ask my cashier for a pack of stamps he or she can get a little flustered and call for back up. Still, I love killing two birds with one stone, so I love the convenience of grocery store stamp purchasing.

2) Buying stamps online. I tried this for the winter holidays, and it was worth the $1 service charge to avoid waiting in line for decorative stamps at the post office. If there's anything worse than waiting in line at the post office, it would be waiting in line at the post office in December. Somewhat ironically, it took longer for my stamps to arrive in the mail than it takes most of my mail to arrive, but I wasn't in a rush.

3) Buying stamps at ATMs. When select ATMs ask me, "Would you like to purchase stamps?" as I end my transaction, sometimes I say, "Why yes, I would!" Again, it saves another trip to another undesirable place and it doesn't cost any more.

I have never purchased stamps at Costco, mostly because I do not need insane Costco quantities of stamps.

An exception to my forever-stamp rule is when I am about to make a bulk mailing, which is rare, and by bulk I mean more than 20 items, or one book of stamps worth. This is why they produce those wedding and holiday stamps.

Next up...adventures in dog parenting: dealing with a sick puppy (another brief interruption of mail week, to return Saturday afternoon).

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