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Save Money on Holiday Shipping: 5 Tricks for Savvy Shoppers

Don't let holiday shipping costs blow your budget. Here, the clever tricks savvy spenders use to save money on mail during the gift-giving season.

Ralph Smith for Reader's Digest

Shop the dollar store

Need shipping supplies? Dollar stores sell a range of inexpensive bubble mailers, envelopes, packaging tape, and mailing labels for far less than the post office or a shipping center.

Get a month of service up front

Websites like and offer memberships with free two-day shipping. Sign up for a 30-day trial, then decide if you want to keep the membership after the holidays.

‘Insure” expensive gifts

To ship costly goods through FedEx, consider paying the 90-cent charge (per $100 of value) to declare their worth. FedEx doesn’t offer insurance but will pay the declared amount if an item is lost or damaged. UPS covers packages valued up to $100 and has similar pricing to declare the value of more-expensive goods.

Send books on the cheap

Gifting a good read? Mail educational items such as books and DVDs through the USPS Media Mail, starting at $2.72, typically the cheapest shipping option.

Don’t miss “Free Shipping Day”

Hundreds of retailers offer to send at no cost gifts purchased online on December 18, 2015. Check for a list of participating vendors.


Sources: Lauren Greutman, a frugal-living expert and founder of, a consumer savings website;;;;

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest