How to Save on Shipping Costs -- Savings Experiment

Save on Shipping
Save on Shipping

Whether you're using the U.S. Postal Service or a private company like FedEx or UPS, shipping costs have a way of adding up. Here's the best way to save on the expense no matter what you're mailing.

When it comes to shipping, you're less likely to pay for pounds than you are for inches. That's because the U.S. Postal Service offers a Flat Rate box. While there are many flat rate options depending on the size of the item you're shipping, the large box is 12"x12"x5.5". As long as your item fits in there and weighs less than 70 pounds, you can send it by Domestic Priority Mail for $16.85.

If you go online and pay ahead of time, you can save even more -- 9 percent to be exact. In fact, many services and shipping materials are available on the USPS website, so your best bet is to start there. It can save you both time and money.

If you're shipping something that's bigger than the large Flat Rate box from the USPS, go with a private shipper like UPS or FedEx. It will cost you less to ship large items through these companies, and they offer additional options, such as package tracking, proof of delivery and up to $100 of insurance.

So, the next time you need to mail something that's not an awkward shape or extra large, go with the Flat Rate box from the U.S. Postal Service to save the most money.

Originally published