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by sitecore\kmcgrigg on December 03, 2010

The cost of shipping is often overlooked, but can take a big bite out of your holiday budget.  According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend about $700 on holiday expenses with only $26.10 earmarked for cards and postage.  Since we have so little set aside for shipping gifts, we'd better get on the ball and ship early if we want to get the gifts there in time for Christmas.

Here's an example of how seven days can save me $23.75 on shipping my Grandma's Christmas gift.

Holiday shipping

If you’re still buying books in book form and need to ship them, don’t forget to ask about a “media rate.” The post office offers special pricing for sending all types of media including books, film, manuscripts, sound recordings, video tapes, CDs and DVDs. If the 3-pound box from Denver to Pittsburgh qualified for the media rate, it would only cost $3.16 to ship. 

And since you time is valuable too, be sure to plan your visit to the post office.  In 2009, the Postal Service saw its busiest day on December 14, with 830 million pieces of mail entering the system. This year's busiest day will probably be Monday, December 13. 

For international shipping costs and deadlines visit And, if you’re shopping online, consider placing your orders on Free Shipping Day. On December 17, hundreds of merchants will offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve. For a list of participating merchants visit


Posted in:  Frugality, Holiday, Saving, Shopping


Anonymous says:
December 09, 2010

I work for the US Postal Service and I learned more from this article than I knew before!

Corina McCoy says:
December 06, 2010

Hi Kim, Wow thanks for the information. That is true, shipping can definitely add up! My name is Corina, and I have a blog I am starting to connect with other like-minded bloggers like you and just wanted to reach out and say hello. Thanks and best wishes for a happy holiday season. Corina McCoy

Ed says:
December 07, 2010

Great stuff! Shipping prices have gone up over the years, but for my family we mostly stay near one another. I couldn't imagine what my shipping cost would be to mail gifts and cards to my entire family.

Margaret says:
December 09, 2010

Hi Kim, great info thanks! My daughter will be moving from Ohio to Arizona and needs to ship "ALL of Her Clothes" any advise?

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