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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Personal "Christmas Club" Postage Stamps Savings Account

Sometimes, I save stamps through the year and have enough stamps saved by Christmas to use them and not have to fork over money to the PO for mailing gifts. It is sort of like a Christmas club savings account, but with stamps. This is akin to saving change all year to spend it at Christmas. Saving stamps is my unique parsimonious scheme.

I did not set out to do this, but one year I knew I could not afford to mail my gifts that I had worked so hard to acquire for little throughout the year. As I scrounged for stamps so I would not have to come up with cash, I found a stamp here and a stamp there. Those single stamps, forgotten by me, helped to save almost the whole cost of mailing a box.

Often, I find envelopes stamped and never mailed. If you cut these stamps off and affix to a package with Elmer's glue, you have salvaged a stamp. Right now, I have an envelope with a 33 cent stamp. This will go into my stash of Christmas stamps. The stamp would never have been thrown away! But, now I have a new goal for stamps! It is my new Christmas tradition!

Some of the stamps were not adequate for mailing a letter after postage went up and I had forgotten to buy penny stamps. Others were just lost. Then, there were the penny stamps I bought and did not use. Yes, those packages had loads of stamps!

Using less cash and more forgotten stamps worked for me! Now, I just set aside the sheets with at least three stamps left and use those at Christmas for gift mailing. Setting aside three stamps each month for a year: 3 stamps x $.42 x 12 months=$14.12.

You must realize I don't use a book of stamps each month. So, I will not have deliberately set aside stamps that will mail a box without using some cash. However, if you do use many books of stamps during the year, this "savings plan" will work for you. A flat-rate box costs $10.95 or $14.95 at USPS, depending on the size box.

One year around September, I started saving change with the express intent of using it for mailing gifts. Since I mail gifts for three people to NYC and five in Texas, I put all gifts for one destination in one box. The weight of the gifts does not matter. However, they must all fit in one flat rate box.

I do and can use change during the year even if I am saving it. Stamps can only be used for one thing--mailing items.

Has anyone ever scrounged for stamps to mail a letter or box?

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