Shipping packages is a great way to stay connected with loved ones around the country (or world), get items to new cities ASAP, and move merchandise, but let’s be honest, it can get a little bit pricey.

Not to mention, if you’re sending packages over the holidays or are moving to a new state, the cost can really add up. 

So, if you’re looking to save a little bit of money the next time you need to send a package, here are some tips and tricks. 

Drop the Package Off

This should come as no surprise, but if you want to save money do not request a pickup service. This will usually cost you more money. Instead, plan on dropping off your package at a post office or collection bin. 

Cheapest Shipping Options

Whether you’re looking to ship something as tiny as a piece of jewelry or something as big as a TV, here are the cheapest shipping options based on size:

Tiny Packages: The U.S. Postal Service’s First-Class Package Service

  • Anything that can fit inside a padded enveloped
  • Must be less than 13 ounces
  • It Will cost roughly $3.80
  • Delivery will arrive in 1-3 days

Small Packages: U.S. Postal Service’s Priority Mail

  • Use this service for books, mugs, t-shirts, etc. 
  • Price starts at $7.50
  • Must be under 70 pounds
  • Delivery will arrive in 1-3 days

Medium to Large Packages: The Postal Service’s Priority Mail

  • A large care package, small appliances, etc. 
  • Price starts at $15
  • Must be under 70 pounds
  • Will arrive in 1-3 days

Very Large Packages: FedEx Ground or UPS Ground

  • Can ship up to 150 pounds 
  • The price will vary depending on the weight of the package

Other Ways to Save

Use USPS flat rate boxes, or buy envelopes in bulk, as this will save you money on packaging down the road. If you know you are going to be sending a lot of packages in a short amount of time, save boxes you have lying around the house. 

Also, keep old newspapers or recycled paper to use as protection for your items. Old rags or bedding also work to protect bigger items.

Also, if you are mailing any sort of media — books, recordings, recorded videotapes, etc. — use Media Mail. You will end up paying a lot less. This is a great option for people who are selling books. However, it does take a bit more time to be delivered, so be prepared for a longer wait time.