The next postage rate increase will be January 22. Frugal-minded boondockers might want to either send out lots of letters now, or stock up on forever stamps. In 2011, the United States Postal Service announced that all its first class stamps would be “forever”, i.e. you lock the cost of postage in at the time of purchase. This offers some protection against the postage rate hike.
How RVers can save on the cost of postage before price hikes
First-class stamps will rise from 44 cents to 45 cents; it’s not much of a price hike, but the flip side is that Saturday delivery is no more and the closure of numerous processing centers means that the days of next-day delivery are no more; you get significantly less value for money. Postcard rate is going up a hefty three cents to 32 cents. That’s a little painful for those who like to send postcards home. (Story continues below.)
According to staff in the Blythe, California post office, priority mail and express mail costs will also go up between about 3.1 percent and 3.4 percent; 2012 postage rates vary depending on weight and have not yet been received at post offices. Media mail, useful for sending large numbers of books and other media at minimal cost, is also going up. The good news is that the post office hasn’t gone bankrupt yet, so you can still do general delivery.
Thinking ahead can save money on rising postage costs
The cost of a one-ounce letter or postcard sent from the United States overseas will increase from $0.98 to $1.05 (postcard rate for overseas went away several years ago). You can save money here by sending three or four postcards in a single envelope; as long as it stays under one ounce, this will go for the same rate. Also, unlike in previous years, the second ounce costs less than the first; as before the 2012 postage rate varies depending on where you’re sending the mail.
Costs for stamps to Canada and Mexico will also rise on January 22.
The 22 January postal price hikes are good for a year so, if you know how many first class stamps you generally use in a year and have the up-front money, you can save a dollar or two by stocking up on forever stamps. During at least one previous price hike this writer’s local post office ran out of one-cent stamps, so you might want to buy a few of those too.
A full listing of the 2012 postage rate hikes is here.
- Fee-free national parks for Martin Luther King Day
- Free lunch at Panda Express
Do you boondock or dry camp in your RV? Subscribe to this column or read it in your feed reader to get fresh updates on the boondocking life. You can also follow the RV Boondocking Facebook page or on Twitter to read more about boondocking.