For those of you who have started to notice your mail being returned to you over the last week…you missed the memo.  The U.S. first class postage rate has risen yet again…now a cool $.44.  Which got us over at The Budget Ecoist a’thinkin: since everything is raising in price, how can we minimize the money we spend on shipping, as well as the resources?

Here are our thoughts.  Let us know if you have additional suggestions!

1. The Forever Stamp - If you love saving every little last cent, you’ll be bummed if you didn’t get your fill of forever stamps before postage went up.  Forever Stamps can be purchased from your local post office at the current first class postage rate. The good news? As the name implies, they can be used forever.  Which means you were one of the smart people not having to run to the post office to stock up on two cent stamps last week.

2. Reuse Packaging – The upside of obsessively ordering online is that you should never have to pay for a box to mail a package again.  Also, this gives you a good opportunity to reuse packaging peanuts and bubble wrap.

3. Grocery Bags – Out of that brown shipping paper? No worries…cut up a paper grocery bag or two. This is a great way to reuse any paper grocery bags you were forced to take on those rare trips to the grocery store when you forgot your canvas bags.

4. Size Matters – Try to ship items in size-appropriate boxes.  Less packaging, less cost.