I can remember when a stamp cost three cents and seven cents for airmail. Not any more.

Now the ‘forever’ stamps are 46 cents. That means you can use them even if stamps go up to 50 cents each. More and more reasons to send emails and e cards.

If you send a gift these days, the flat rate boxes have gone up too. The medium flat rate box is $12.25, but the large is $16.85. If you buy a $20 gift, that just about doubles the cost.

Now the smart shopper is buying a gift card and putting it in an envelope. Your $20 gift still costs about $20.

Of course there is nothing as much fun as actually opening a present, but a gift card certainly has its merits.

Never have to exchange the item because it is the wrong size, or you just don’t like it. If you get a gift card from a store you will never shop at or a restaurant you don’t like, there are gift card exchange companies on the internet.

You can also turn your card in for cash, if you would rather have that. You won’t get the full amount, but half a loaf is better than none.

If you do have to go to the post office to mail a package, don’t forget to use the handy do it yourself machine. Even when there is a long line, there is seldom anyone using the self service machine.

It’s really easy. Good instructions. And if you usually send a lot of priority packages, you can buy a couple of extra stamps while you are at it, so you have them on hand.

Don’t forget, if your package weighs over 13 ounces, you have to actually take it to the counter.

Now who came up with that ridiculous law? Since technology has advanced to the point where James Bond can detonate a bomb from a ball point pen, they may have to rethink this.

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