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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Repurpose, Reuse & Recycle Cardboard Boxes

With my baking and candy-making finished, I began wondering how I was going to send all the goodies to the various states in which my family live. Not much was going into each box for a total of nine boxes; a few ounces of hard candy and muffins. That was it.

"Maybe you can find boxes at the UPS store," my husband suggested.

"I'll take care of it," I replied. I was remembering last year when I tried stuffing candy and baked goods into the smallest flat rate box the post office offered. I couldn't and ended up running back to the post office to get medium sized boxes.

With everything packed into the boxes, I headed off to mail them. Imagine my surprise when I found out that each medium sized box was going to cost over ten dollars to ship! So much for the good deal in flat rate shipping which is how the postal service makes it sound.

Well, it's not a good deal. So, after recalling last year's episode of shipping off Christmas presents I did a little research. I found if I used my own boxes and ship parcel post, I would save money. The search for boxes began. I managed to find eight boxes plus one used padded envelope in which I could pack several ounces of food.

I found an old computer keyboard box, boxes I had used as storage but no longer stored stuff in; I found boxes I had packed for moving and boxes for stuff I had ordered on the internet. Why, I had boxes galore! And to tell the truth, I didn't realize I had so many that were taking up space. They were in our spare bedroom and our garage. Without intending to, I managed to create extra space by using the pre-used boxes. Not only that, but I managed to generate less trash.

What was the average cost to mail each package parcel post (not flat rate)? Seven dollars and sixty six cents per box. That was a savings of two dollars and fifty four cents per box and a total savings of nearly twenty three dollars!

Lesson: If you are shipping light items, double check flat rate shipping rates versus first class. Most importantly, re-use those empty boxes you have laying around.

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