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With postage hikes coming, here's how to save on shipping

You will be paying more for stamps at the post office starting next week. The price hike comes just before the busy holiday shipping season.

SAN ANTONIO — Postage gets more expensive starting August 29, 2021. The United States Postal Service said prices for products and services will go up almost 7 percent overall. This is a planned price increase that is part of the post office’s 10 year plan to achieve financial sustainability. The Forever stamp will be 3 cents more and you will pay 58 cents for it. So, buy some Forever stamps this week to get them at the lower, 55 cent price. The postal service said it still has the most affordable prices for letters in the world compared to many other countries.

Yet that is not the only increase you will see. We are sweating our kiesters off right now, but start thinking about the holidays so you are not sweating getting gifts to loved ones. The postal service is also requesting a temporary rate hike for the holiday season from October 3 to December 26, 2021. That holiday surcharge will cost you between a quarter and five dollars more depending on the weight of your package. FedEx and UPS are also adding holiday shipping surcharges.

Those price hikes add up. Here is how to save:

Mail items early so you do not end up paying more for faster shipping like two day or overnight delivery. Also, go easy on the packing materials. A lot of these price increases are based on weight. The fewer packing materials you use, the lighter your package and less you will pay.

Smart shopping expert Andrea Woroch also has these suggestions:

Ship gifts directly to loved ones instead of ordering items online, having them delivered to you then wrapping and shipping the gifts a second time.

“If it’s ahead of the holidays, just leave a little note and tell them not to open it just yet," she said.

Next, take advantage of free shipping trials and stagger your free trials. Amazon offers free two-day shipping for Prime members and offers a 30-day trial membership. ShopRunner also works with dozens of retailers to offer two-day delivery and has a 30-day trial membership. Wal-Mart Plus and Target have fast delivery programs and both have 15-say free trials.

“If you stagger these free trails between all these four different programs, you can essentially start ordering and getting things delivered quickly without having to pay for that fast delivery,” Woroch said. “Just make sure you cancel before that free trial is up. Otherwise, you will be automatically enrolled and charged.”

Plus, find out about return shipping fees before you order items.

“Ask that online retailer if they will waive your return shipping fee if the item arrives defective or broken, so that you don’t have to pay for it to be returned,” Woroch said. “Otherwise, find out if there’ s local retailer in your area and see if you can exchange it there instead.”

Also, look for free shipping promo codes from retailers.

If you have a question for Eyewitness Wants To Know, email us at EWTK@KENS5.com or call us as 210-377-8647.