Saving Money on Priority Mail

If you look at the two Priority Mail boxes below. which would you choose to use and which is the cheapest?

If you answered #1, you might be right. If you answered #2, you might be right also. It all depends on the weight and where it’s being sent.

I sent a package to Texas today and wanted to use Priority Mail with the USPS. What I discovered is that there are a lot of choices. For a 2 pound package, I could pay anywhere from $7.26 to $15.45. It’s basically the same service so you might as well pay the cheapest rate.

If you look at the above rates for a 2# box, you will see that normal Priority Mail has a rate as low as $7.26 or as high as $15.45. It all depends on which box you put it in. Even though the boxes are virtually identical, when the box has the word “Flat Rate,” then you are charged a set fee for package regardless of the weight or zone.

So the general rule is this,
When it’s light – use regular Priority Mail.
When it’s heavy, use a Flat Rate Priority Mail.

The Post Office does have plain Priority Mail boxes, but they are hard to find at the local post office.  You can order them at, but you’ll have to do a bit of searching. If you use your own plain box, make sure you cover it with Priority Mail stickers, so it’s plainly labeled and you’ll get the two day treatment. You can order the labels for free online at also has other free boxes online, but they are the Flat Rate Boxes. These are charged a set rate and you could pay $15.45 instead of $7.26.

Three rules for Priorirty Mail.

1. Always have both type of Priority mail boxes at home – they’re free from and will deliver them to your home.

2. Weigh you package.

3. Go to and see which rate is cheaper. It just takes a couple of minutes, but will save you money every time you use Priority Mail.

Note – you can even schedule a pickup of your Priority Mail package online if you print your own postage.


About Tom Terrific

Interested in MANY things.

Posted on February 1, 2012, in Saving Money. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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