Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Martin Lewis shares simple trick to help you save money at Christmas

The cost of living crisis continues to make itself known – and as well as the price of food, bills and other essentials soaring, it’s about to become a lot more expensive to send a letter.

Yes, the cost of stamps is set to soar very soon – just months after the introduction of a barcode rendered everbody’s old, non-barcoded stamps, unusable.

There are ways to beat the rising cost, if you act now – with Martin Lewis once again coming to the rescue and offering some invaluable advice on how to keep your postage costs low.

Here’s what the founder of Money Saving Expert has to say….

How much are stamps due to rise by?

From October 2, the price of a first-class stamp will be rising by 14% for a standard letter – the second increase this year following the price hike in April from 95p to £1.10.

This will push the cost up from £1.10 to £1.25.

While the price of second class stamps for a standard letter will not change, it will now cost more to send a large letter by second-class post.

Here’s how it all breaks down:

  • First-class – Standard: £1.10 to £1.25, up by 15p (14% rise)
  • First-class – Large: £1.60 to £1.95, up by 35p (22% rise)
  • Second-class – Standard: 75p to 75p (No change)
  • Second-class – Large: £1.15 to £1.55, up by 40p (35% rise)

Other prices, including the cost of Royal Mail’s Signed For and Special Delivery Guaranteed services, are also set to rise from October 2.

You can find complete information on the new charges at Royal Mail’s website.

How to save money on stamps

Martin Lewis has offered some handy tips on how to keep the cost of stamps down ahead of the latest price hikes.

The financial journalist has said that the simplest way to keep ahead is to stock up now, while they’re still at the lower rate.

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‘For years, every time stamps go up in price I’ve suggested people stock up and bulk-buy in advance, as provided the stamp doesn’t have a price on it and instead just says the postage class, it’s still valid after the hike,’ he explains on Money Saving Expert.

‘This has been an effective tactic, as a first-class letter stamp is now £1.10, soon to be rising to £1.25 – in 2012 it was just 60p.

‘So you may as well stock up now, even if it’s just for Christmas cards for the next few Christmases.’

Other ways of keeping costs down include sticking to second-class postage for standard letters – as these are not rising in price.

When it comes to parcels, consider using courier services such as My Parcel Delivery or Parcel2Go which can work out cheaper than using Royal Mail – or, if ordering something for someone else online, have it sent directly to them, as this is often free if goods cost over a certain amount.

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