Postage prices and differences

Along with personalized stationery, the stamps you stick on your envelopes are a great way to add a little extra character to your letters. However, if you’re not familiar with postage, you might be surprised to find here are several types of stamps you can use for your letters. Postage for a regular first-class letter costs 49 cents, according to the U.S. Postal Service. You can purchase stamps that cover this amount at the post office or you can buy ones that are less than 49 cents. It all depends on what you’re sending.

Forever stamps
Depending on the clerk at the post office, when you ask for a book of Forever Stamps, the person will either hand you the nearest book he or she can find or the clerk will show you the options currently available. If you don’t want the picture on the stamps given to you, don’t be afraid to ask about other choices. You might be surprised by all the different stamps that are out there. For instance, there are pictures of famous people, flowers, cartoon characters and more available at the post office.

Forever Stamps have become quite popular because, no matter what price postage changes to, your forever stamps are still good. So, if you’re not a big letter sender and you have a book of stamps lying around a year or two from now, you can rest assured knowing those stamps are still valid.

Other types of stamps
Unfortunately, letters occasionally weigh more than one ounce, which is what one stamp pays for, or you want to send a postcard, which costs less to send. In these instances, postage is going to be different than the regular 49 cents. For example, postcards do not actually cost a whole 49 cents. Instead they cost 35 cents, which means that you’re technically spending more than you need to when you use a Forever Stamp. To avoid this dilemma, you can purchase stamps made specifically for postcards.

Another issue people encounter when mailing items is that the envelope is heavier than one ounce. For each additional ounce of weight in your letter, you have to pay an extra 22 cents. Again, there are stamps made specifically to cover this problem, so instead of using two Forever Stamps, you can stick on one Forever and one that is worth 22 cents.

The post office also sells a variety of other postage amounts, from 1- and 3-cent stamps to options above the standard amount like 71 cents. The postage really does vary based on what you’re sending, so if you want to manage your stamps and money in the best way possible, be aware of how much your message costs to send and use the relevant stamps.