Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Even though stamps cost more, I’ll continue mailing cards February 7, 2019


IF ONLY I’D KNOWN. If only she’d informed me of the price increase when she asked whether I wanted more than one sheet of postage stamps. “Nope, just one,” I said and pulled out my debit card.

I had no idea that the cost of postage stamps was rising by 10 percent the very next day, from 50 cents per first class forever stamp to 55 cents.

I suppose it’s my fault for not being on top of things. But she, the U.S. postal clerk, could have told me when I bought stamps that Saturday morning at my local post office. Had I known, I would have purchased more than 20 stamps. I like to save money when given the opportunity.

Not that I would have bought a stack of postage stamp sheets. But, given all the birthday and Valentine’s Day cards I mail in February, I certainly would have purchased more to save more money.

Sigh. Live and learn.

The increased cost of mailing cards won’t stop me from sending them. I consider greeting cards an important way to communicate care and more. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciated the get well cards I received while recovering from two broken bones in recent years. Never underestimate the power of a greeting card to encourage and uplift others.

I like also to write personal thank you notes. We don’t do that often enough in this high tech world—put pen to paper and hand-write gratitude.

And birthday cards…I still send them even though I seldom get them anymore. It saddens me that most people are seemingly too busy to choose, sign, address and mail birthday cards. A text message or email just is not the same. To slice open an envelope, pull out a greeting card, read and re-read a hand-signed message brings me joy.

Yes, being a writer (including of greeting card verses for Warner Press) likely contributes to my fondness for cards. I’ll give you that. I understand the value of the written word.

How about you? Do you still send greeting cards? If not, why not?

Or what are your thoughts on that 10 percent increase in first class postage stamp rates?

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


26 Responses to “Even though stamps cost more, I’ll continue mailing cards”

  1. Littlesundog Says:

    I still send Christmas cards and letters to those who do not have email. Mostly I email correspondence for events and greetings. For those who only see snail mail I continue to offer that. I get handmade cards from a fellow blogger artist, and I also make my own greeting and event cards from my catalog of photographs. It’s fun to communicate this way, and it’s not about the cost of postage for me either. But I do email a lot now. It’s just faster.

  2. Gunny Says:

    Cards, store bought or individually made. My wife has a friend who make some very intricate and gorgeous cards. Me – I like the store bought ones (sometimes). I bought extra stamps as we always have outgoing mail. What gripes me is that even with all these price increase, an ZIP codes, the U.S. Mail is often unable to deliver a package! My wife addressed a package to our daughter using her home address but then messed up and used the daughters ZIP code (get it there faster) for her work address. Box came back “No such street”. AT today’s prices, this was not a cheap package to send!
    With a name and a 9 digit zip, anything should be able to be delivered right to the door!

    On the other hand, I was shipping some stuff that would make some people’s skin crawl (gun parts). FedEx and UPS had exactly that response wanting me to go to there “Main Offices” to have it shipped. I took the parts to the nearest post office (boxed but open) got to the counter and the military veteran postal clerk and I had a nice chat about what I was shipping and he looked it over, we sealed the box and he added (and charged me) for the postage and insurance and we were done in about 3 minutes. My friend got his gun parts in like 3 days and was elated!

    That aside, I shipped to an APO address, a big box of goodies to a Niece serving in Iraq or someplace similar. Since these countries have serious problems with pork, I had to complete a detailed inventory for Customs purposes. When my niece got it, her Sergeant looked at the manifest and asked “Was your Uncle ever in the military?” . Niece told her “Yes, why?” Sergeant said “It shows!”. (list was detailed!)

    Happy Shipping and mailing!

    • Oh, gosh, Gunny, I enjoy reading your detailed stories. You’re right about shipping anything these days being costly. I sent my son a package of gingersnaps. That will be $8, thank you. Expensive cookies. Oh, well, it’s just money, right?

      I love the response from your niece’s superior. Well done, Gunny. Well done.

      As far as the address, a postal clerk here caught an error I made in an addressing a package. She asked me to verify the address and, sure enough, I had missed a word in a long street address. Long story, the package ended up at its destination because of that system.

      • Gunny Says:

        LOL, I shipped a letter to Oregon to a cousin. The letter was returned as “undeliverable”. Checked address which was good. Seems she lived on the end of a street (cul-de-sac?) and they were in the middle of a snow storm when that letter first came. So I guess “Through rain, snow sleet” no longer applies. Most of the postal clerks are verifying the addresses on packages when you drop them off. My wife’s pack cost us $11 in postage! Ouch!

      • Cold stopped mail delivery here last week. But then that word is not in the motto. Keep sending those packages, Gunny. The recipients appreciate them. Worth every dollar…

  3. Valerie Says:

    It is too bad the postal worker didn’t tell you of the price increase. We were told, so we stocked up. I love sending cards (but don’t send as many as I used to) and receiving them.

  4. Almost Iowa Says:

    Remember the world before forever stamps? You had to have a couple of sheets of penny stamps, one or two of dime stamps and gosh, do you remember the handy two cent stamp?

  5. Judy M Says:

    I like to send greeting cards to friends and family and also write letter’s to three friends. They do send letters back to me. I like opening the envelopes and read what they have been doing and how they are. I don’t mind the increase in postage since my friends live many miles from me, cheaper to buy a stamp than gas to go visit.
    Enjoyed reading your post.

  6. Sheri Eichhorn Says:

    I, too, am a lover of greeting cards, sometimes one sent for no other reason than that someone was on your mind. Getting fun mail is so wonderful. To me, it is worth the 55 cents, though I wish they hadn’t gone up in price.

    I actually make my own greeting cards most of the time. I have been doing that for years now, sometimes making ones with only my craft supplies, sometimes using parts of cards I have gotten to make new ones. It is most fun to me when I can make a card with a part of the card that person last sent me, a circle of caring created by using the old parts to create the new card.

    I am glad that you, too, send cards. They are a gift of caring to those who receive them.

  7. Brenda R Says:

    I’m bummed that you didn’t know about the price increase! I waited to respond to see what everyone else had for comments. Everyone at our Post Office passed on the price increase news. We sold an amazing amount of postage in January! I was glad to see that no one commented that their tax dollars pay postal employees wages! The USPS is totally funded by postage sales. POI- Congress passed a bill in 2006 that required the USPS to prefund 75 years of retirement funds in just 10 years time. That’s the retirement funds for employees that haven’t even been born yet! No other Federal agency has this prefunding mandate. This also was put into effect right when the economy was going in the tank! So frustrating! As expenses go up for everything, we were glad the Postal board of Governors raised the rates. Ever wonder what the postage rate is? Google it!! 😀

  8. I just randomly found out about the increase in stamp prices. I feel like it wasn’t advertised at all! I certainly would have loaded up. I do enjoy sending and receiving cards, it really is more personal and I think most people like receiving “snail mail”. I have been a recipient of your sweet cards, always puts a smile on my face.

  9. I use Stamps.com a lot so I guess I knew the postage hike was coming. I ordered special stamps for Aaron and Erin’s Save the Date cards and admonished them to get them mailed before the date. Of course they didn’t and had to add a few pennies of postage to them. 🙂 But they were cute stamps so I guess worth it. I do still send cards, as you know, but am not always on top of sending birthday greetings on time. I guess I like to stretch out the celebration. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

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