Putting the Stereotypical Notion of a Tightwad on its Tush

365 Days of Saving Money: Don’t Throw Out Junk Mail

This year is all about saving money every day while trying to increase your income potential. If you did one thing each day that could save as little as $5 over the course of a year, you could have an extra $1800 in your pocket at the end of the year. Not all of these tips may apply to you, so to keep it fair, not all of them will apply to me.

Every week, more and more junk mail fills my mail box. Pizza, fast food, and neighborhood coupons as is save us money on food and dry cleaning. What do you do with the rest of the junk? the recycling bin? I think you put it into the shredder. The free junk mail in your mail box makes excellent packing material for boxes and presents. If you give five presents a year, which most people go through at Christmas time, you can easily save $5 in tissue paper alone. Best of all, junk mail is designed to be colorful and eye-catching, which means your packing will be too.

Storage isn’t a big deal either. Put the shredded papers into a gallon ziploc-type bag, roll out the air, and seal flat. When you’re ready to use it, open the bag and shake out your packing material.

And did I mention this could be considered recycling? Greener is better. If anyone gives you a hard time about your repurposed packing material, just look at them dryly and say, “I care about the environment.” Guilt always trumps snobbery.

365 Days of Saving: $425 annually

4 Responses to 365 Days of Saving Money: Don’t Throw Out Junk Mail

  1. I've used the shredded junk mail during my moves, too, as box cushioning instead of peanuts or bubble paper… Also, I keep all the return envelopes to use to hold coupons and organize receipts, etc.

    Great post… Repurposing rocks! And is better than sending stuff straight away to the recycle bin… The more uses before then, the better!

  2. @Jules: Excellent. Once you can store the shreds without too much inconvenience, the possibilities are endless!

  3. Depending on the type of junk mail you get, you may want to check out GreenDimes. For a small fee they take you off mailing lists, etc. so that you get less mail overall plus they plant a tree on your behalf for every month you are in the program.

  4. @Susan: Good call! I hadn't heard of that service. I know that in some cases you can also opt out of credit card solicitations, cancel catalog subscriptions, etc. as well. It seems no matter what I get something, though. I'll have to check out GreenDimes. Planting a tree is a great service bonus in my mind. 🙂

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