How to ship cheaper with USPS, FedEx, and UPS this holiday

With major holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa just around the corner, it’s time to start planning who you’ll be sending gifts to. The US Postal Service, as well as UPS and FedEx, have all released shipping deadlines to ensure your loved ones get their package on time. Why is it so important to plan ahead this year? Because like everything else, shipping is more expensive (especially during the holiday season).

Earlier this year, USPS announced temporary price adjustments for key package products for the 2022 peak holiday season, specifically for the period that began October 2nd and will remain in effect until 12 a.m. January 22nd, 2023. Customers and retail customers.

How much will shipping cost this year?

Seasonal rate adjustments range from $0.25 to $6.50 depending on the weight of your package and shipping product, up to 70 lbs, with the largest increases for packages of 11 lbs or more.

This seasonal adjustment will bring prices for commercial and retail Postal Service customers in line with competitive practices. “No structural changes are planned as part of this limited pricing initiative,” the Postal Service said in a statement.

UPS has announced its surcharges that will remain in effect until further notice. These increments range from $0.05 to $7.00. FedEx surcharges range from $1.50 to $68.75 per package, although the highest surcharge is $385 for certain US ground services.

6 tips for saving shipping costs

If you’re hoping to cut costs during the holidays, one of the main ways to do so is to take a hard look at how much you spend to send gifts and look for alternatives or discounts that can help you save. Some tips for cutting costs:

  1. Choose store pickup when you can. If the person you’re gifting lives close enough to, driving to the store to pick up the item and give it to them in person, rather than having it shipped to them can help keep costs down. It may take a few extra minutes, but shipping charges can add up quickly if you don’t keep a close eye on them.
  2. Order and ship through an online retailer. If the recipient doesn’t live close enough to gift them in person and your only option is to have a gift shipped, try doing so directly through the retailer you’re shopping at. Many retailers have gift wrapping and price tag removal options, and it’s often cheaper than shipping the item yourself.
  3. Keep the freight deals rhythm. Many retailers will ship your item for free if you meet a minimum spend. Consider doing the bulk of your shopping through a particular retailer, if you can so you can qualify for free shipping promotions. Another option: Consider an Amazon Prime membership with fast, free shipping. You still have to pay a membership fee, but it will probably be cheaper than paying to ship each individual gift. “Some of the big e-merchants, Amazon, Target and Walmart, have been known to waive minimums for free shipping during the holidays. When you visit the website, these offers will be clearly indicated,” says Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at truetrae.com. “There is also a day. FREE SHIPPING December 14th, when many retailers not only guarantee on-time delivery for the holidays, but also often offer free shipping and sales.”
  4. Ship your items early. Holiday shipping deadlines vary from carrier to carrier, but the closer the holiday season gets, the more expensive it will be to ship your package. In addition, you run the risk of your item not arriving on time. Plan ahead and try to ship your items before your preferred carrier’s holiday deadline.
  5. Don’t leave any shipping discounts on the table. Some carriers offer discounts to different memberships or credit card holders. UPS offers discounts for AAA and AARP members (pro tip: You don’t have to retire to join). FedEx offers discounts to USAA members and American Express cardholders.
  6. Compare prices. If you prefer to wrap and ship something yourself, do your homework first. “I recommend using a local shipping store and asking them to compare rates between USPS, UPS, and Fedex before you decide which carrier to use,” says Bodge. “In general, I find USPS to be the least expensive, especially if you use prepaid boxes/envelopes. Just be prepared to wait in a long line as the holidays approach.”

Follow Fortune’s recommendations on Facebook and Twitter.

Editorial disclosure: The advice, opinions or ratings given in this article are solely those of Fortune’s recommendations editorial team. This content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of our affiliate partners or other third parties.