Holiday mail, shipping: You're running out of time to get the lowest price!

You only have a few days to get the cheapest rates. After that, you'll pay for faster delivery
December 9, 2013 8:54:14 PM PST
If you have not mailed your Christmas cards, letters and packages yet, you are running out of time to get them delivered at the lowest price.

You only have a few days to get the cheapest rates. After that, you'll pay for faster delivery, and you do not want that to happen again this year.

John Connell is not waiting until the last minute to mail his gifts this year.

"It saves us a lot of time starting early because if you wait until the last minute, everybody is doing it," Connell said.

Getting cards and letters in now will save money, too.

You can still use the Post Office's least expensive option until Saturday, December 14.

"The sooner, the better, the cheaper it is. The sooner you do, it the better it will be," Houston Postmaster Jean Lovejoy said.

Lovejoy says if you miss the Standard Post deadline and want your gifts to arrive by Christmas, you may have to use Priority Mail.

A small flat rate box will run you $5.80 with a large box costing $16.95.

But after December 21, you'll have to use Priority Mail Express and shell out $39.95 to get your gifts to their destination on time.

And by all means, whatever you do, avoid the Post Office on Monday the 16th. It's the busiest day of the year, and the lobbies will be packed.

You can always use private delivery. FedEx three-day delivery runs $30, two-day is $50 and overnight $60.

If you want to avoid having your gifts taken off of the front porch of their destination by those on the naughty list, there are options.

"At any time, customers can have their packages rerouted to any location they like, or they can have them actually request to be held at one of our FedEx office locations," Erikka Bell with FedEx said.

You can use the Post Office's online features to help you avoid the crowds. And some locations are offering Sunday hours as well, so you have no excuse this year.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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