Ah, baking bread—one of the great pandemic pastimes. In 202o, it seemed everybody was heating up their ovens and churning out homemade sourdough, focaccia, and all sorts of other mouth-watering loaves. Well, we were surprised to find out that not everyone had plans to eat them; a good amount of people started shipping bread to friends around the country as a way to connect! No matter what your motivation may be, this guide is all about the cheapest way to ship bread, and how to send it so it won’t get crushed on the way. Let’s get into it!
Packaging Your Bread Properly
When packaging your bread, it’s important to keep the weight and the shape of it in mind. Some loaves are on the bulky side, and some are long and skinny. Take a sourdough loaf versus a baguette, for instance. Whatever kind of bread shipping, you’ll want to use a strong corrugated cardboard box that will protect it from being damaged during transit. We also suggest wrapping the bread in some sort of protective packing material, such as tissue paper or plastic wrap.
For your box, the key here is to make sure to eliminate as much dead space as possible. The less room your bread has to move around inside your box, the better off you’ll be (and the cheaper it may be to ship it).
Bread comes in all shapes and sizes, and it might be tricky to find the perfect box at your local Target or Office Depot. Our suggestion is to check out the ULINE website for the right size of boxes for the kind of bread you’re planning to send. They’ve got boxes in every shape and size you can imagine, and ordering them won’t cost you an arm and a leg!
USPS First Class Package is the Cheapest Service for Sending Bread Under 1 Pound
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible shipping option, then look no further than USPS First Class Package Service. First Class Package is the most affordable shipping service that USPS offers, with rates averaging out between $3 and $4, depending on how far your shipment needs to travel. The thing is, the only shipments that qualify for First Class Package rates with online. shipping software are packages that weigh less than 1 pound, or 15.999 ounces (the cutoff for First Class Package at the Post Office is just 13 ounces, which we’ll get into in a bit).
First Class Package Doesn’t Include USPS Insurance
One thing to keep in mind is that First Class Package doesn’t include any automatic USPS insurance. So, if you decide to use this service, you should look into protecting your package with shipping insurance in case it gets lost in transit, or arrives all smushed and damaged. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
If Your Package Weighs More Than 1 Pound, Priority Mail is the Next Best Option
While First Class Package is a fantastic service for lightweight shipments, some loaves of bread weigh more than 1 pound. In these cases, the next best bet will be Priority Mail. USPS Priority Mail is a bit more expensive than First Class Package, but it also includes up to $100 of insurance, and you can also order free boxes on the USPS website that will get delivered right to your doorstep.
When you’re ordering Priority Mail boxes, just make sure you don’t use Priority Mail Regional Rate, if you can help it! If you get those boxes, you’ll be locked into that specific service, and it tends to be a money trap…especially for shipments going to farther destinations. Make sure the free USPS boxes you order don’t say anything on them like “Flat Rate” or “Regional Rate”—you’ll simply want to get the regular “Priority Mail” mailing boxes.
Use Online Shipping Software for the Cheapest USPS Rates
No matter which service you use to ship your bread, you’ll never want to walk into your local Post Office and pay for shipping at the counter. You won’t save any money that way! The truth is, you can buy and print postage from the comfort of your own home with free online shipping software…and get access to the deepest level of discounts at the same time. In some cases, shipping software allows you to ship packages for up to 89% cheaper than what you’d pay at the Post Office. Talk about getting the bread! See what we did there?
In addition to getting the cheapest possible rates, most shipping software options allow you to schedule free pickups, as well. when you do that, your letter carrier will pick up your packages when they typically deliver your mail, and will take them back to USPS themselves. So, you’ll never have to waste time by standing in line at the Post Office again.
There are a ton of different online shipping software companies out there, and while many of them offer the same perks, we definitely have our favorites. At the end of the day, it all comes down to which shipping software option best fits your individual needs. If you’re looking for a place to start on your hunt for the cheapest rates, visit our Reviews page!
Looking for the right shipping software for you?
To get the cheapest rates on all USPS services, check out our guide: