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Christmas shipping deadlines: Plan ahead and save money

To help you plan ahead, we’ve rounded up standard shipping deadlines for the major postal services.
To help you plan ahead, we’ve rounded up standard shipping deadlines for the major postal services.
To help you plan ahead, we’ve rounded up standard shipping deadlines for the major postal services. [ JAE C. HONG | AP ]
Published Dec. 1, 2022

Here’s a simple way to save money this holiday season: Avoid unnecessary shipping costs.

If you’re sending gifts to friends and family away from home, do it early to ensure they get it by Christmas — and you don’t overpay. You still have plenty of time to get packages to your loved ones before Christmas without paying extra for expedited shipping.

To help you plan ahead, we’ve rounded up standard shipping deadlines for the major postal services.

Deadlines are for delivery by Dec. 24 within the continental U.S., unless otherwise noted.

PRO TIP: Are you shipping gifts for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another holiday tradition? Scroll ahead for links to each shipping company’s website – you can double check send-by dates there!

U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Shipping Deadline

Ship by Dec. 17 via USPS Retail Ground or Media Mail for standard rates.

USPS Retail Ground is the most common service for gifts and merchandise. Prices are based on delivery distance and the weight of your package(s).

You’ll use Media Mail for books, film and printed materials of several pages. Prices start at just $3.49.

For holiday cards and other envelopes or lightweight packages, ship by Dec. 17. You can mail these items with a regular $.60 First Class postage stamp.

For later deadlines and expedited shipping rates, visit USPS.com.

United Parcel Service (UPS) Shipping Deadline

Ship before Dec. 20 via UPS 3 Day Select.

Ship by Tuesday, Dec. 20 with UPS 3 Day Select to ensure Dec. 24 delivery.

UPS Ground delivers in one to five business days, depending on the shipping distance. You can check the cut-off date for your shipment on the UPS Shipping Calculator.

Prices vary by weight, origin, and destination. Get a quote here.

For later deadlines and expedited shipping rates, see the UPS 2022 year-end holiday schedule.

FedEx Shipping Deadline

Ship by Dec. 14 via FedEx Ground or Home Delivery.

FedEx Ground delivers in one to seven business days, depending on your location in the continental U.S. See this handy map for delivery times in your area.

FedEx Home Delivery offers faster delivery to residential addresses. Ship packages up to 150 pounds for delivery within one to five business days.

Prices vary by weight, origin, and destination – you can get a quote here.

For later deadlines and expedited shipping rates, visit FedEx.com.

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This story originally appeared in The Penny Hoarder.