At Home with Tech

At Home with Tech

The question has been plaguing me for years… One Forever stamp or two? If you fold more than two letter-sized sheets of paper into a standard envelope with only one stamp, I’ve always felt that all bets are off. Three sheets… you’re pushing it. Four sheets… definitely not.

But I’m not a human scale! How is a person really supposed to lift a letter, raise it up and down in the palm of your hand a few times and somehow figure out if it’s under one ounce?

So inevitably I’d just throw on the extra stamp, just to be sure.

And what happens to your letter if it’s a smidgen over the weight limit? It’s supposed to get returned to you, right? The next day? The next week? The next month?!

It’s like a kindergarten-style ‘time out’ for your letter. That’s a big-time punishment you really want to avoid!

Stop the Madness And it all feels like such a business model holdover from 1847 when U.S. postage stamps were first issued.Punishment for trying to mail an extra sheet of paper?!

If you ask me, the United States Postal Service should come up with its own Amazon Prime-style shipping model, where you pay a fee to the government once a year to simplify your letters’ mailing costs. Wouldn’t that be so much easier? But for now, we’re on our own to find a solution.

Technology to the Rescue? I’ve finally decided this should not continue to be one of the many mysteries in my personal universe…

In an age where technology has made our lives easier on so many fronts, (and more frustrating on just as many others) …can’t a little tech help us out here?

Well, thankfully, I’ve already solved the conundrum of keeping up my stock of stamps at home.(I just order them online…)

Scale Up I think the obvious next step would be to acquire a scale…

And granted, I know anyone can set themselves up as a mini personal post office, complete with postage printer and large scale. But I don’t need to start my own package delivery company… I just need a tiny scale to handle the occasional letter.

Sure… scales have been around for years…nothing cutting edge about that, but I only require a really small digital one. Something thin that can be stashed away like a book on a shelf. (I’m not giving up any real estate for permanent desk placement.)


The Price is Right I took a look on Amazon, and of course, there’s a whole selection of postal scales waiting for you to click on them.

The next question is price… Sure, the nagging ‘one or two stamp’ question can end up wasting a 49-cent Forever stamp every now and again. But is it really worth the cost of investing in your own scale?

Well, the good news is you can get a small scale for under twenty bucks.

I found this DYMO 3-pound Digital Postal Scale for $18.44. Its weight is just over a pound, with the svelte dimensions of 9” x 7.8”.

DYMO Digital Postal Scale

…Not bad!

Granted I don’t need it to weigh an object upwards of 3 pounds. (A couple ounces is all I require.) Nevertheless…

At this footprint and price point, I think everyone should have a little scale at home. Why not?!


How Many Sheets Can One Forever Stamp Handle? Here are a few Forever stamp guidelines I immediately discovered after using my new DYMO scale:

  • 3 sheets of 20 lb 8.5” x 11” paper weighed only .65 oz in a standard envelope and a Forever stamp.
  • 4 sheets were .80 oz.
  • Even 5 sheets made the 1 oz cutoff at only .95 oz.

Who knew all of this can be handled by one Forever stamp?! (All of those double-stamped envelopes I’ve wasted over the decades!)

I’m sure individual performance might vary… depending on the weight of your envelope and paper stock…

Check It Off Your Bucket List? People have their own bucket lists. This really shouldn’t be on anyone’s.

That said, there are those nagging day-to-day nuisances that can follow you around your entire life. They’re usually not important enough to spend the time fixing. But when you do, it actually feels unexpectedly sweet.

Case in point: Now, I’ll have to save a stamp with my new DYMO scale at least 38 times just to break even on the deal…

But the satisfaction I’ll get along the way…