There are basically two separate times that we find ourselves needing packaging supplies: when we move, and when we send off a package. In both circumstances it comes down to properly protecting what we are packaging. Sometimes you can throw a stack of pots in a box and seal it up, because not a whole heck of a lot is going to destroy your pots in the moving process. Sometimes you can just put some books in a simple mailing envelope and send it off without having to worry about it being broken in the delivery process.
It goes without saying that packaging supplies can be pretty expensive. This is more or less because they are specialty items, and they can be up-charged. At the same time, sometimes the specialty items are really the best way to go. Sometimes they are just the more expensive way to go. When packing up my grandmother’s wine goblets, I will absolutely choose the actual glass dividers that just about guarantee my priceless family heirlooms are not going to break (unless the moving van runs over the box). If it’s just my coffee mugs that I got from Dollar General, I am going to try and find some alternatives. There is simply no need to buy the specialty box and dividers for those.
On the flip side, if I put the kids hand-prints on mugs for Christmas gifts, I’m going to make sure that I use the right packaging supplies. I’m not going to wrap them up in paper towel and put them in a bubble envelope. It’s a waste of paper towel, money wasted on a bubble envelope, and it’s going to wind up being a waste on the cost of shipping, too. Instead, I would buy the actual box that is specifically designed for shipping coffee mugs. I don’t know who came up with this idea, but they were a genius. Sending off hand-painted coffee mugs can be a ton of money in shipping, and the whole attempt at saving by going the hand-made gift route goes down the drain. The special coffee mug boxes shape specifically to the mug, no extra padding needed. The size and shape maximizes the strengths of the actual mug, and you don’t wind up wasting your cash on unnecessary packaging supplies or shipping costs.
Sometimes, when it comes down to packaging for a move, or for a delivery, it comes down to the best choice, which might be more economical in different ways.