If your postal and shipping costs are a big part of your overhead then you've likely already noticed a jump in costs. It's not your imagination. All the major shipping companies (DHL, FedEx and UPS) all goosed their shipping rates about 4.9% last month.

Here's a little site I read about on The Consumerist (great blog, by the way).

Shipgooder is a handy (and free) little online calculator that will comparison shop the cheapest shipping rates. Just punch in the originating zip code, the destination zip code and the weight and number of package(s).

I played with it; hypethetically sending my mother in Florida a ten pound box (regifting her own holiday fruitcake back to her for Valentine's Day?). I got rates for next day, 2 day, 3 day and ground shipping. When you see the prices side by side, let's just say shipping it ground suddenly doesn't look so bad.

Oh yeah, one other note just to make your day. The post office is jacking up the price of first class stamps - AGAIN! They will go up to 42 cents in May.

I'm still burning through the last of my 39 cents stamps with two cents stamps!

This is either a sign the rates are going up too often or I'm paying more of my bills online.