|Photo by Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net|
1. There are free USPS boxes that you can get by either calling the home office and asking for them or by going online at USPS.com and ordering a limited amount. Don't expect them to come right quick. They will come in 5 to 7 days. If you order by phone you can order more than the limited quantity online. At your local Post Office you may be able to get some free packing tape if you ask. I've heard this works for some.
2. Newcomers: You can often find people that just moved into the area and leave their boxes for you for free.
3. Another way to get that special box is to make your own. I just took a small box and opened it up. I spread it on a great condition cardboard piece and penned around it and cut with a box cutter making sure to have a hard surface underneath; I used my sewing board under it.
4. Supermarkets and big box stores have boxes that they offer at a certain time of day or if you talk to a certain person so just ask and see what you can find.
5. Then there are poly bags that you can order online through Ebay or Amazon or any Shipping supplies store. What I have been doing is making my own for now since we have just started. I take a nice thick trash bag and cut it to size and then take my hair straightener and put it on the coolest setting and run it along three sides of the perimeter quickly or it will melt too much.
6. The Dollar Stores often have the manila colored mailers that you can find for a reasonable price.
7. Save the boxes and shipping supplies like paper and packing peanuts that you get from ordering things online or even from buying things at the store. Friend may even decide to pass you thier boxes and shipping supplies if you let them know that you are recycling that way.
If you have sources that I haven't found yet let me know!