Martin Lewis urges shoppers to stock up on this key 76p item before the new year

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  • A big change is coming to UK's post offices in the new year, meaning that people could have to spend more to send letters and packages in the post.

    Finance journalist Martin Lewis is normally advising us how to be savvy with our online shopping and has been famously against stockpiling this year, only advising people to buy what they need in the coronavirus pandemic.

    However the money expert is now advising people to stock up on stamps, as a price hike in the new year means that the price of first and second class stamps are set to be more expensive than ever before.

    On ITV’s The Martin Lewis Money Show, he said, “Stamp prices are going up. The biggest rise in eight years on January 1.

    “First class stamps going up to 85p – up 9p. How do you beat it? Easy.

    “Buy your stamps now. If they say first or second on them, they are worth that in perpetuity for 10-20 years. So buy all your stamps for next year’s Christmas cards NOW at the cheaper price and you can send them next year.”

    He emphasised, “Stock up on stamps NOW to beat Jan’s up to 14p hike.”

    As of January 2021, a first-class stamp for a standard letter will be 85p instead of 76p and bring up the cost of a book of 12 stamps, bought by many as standard, to a pricey £10.20. A second class stamp will cost 66p at an increase from 65p. While a first class stamp for a larger letter will come to £1.29 at an increase of 14p and a second class stamp for a larger letter will rise by 8p to just under £1.

    This is not only the biggest price increase since 2012 but it will also be the second rise in less than a year, as stamp prices go up in March every year anyway. So while you’re checking out the last postage dates before Christmas, be sure to stock up on stamps for 2021 before the price increase comes into effect in just a few weeks.

    Royal Mail First Class Stamp

    Credit: Alamy

    The increase in postage costs has come from a double whammy of having to increase safety precautions across Royal Mail during the pandemic and also, there has been a significant reduction in the amount of letters being sent around the country.

    In announcing the price increase, Royal Mail said, “The reduction in letter volumes has had a significant impact on the finances of the universal service which lost £180million in the first half of the year.

    “This demonstrates the need for change in the universal service.

    “We are working tirelessly to deliver the most comprehensive service we can in difficult circumstances as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact our operation.”