Don't Waste Your Money: Ways to opt out of junk mail

(Toledo News Now) - Most of us are getting fewer and fewer bills and letters in our mailbox these days, but the constant flow of junk mail is worse than ever. But there are some simple steps to cut down on unwanted mail.

Despite the postal service handling less and less mail every year, there is one type of mail that is still on the increase: junk mail.

One man decided to collect it all to see how much he really gets and has found a way to stop it.

Doug Wiegand has so much junk mail, he can literally walk across a carpet of mail. No, he's not a hoarder, he just wanted to find out how much junk mail he receives.

"I'm sick of getting a lot of junk mail every time I walk out to my mailbox," said Wiegand.

So Wiegand began to collect it.

"Anything I'd identify as junk mail, I'd put in a box in a corner in my kitchen," said Wiegand.

From Earth Day in April last year to Earth Day this year, Wiegand received 65 pounds of junk mail. A Macy's one-day sale on one side, a chase credit card offer on the other, a couple of guitar center sales in the middle.

Wiegand said there should be an easy way to say you do not want it.

"I think that's kind of an unfortunate situation that you actually have to take the time to opt out instead of opting in and saying, 'Yeah, I do want your coupons or I do want your catalogues.' It's the opposite and it creates a lot of waste," said Wiegand.

You can stop much of this mail, but it takes some effort, and may cost a few dollars.

Several websites will block catalogs, including Catalog ChoiceDMA Choice, and Green Dimes.

To stop credit card offers, call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT.

One last thing: If you call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT to stop credit card mailings, you will have to give your social security number. That is the only way credit card companies know you from all the other people with your same name.

It's safe, and that way you don't waste your money.

Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.