I thought I would take a few minutes to share some of the tips I've learned about packaging goods for shipping. I generally use flat rate Priority Shipping boxes. Most of my products are small jewelry items that only take up a small area of the roomy box. Packing peanuts are very expensive. One of my former places of employment saves what little packing materials they recieve for me, but it comes in small amounts, so I have to use it sparingly. Here's what I do: I cover the item with a single layer of bubble wrap, and then secure it to one side of the box with packaging tape. This won't work with highly breakable things, but I ship my carded buttons and jewelry this way all of the time. If the box gets squished, the bubble wrap is there to offer the needed protection and I like it much better than using an envelope style bubble mailer in most cases.
I've also discovered that stores that sell corrective lens eyeglasses receive lots of product in very small boxes (about the size of a single pair of glasses). I love using these for first class mail service. And I feel really good about reusing products before they head to a landfill.