Lately that isn't a problem - I don't do enough shipping to need a lot of packing materials, but I was still looking for a way to bring down the costs. Double boxing is usually considered the way to go for things to arrive safely, but you can end up with a gargantuan box that costs a mint to ship. Yes, the buyer pays for shipping, but I still hate to send someone an invoice that includes an unpleasant surprise.
Last night I packed up a set of four plates, to go to Colorado. Hating to shop is the mother of ingenuity! I didn't want to brave the crowds even at Staples for packing peanuts.
I happen to have at home, left over from the former occupant, a whole bunch of foam insulating board. I used this to create secure, compact packaging.The four plates measure 11 inches in diameter; I got them securely packed into a 14 x 14 x 12 box.
The plates can't move, and they can't touch anything that could break them. the wall of the box is supported all around so if it is dropped from height - which it will be - or things dropped upon it - which they will be - it will hold firm. Best of all the foam is light, so whole thing was only 13 pounds.