Postage scales help us to determine exactly the right amount of postage needed for mail and packages, but they can do much more than that. Not only are these a virtual requirement in any modern office, but they are also a helpful accessory for any home today.
How much postage you need is mostly determined by how much scales say the mail weighs. They can tell us the exact weight of the mail, keeping us from wasting stamps “just to be on the safe side.” When you know you will be able to tell exactly how much you need, you will also be more likely to stock up on stamps in various denominations so that you can always be as exact as possible.
The most basic type are spring scales, which use springs to convey the weight to an indicator, usually a pointer that points to the exact weight in fractions of ounces, ounces and pounds. Digital models are electronically calibrated. Spring-operated are generally less expensive than their digital conterparts.
Some meters come with scales built in. It is also possible to get versions that indicate not only weight, but the amount of postage that weight requires. Some also tell you the price of package shipping with private carriers such as UPS or Federal Express.
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These also have many uses around the home. They are capable of measuring ounces and fractions of ounces, which makes them useful for measuring your portions when you are dieting to determine your exact calorie count. Studies show that one of the reasons so many Americans are overweight is that we have a distorted image of portion size. Many Americans consume more calories than they think they do because, for example, they may think they are consuming a 3-ounce portion when in fact they are eating 8 ounces or more of a particular food. Using as a diet aid: why not?
Even if you are not counting calories, they can be helpful in the kitchen. You can use them to make sure portions are equal. This can be helpful in determining cooking time and making sure that all portions cook alike. They can also help you create equal portions of leftovers for future use, so that they can all be reheated for the same amount of time.
They can be as reliable as specialized food models, if not more so. Being a few calories off is less crucial than having the wrong amount of stamps on your letter, so they tend to measure small differences better. Inexpensive versions tend to do a better job of precise measurement than inexpensive kitchen models do, although more expensive kitchen models may be quite accurate.
And because these are usually meant for commercial use, they are often more durable and less expensive than their kitchen counterparts. With those, you may be paying extra for colors and materials that are prettier than those of postage scales and match your décor but have little to do with the overall quality of the weighing mechanism.
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