Martin Lewis is urging people to buy stamps ahead of the Royal Mail price hike.

The MoneySavingExpert has outlined what people need to do to avoid the increase in his weekly newsletter.

Royal Mail is increasing the prices of both first and second class stamps from January 1.

The cost of a first class stamp is set to rise by nine pence to 85p and the second class stamp will rise by one pence to 66p on the same day.

This is the biggest increase since 2012.

News Shopper: The price of stamps will increase from JanuaryThe price of stamps will increase from January

The MoneySavingExpert newsletter explained: “The increase is the biggest since 2012 and is also much higher than the rate of inflation, which is used to track annual price changes. 

“The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation was just 0.7 percent in October, according to the latest Office for National Statistics data.”

Stamp prices usually rise every March and this year the price of a first class stamp increased by six pence and second class stamps by four pence. 

Royal Mail said the second price increase was “necessary to help ensure the sustainability” of the service.

The company added that this year had been a “challenging year” and that the volume of letters posted has also fallen throughout the year.

But Martin Lewis has shared how you can beat the price hikes.

The newsletter explained: “It's possible to beat the rises by stocking up on stamps at the cheaper rate before 1 January 2021.

If you buy an ordinary first or second class stamp, they won't have a monetary value printed on them, just '1st' or '2nd'. 

News Shopper: Royal Mail said it had been a tough yearRoyal Mail said it had been a tough year

“This means if you buy these stamps now they'll still be valid after prices have risen.”

Royal Mail also explained the revenue from parcel deliveries had surpassed letters for the first time ever.

This is after people turned their shopping habits online after retailers were left closed for several months.

Royal Mail said: “We have considered any pricing changes very carefully and in doing so have sought to minimise any impact on our customers.

“These changes are necessary to help ensure the sustainability of the one-price-goes-anywhere universal service.”

A statement on the Royal Mail website reads: “Available individually, in books or in sheets if you need lots, stamps are the quickest and easiest way to send letters, cards and documents within the UK or abroad.

“Buy your stamps from any of our 11,500 Post Office branches and use them whenever and wherever you need them.

"Pop a stamp on your envelope and post when it suits you – in branch or in one of over 115,000 Royal Mail post boxes around the UK.

"It’s simple and convenient.”