DEAR ABBY: With the recent hike in postage rates to 29 cents, plus the cost of the thank-you notes themselves - to say nothing of the time involved to write and address them - sending them costs newlyweds a small fortune. Is there no other acceptable way for newlyweds to acknowledge their wedding gifts?

I think newlyweds should send thank-you notes to out-of-towners who sent wedding gifts but could not attend the wedding. But far too much emphasis is put on the written thank-you note!In most cases, young couples are struggling to support themselves, set up housekeeping, pay rent and utilities, and many - such as ourselves - are still in college.

May I suggest the following options to the written thank-you note:

1. A personal telephone call to say thank you for the wedding gift. Having a chance to visit for a few minutes on the telephone would suit me just fine.

2. A warm hug and sincere thanks at the next family, church or social gathering would mean much more to me than an expensive, written thank-you note.

Thanks for listening. - SALT LAKE CITY

DEAR SALT LAKE CITY: Sorry, a "warm hug" and sincere thanks at a chance meeting at the next family, social or church gathering is not a fitting substitute for a written thank-you note.

DEAR ABBY: When my son was an intern at a Georgia hospital, he was offered $25 for a vial of sperm.

He said: "No way! I don't want a flock of children running around the state of Georgia. One of my own children might grow up and fall in love with a half-brother or -sister!"

I believe my son made a very intelligent decision, don't you? - CONYERS, GA., MOTHER

DEAR MOTHER: Yes. That's the reason I believe that donated sperm to be used for artificial insemination should be distributed in distant states - far from the donors.

DEAR ABBY: My husband is an accountant, and as you well know, the tax season is his busiest time of year. He puts in 10-hour days, sometimes longer.

Jerry (not his real name) is a good man who does all of our family's and friends' taxes free of charge. Some of them try to force money on him, but he sincerely does not want to take it.

The problem is not that Jerry does all this work for free - some of these people do not have the courtesy to phone first to ask if Jerry is available to do their taxes. They just show up, usually in the evenings when he's trying to relax after a hard day's work at the office, or on weekends when we least expect them.

Abby, please tell your readers to be a little more considerate of a friend or relative who is helping out as a favor. In most cases, he's saving these people up to $200.

A heartfelt thanks and a little consideration are all he wants, and sometimes he gets neither. - AN ACCOUNTANT'S WIFE

DEAR WIFE: I am printing your letter. Don't worry about offending anyone. If the shoe doesn't fit, no one will put his foot in it.

People are eating them up! For Abby's favorite recipes, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)