Cut Office Supply Costs

Maintaining the necessary level of office supplies can significantly cut into your home office operating budget. The good news is that there are ways you can reduce this expense. Read below to find out how.

Online Shopping

If you're reading this, then you're obviously a well-versed online user. Use this knowledge to save on the costs of office supplies by taking advantage of online shopping. Since online stores often don't need to maintain a brick-and-mortar store, they can pass those savings on to you in the form of bigger discounts than you'd get at a walk-in office supply store.

Some online stores will also offer free shipping if you purchase a minimum amount. Online shopping allows you to buy what you need at your convenience and have it delivered directly to your home without eliminating the inconvenience and time wasting of fighting traffic, searching through aisles for what you want, and standing in line to purchase the items.

Dollar Stores and Discount Warehouse Stores

That said, there are times when the trip to a walk-in store is worth the effort. Dollar stores often offer lower quality or off-brand supplies that can serve your home office needs. Pens, pencils, paper, paperclips, tacks and highlighters are a few examples of items you can get for a low price. If shopping for supplies at a dollar store, it's best to stick to the basics because the quality tends to be lower and you don't want to waste your money. Most dollar stores are conveniently located near grocery stores or in big malls so it's easy to quickly visit one to get what you need while you're out doing other errands.

Discount warehouse stores buy items at a reduced rate because they buy in bulk and sell in bulk. These savings are often, but not always, passed on to you. Do your homework if considering buying in bulk and decide if it's financially worth it for you to buy and store (for example) three cases of pens. It may actually be cheaper to buy smaller packs of items you need. Also keep in mind that some discount warehouse stores charge an annual fee.

Recycled Ink Cartridges

Purchasing recycled printer ink cartridges can save you as much as 75 percent the cost of a new one. Sometimes simply refilling your current ink cartridge with new ink is also an option. Many malls have kiosks that provide this service.

Time Your Buying

Stock up on supplies during non-peak times. Many stores offer rebates, sales and discounts on office supplies during slow seasons. Another good time to stock up on pens and pencils and other basic supplies is just before the school year.

Recycle and Reuse

Be resourceful and find ways to reuse or make the most out of current office supplies. For example, print on both sides of paper when possible. Write notes on the back of paper that's only printed on one side. Re-label folders and binders and reuse.