Save On Office Supplies The Frugal Way

Save on office supplies, that used to be what my boss was always saying to me when I worked in administration. I can't blame him either, the monthly bill for stationery etc was enormous and at the end of the day just how many pens can you use at once?

The costs can mount up at home too when it comes to paper, pens, envelopes etc, why do you think so many people take stationary home from work? (You didn't see me say that, OK?)

Find ways to save on office supplies whether you are at home and supplying children for school or work in an office, with these tips I have picked up over the years and from various friends.

  • If you work in an office keep a close eye on your stocks of stationary and if you can devise a way to monitor where it all goes too (you never know, someone may be taking more than there fair share)

  • Pre franked printed envelopes are cheaper to buy direct from the post office than from a printer. Even a difference of a couple of cents per envelope can make a big difference over the year. 
  • Save on office supplies by buying paper in bulk, especially printer paper. This is also true of printer inks. There are many online stationary discount stores that sell these items in bulk. There are even a few which give away free gifts with the more you buy.

  • For home use I find that having my ink cartridges refilled rather than buying new a great saving. You can either buy kits yourself to do this or there are high street shops dedicated to refilling ink cartridges.

  • Refills are also a good option for your pens and pencils too. If you use a large amount of these a year it could be worth investing in refillable pens and just buying refills for them. I find this also encourages staff members to look after their pens rather than carelessly leave them around.
  • Take advantage of special promotions. I would stock up on slow moving items if I found a special offer for them from one of the companies. It's always good to think ahead, but only do this if it is something that you will use.

  • Make use of scrap paper rather than buying note pads etc. When I ran an office I would have a central tray for scrap paper and would make them into little note pads for the other staff to use. This is not only a great way to save on office supplies but also helps to recycle paper to do your bit for the planet.

  • Garage sales and charity shops are also a good place to pick up cheap stationary. Items such as ring binders, quality pens, colouring pencils staplers and hole punches can often all be found. This is where I get most of my folders for use at home.

  • Invest in rechargeable batteries and a charger. This is a good idea for both offices and home use. I used to have to make sure 20 officers had batteries for their Dictaphones and pagers, the costs soon mounted up. Rechargeable batteries were more costly to buy initially but I saved a lot over the year.
  • In addition to using rechargeable batteries instead of disposable alkaline batteries, there is a free program to recycle the old rechargeable batteries after they have worn out. Although they can be recharged up to 1,000 times and last between 2-5 years, eventually they wear out.

  • They can be recycled for free through Call2Recycle.org. If an office has a large amount to recycle, they can request a free collection box. It comes pre-addressed and shipment prepaid. It's shipped by UPS ground to ensure safety in transport. For households with a few batteries, they can type in their zip code to find a convenient neighborhood drop off location.The program is free. It's funded by the rechargeable battery industry. The recycling process is environmentally sound and done in North America. There is no byproduct that ends up in the landfills.

  • When buying printing paper, think about using a thinner paper and going for the non-brands. To be honest I never really noticed much difference in quality and it allowed me to only use more premium paper for very important documents.

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