Work at home businesses are usually run on a shoestring, so if there’s a way to save money on business expenses we’re all over it!
If you spend most of your time at a computer, you might think you don’t spend much on office supplies because you don’t get through much stationary. But office supplies include things like printer cartridges, laminators, calculators, mobile phone accessories and many other things you need to get your work done. And all that can add up over time.
So here are some tips for getting the best deal on office supplies when you run a work at home business:
True, you can’t buy huge packs of envelopes the way a much larger business would, but with a little planning you may find you can save, even if that’s just on postage. Providing you’ve got the space to store supplies, you could buy (say) a year’s worth of printer paper in one go. You could even get together with another home worker, buy in bulk and then split the cost and the items between you.
And here’s where I need to take my own advice! Planning ahead means you can save, too. Yes, there are a few times I’ve reached into the cupboard for a new printer cartridge to discover I didn’t order a new one the last time my ink ran out. Whoops.
If you run out of printer ink then you will need to replace that cartridge quickly, meaning you’ll probably pay more because you can’t wait for an online store to send you one. Planning ahead means you can shop around for the best deal and take advantage of bulk savings.
Which brings us to..
There are loads of places to buy office supplies online these days – for example Memoetc – so it’s well worth having a look around at what you can get for your money.
It doesn’t have to be pretty
I know lots of work at home mums are stationary addicts and I’m not suggesting you should resist every attractive notepad that comes your way. After all, a nice notepad can make you feel better if you’re having one of those days! But your home office doesn’t have to look like a Pinterest board. Buying at least some unbranded office products can save you a lot.
A few years back I switched from a slightly heavier-weight printer paper to lighter-weight one and the only difference it made was the price. The print quality may have been a fraction lower but it was barely noticeable. You probably don’t want to buy the cheapest available, but like supermarket shopping, often dropping down from a premium brand to an own brand makes hardly any difference.
Yes, another confession from me. Occasionally I think I’ve run out of notepads but actually I’ve lost them. If I’d been better organised I could have saved the money I spent on buying new ones. Being organised also means you can use up the whole of a notepad, roll of sticky tape or pack of labels before you buy some more, which cuts down on waste and saves more cash.
Discounts, sales and clearance items
And finally, look around for discounts, sales, promotion items, cashback and other reward schemes. (But I bet you already do that!)
Got any tips on saving on office supplies? Drop me a comment and let me know!