Tips to Save on Office Supplies by Yvonne Burgess

Office supplies are oftentimes overused and overlooked in the office. Although items such as paper clips, pens and staples do not cost a lot individually, they are items repeatedly purchased and used in large quantities. To save money on these and other office supplies, consider your needs and do some price comparison shopping. Large-chain office supply stores like Office Max and Staples are good for many small or medium size businesses employing fewer than 100 people. If your business has over 100 people, you may be able to negotiate special rates with contract suppliers, which can stock as many as five times the number of items as the chain stores. You can even stock up on supplies and save by purchasing them for months ahead of time. Smaller companies typically do once a month ordering and are still able to save because of the small order size.

Think about this example-there is on average a 50¢ difference between name brand and generic brand printer and copier paper. If you count up the amount you use in a year, you may have the potential to save $50 or more per year. That is why it is especially important to examine these expenses regularly and continue looking for better prices.

Warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam’s offer competitive prices, but tend to have a limited selection. These warehouse clubs typically mark up prices to at least 15% which equals the markup on what they originally paid to sell the products to you. In other words, if they did not get a great price, neither will you. You also need to pay an annual membership fee. Remember, just because something comes in a larger package does not mean it is cheaper. Stores are notorious for charging more per unit or weight in economy-sized packages than they do for the smaller packages. Before you purchase any item in bulk, compare the bulk price to the smaller package prices. You may actually find it is cheaper per unit to buy 10 small packs of 10 pens than it is to buy 1 box of 100.

Here are some simple tips for managing office supplies in a cost-conscious manner:
o Meticulously manage the supply closet. Keep a roster of what people are taking out, when and how much.
o Recycle your printer and fax cartridges
o After careful research and price comparing, join a discount warehouse or club
o Always consider generic brand supplies, they work the same as name brand and you save.
o Bulk order items employees use the most. Supply companies offer hefty discounts on bulk orders.
o Save money by ordering online
o Lastly, prioritize what you really need, don’t wastefully spend supply funds on new and improved items or ones you really don’t need.


Office Interiors has been serving offices throughout the country since 1988 and have managed thousands of high density filing projects, including corporate acquisitions, relocations, consolidations and installations. Office interiors specializes in high density filing systems, office filing equipment, and medical file folders.

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