Whether you own a small business, manage an office, or oversee an entire regional area, you probably understand how much office supplies can cut into your bottom line. Notepads, stationary, sticky notes, envelopes, pens, printing paper, and other types of supplies can quickly add up.

Controlling how much you spend on basic purchases (such as office supplies) can have a direct impact on your bottom line (not to mention free up some capital). This rings especially true for smaller businesses (i.e. those who cannot compete with larger corporations). Often times, these larger businesses get bulk discounts on office supplies and stationery items (meaning they spend less and get more). On the other hand, small businesses don’t have the same requirements as big corporations, and that means that they often pay full price for the very same products.

However, there are a few overlooked tactics for minimizing how much your office spends on stationary and supplies. Below we go into detail on how to start saving money immediately by making a few easy tweaks to your purchasing habits (and stationary policies).

Tidy office supplies

1. Purchase Your Office Supplies and Stationery Online

One of the very first things that you should change about your stationary spending habits is where you actually purchase the supplies from. If you’re still going to the office supply store to get your stationary and other supplies, you should probably reconsider that.

Wondering what sites to use, or where to buy envelopes for business use? There are numerous sites that specialize in providing businesses with low cost stationery supplies. Why pay for an in-store markup when you can pay direct-to-dealer pricing online?

2. Make the Most Out of Digitization

Obviously some types of office work just can’t be digitized (which is fine and in a lot of cases actually preferable). But, one of the best ways to save on office supplies costs is by moving a lot of your paperwork to the laptop rather than the file drawer. Why spend X amount per month on printing paper when you can save those same documents on the cloud and email them across departments? This type of thinking seems insignificant, until you take a look at your monthly bottom line and realize that you are saving more money, spending less, and increasing efficiency.

If you’re interested in expanding the digital reach of your business (and cutting costs at the same time), click here to learn more.

3. Become a Loyal Customer

This used to be true for in-store customers, but this now also applies to office supply store eCommerce sites as well. If you’re a major customer and you’re making purchases very often, most retailers will be happy to give you a discount (or at the very least they will have a reward program you can take advantage of). Reward programs cost zero dollars to sign up for, and can help you save thousands of dollars per year in office supplies.

4. Save on Printer Costs

Most modern printers have an “efficiency” setting (although the specific label will vary from brand to brand). What this mode does is save printer toner/ink on documents that don’t require color, shading, etc. Printer ink and toner can be quite costly, especially if your organization likes to print a lot of materials (or you print documents during the course of business).

More great information regarding cutting printer costs is available at this blog.

Printer ink

5. Try Out Different Brands of Printer Ink/Toner

A lot of the times, and this is especially true in the printer industry, you’re paying more for a brand name than anything else (i.e. quality). So, one of the best ways to save on printer toner/ink (which is pretty expensive as any small business owner will tell you), is by using “off brand” toner/ink cartridges. These brands often times use refilled cartridges, or refurbished ones, which means that they can charge you much less (compared to well-known printer brands).

6. Reuse Materials

Ask any penny-pinching business owner how they’re able to minimize office spending, and they’ll probably say something about reusing materials. This includes printer paper that didn’t print properly (but can be used again), bubble wrap for packages, etc. The point behind reusing office supplies is to extend their value beyond just a few weeks, or months.

Think of all the things that you normally throw away, that you could instead be reusing. You’re essentially throwing money away, so think twice before throwing away unused printer paper!