When you worked in an office, you never had to think about ordering supplies or how much they cost.  But now that you’ve started your own business and you’re working from home, you may have noticed that your monthly trips to Staples seem to be taking a large chunk out of your profits.  Who knew paper could cost so much?  But don’t fret: there are a number of ways to save on supplies for your home-based business.  With a little shopping around and a lot of ingenuity you can secure a major savings on supplies over the retail price and get your earnings back on track (all while getting exactly what you need to make your business a success).  Here are a few ways to make every dollar count when it comes to purchasing business supplies.

First of all, you need to stop making trips to the store.  This is absolutely the most expensive option since retail stores charge more (they do, after all, have the overhead of a staff and a brick-and-mortar establishment) and offer the least discounts.  Plus, you have to spend money on gas to get there and it requires the expenditure of your time (which equals – you guessed it – money).  Stop wasting time and money and start shopping online.  You’ll quickly discover that the same items you were purchasing in the physical location can be had for much less online (even if it’s from the same retailer, in some cases).  You can also get free shipping if the dollar amount of your order exceeds a set limit, so only place an order when there are several items you need (instead of going the piecemeal route).

Next, you should be aware of discounts and rebates.  There are plenty of websites that can offer you coupon codes or inform you of special sales, so try to stay abreast of such developments so that you can take advantage of them in a timely manner.  And order in bulk, if possible, to get the best price per unit.  This isn’t always an option, but you may be able to team up with other area businesses to form a cooperative and order together for mutual savings.  Check local forums to see if others are interested in such partnerships.  Additionally, mail-in rebates are great for larger items such as office equipment or furniture (which you’ll likely need at the outset and possibly somewhere down the line).  And don’t forget reward programs, which can often net you additional savings or build points that lead to further discounts.

Finally, consider how items can be reused or recycled.  Paper is an obvious choice since scraps can easily be reused for personal printing needs.  Ink cartridges are another good option for recycling because it can be done in two ways.  First, you could use the pouch or box that comes with many cartridges to send them back to the manufacturer (often with postage paid).  Or you could simply pay significantly less for ink refills that will allow you to reuse your cartridge again and again.  Between shopping online, searching for discounts, and reusing and recycling when possible, you stand to cut your budget for supplies by a substantial margin.  So do your part to get on board with savings and see more money going back into your business instead of towards office supplies.

Jennifer Kardish writes for Ink Factory, where you can find an incredible selection of HP ink cartridges and Epson ink cartridges along with a variety of other top brands.

Image source:  jubella.com

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