16 Money Saving Tips for the Office

Whether you have a small home office or a huge corporate firm, the expense of running an office can be huge. Here are sixteen ways to trim your costs.

Office Supplies

Instead of heading straight to the office supply store when you need supplies, try mainstream stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, and Costco. There may be less of a selection, but the price is usually much less.

Whenever you decide you need a supply, really analyze it. This may seem silly, small, or petty to you, but oftentimes needing an item is simply a way to stall on a project. Double check your supply closet; you probably have something that would do already.

Pens and pencils tend to wander off. Keep them in a desk drawer instead of on top of the desk, and fewer will disappear.

On this same note, buy the ten for a dollar variety of pens and the even cheaper pencils. While it is always nice to write with a fine writing implement, if you have to buy a new one each week, it is not worth the cost.

Computer paper gets to be very expensive. Use as little paper as possible by reading any necessary internet reading material directly off of the computer screen, using the backs of discarded paper for rough drafts or personal printing, and not printing every email.

If you live in a logging area, there are probably a lot of paper mills around. Check with your local mill to see about getting ‘damaged’ boxes for free or cheap.

Office Equipment

The easiest way to save money on office equipment is not to buy it. Try to utilize what you already own. If you do not own any, then purchase the minimum amount necessary.

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Try faxing from your computer. This saves paper while giving you an easily accessible record of faxes. Initially you may have to invest in a scanner

All-in-one machines are great for small offices. A unit that combines a scanner, copier, and printer are great for cost and space savings. Comparison shopping is key here, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Office furniture is a large expense that can easily be cut down. Do not purchase those beautiful collections found in office stores. See what you already have and shop at second hand stores.


Sign up for accounts with shipping services. Always ask for a lower price. For example, DHL offers a significant cost savings for prepaid shipping envelopes versus using their standard supplies. Find a knowledgeable rep, explain what you will be doing, and ask them for the most cost effective means to get it done. This is one area where dealing with a live body is definitely a good idea.

Uniform services can be a huge drain on your operating budget. Price various companies for equivalent services. Avoid buying all the extra stuff that will pad your bill (like $17 dollars per roll paper towels, and twenty dollar a week doormats). Go through each invoice that comes in. Constantly ask your representative for better rates and cost savings. This is a very competitive industry, so there are lots of savings to be had. Be persistent. Even if you are already locked into a contract, shop around and show your findings to your current vendor.

Mailing services seem straightforward enough until you get into issues like equipment rentals and service charges. In a small office, keep stamps on hand and invest in a simple postal scale. Try online mailing services that allow you to print your own postage and envelopes on your current equipment for the cost of postage and a small service fee.

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Creature Comforts

Creating a homey (while incredibly efficient and profitable) office is oftentimes a goal of office folks. However, it is important to keep strict tabs on what is spent in areas such as coffee, lunches, and other perks. Create a budget for discretionary items and stick to it.

Many large offices employ a coffee service that stocks coffee items on a weekly basis. While this is nice, the convenience costs a pretty penny. Purchase your own supplies and make your own coffee for quick savings.

Buy bulk from wholesale suppliers. Your business license serves as a great way to get discounts. Search your area for wholesale suppliers that cater to businesses.

Running an office within budget can be a daunting task. These simple changes will have a surprisingly significant effect on the bottom line.