You go to print something off in the office, only to get a huge error message on your printer. It’s time for you to buy ink again. You’ve been meaning to pick up more for a while.
The problem is that ink cartridges can be pretty expensive. Buying office supplies, in general, is no picnic for your wallet. Ordering things also take up a ton of time that you could be using doing something else.
What if we told you that there was a way to save time and your bank account? Keep reading to learn how to buy your supplies while keeping your sanity intact.
Buy Everything From a Single Location
If you’re wondering where to buy office supplies, the answer is pretty much everywhere. Even some grocery stores have a section where you can pick up the basics. You could spend a lot of time going around from place to place trying to get the best deal.
So, don’t do that. Do your best to get everything from a single store. If you must buy stuff from three different places to get the best price, do so online.
This way, you get everything you need without harming your budget, and you won’t have to drive around to a million different stores to do it.
Stick to the Necessities
Before heading to office supply websites, take a look at everything you buy. Ask yourself if something is necessary or if you’re only getting it because it’s nice to have.
If the answer is the latter, you might be better off not replenishing your supply of the item so you can save cash. You should also ask yourself if you need to shop brand name or if you can get by with the generic brand.
You’ll only save a little bit of money by going the generic route, but it adds up over time. There’s also no shame in buying the store brand of something.
This is especially true for items that are usually on the expensive side such as printer ink. There’s not a huge difference between the generic cartridges and their brand-name counterparts. You’re paying for the label at the end of the day.
Stay on Top of Your Inventory
It’s that time of the month. Time for you to order your office supplies. You can’t remember the last time you bought staples, so you add them to the list of things to pick up.
When your new staples arrive, you realize that you had several boxes of them sitting in the back of your office. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with your inventory.
You need to know what you have at all times. If you don’t, you may end up overspending on things that you don’t actually need.
You’ll add the staples you bought to a stack and forget them. This only leads to a cluttered office and a hole in your wallet where your hard-earned cash used to be.
Automate the Process
Let’s say that you use Japanese file folders a lot. They hold all your valuable documents. If this is the case, it might be a good idea for you to automate them.
What this does is set them up for recurring delivery. Every month or so, your business account will be charged for the folders. A few days later, they’ll arrive at your building without you having to lift a finger.
It saves so much time and effort. It also stops you from running out of pens, paper, and other supplies that your business needs in order to function.
Make Price Comparisons
Every store has the things you need listed at different prices. You may be able to buy computer paper at half the cost by going through Amazon vs. Best Buy, for example. That’s why it’s a good idea to shop around.
Visit several online stores to compare prices. Even if you’re only saving a dollar or two, getting something cheaper is still a win.
Make sure to beware of shipping costs when shopping online. The paper might be cheaper on Amazon, but the shipping price will drive it up. Many retailers will give you free shipping if you order over a certain amount.
Keep an Eye Out for Discounts
This strategy works when shopping for anything. Not only used office supplies. Wait until a store is having a sale before you click that checkout button.
Some retailers will offer discounts to their regulars. You only need to ask (it also helps to have a good relationship with the supplier). You should look out for coupons as well.
Buy in Bulk
If you can help it, always buy your office supplies in bulk. For one, it’s sometimes cheaper to buy a huge box of pens instead of getting several tiny packs in the store.
For two, buying in bulk means that you won’t have to make another purchase for a while. It ends up saving you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Use Your Credit Card Rewards
You should be using a business credit card to buy most of your stuff. Not only is it more secure, but you can often build up reward points for using it.
You can then use these reward points to send one of your workers on a business-related trip or buy the office supplies that you need. It’s a no-brainer!
The Trick to Buying Office Supplies
Buying office supplies is a necessary evil. It takes up a lot of time that you could be using to run your company and you have to spend money.
Lucikly for you, there are tricks when it comes to getting what you need. Try some of these tips out to make the purchasing process a little less painful.
If you’re looking for more tips that will allow you to keep your cash in your business bank account, we’ve got you covered. Check out the Money Saving section of our blog daily to read additional articles like this one.