You probably want to keep your office space or desk well stocked to be efficient in your work, but the price can sure add up. If you shop smart, you can keep a chunk of change in your wallet. Here's how...
- Go generic- A paperclip is simply a paperclip. Save 10-40% by purchasing the cheaper brand.
- Become a member- Like most stores, many office supply places have member's clubs that promise benefits and discounts. Go ahead and sign up to get monthly specials and coupons delivered to your door.
- Go to the right place- Warehouse stores like Costco and Sams have prices that are considerably lower that large competitors. The only drawback is the selection is more limited. Stick to these stores for basics like pens, pencils and paperclips.
- Going big? Order online- Many office supply retailers provide deep discounts or free shipping on large orders. Both Office Depot and Staples offer free shipping on orders over fifty dollars.
- Prioritize- Ask yourself if you really need an item. Stick with the basics and avoid spending big bucks on "new and improved" or trendy items, like smiley face notepads.
- Can you get it used?- For larger purchases like office furniture and fax machines, see if you can get a used unit for a reduced price. Try Craigslist.
- Ask for a rewards credit card- To reap more benefits from your purchases, ask your favorite office specialty store for a special rewards credit card to get discounts and other nifty freebies. Also ask if they have discounts for loyal customers. Be sure to pay it off each month to avoid losing the reward benefit to monthly interest charges.
- Buy refillable cartridges- When it comes to your printer, its a good idea to buy refillable cartridges. Yes, it's a little more work that replacing the whole thing, but the savings will add up. Some stores offer $1-2 discounts on your next purchase for returning used cartridges. Walgreen's drug stores have an in-store service that will refill cartridges.
- Bulk order- If you need a lot of an item, or will over a period of time, consider bulk ordering. Companies offer deep discounts on large orders.