5 Easy Steps to Save on Office Supplies

Posted on Mar 3 2010 - 5:36pm by Peter Millikin

Every organisation, however big or small, needs their share of office supplies. The daily routine of an entrepreneurship requires the use of variety of stationery, like tons of paper, pencils, pens, ink, staplers, pins, erasers, clipboards, and many more.

These stationeries amount to a major chunk of the office operational expenses. According to a survey, Office supplies can be accounted up to 40% of the total operational cost of an organisation on an average. Mostly, 20% of these expenses are excess expenses, which are not really required by a company. If managed properly, this operational cost can be reduced largely, thus, saving a considerable amount of money.

How to Save on Stationery Supplies?

A penny saved is a penny earned. Everyone wants and needs to save money wherever possible. Even small steps and modification can save you a considerable amount, which can be utilised for other important expenses required in a business. Following are few easy steps, which when applied in practical use can reduce the cost of your office stationery to a large extent:

Assign Task

Assign the task of managing the stationery supplies to a certain employee. However, make sure not to over burden the employee with work. Either choose a candidate who already has less work and responsibilities, or lessen his or her load of work a little to compensate for this additional task.

Maintain Inventory

Ask the responsible candidate to maintain an inventory of the supply stock. Start with the present day itself. Ask that person to make an inventory of the supplies you have currently. In addition, to make the task more organised and faster ask him or her to re-arrange the present stock and categories them and place them in specified places, so that it is easier to find them when needed and convenient to know how much stock of each item is left. Maintain an inventory on monthly basis, and after analysing a month’s requirement for each of the supply, order only the specific quantity of each item needed, keeping few as extras in the stock.


An organisation or company or its employees are invited and attend many business meetings, conferences, forums, exhibitions, etc.  In these events, you are gifted loads of stationeries for promotion like pens, notepads, pencils, paperweights, and other goodies. You or the assigned person can stash all these items, store them according to your categories for office usage, and add them to your inventory.


You can always recycle the stationeries. Use the backside of the discarded printed papers for calculations, drafting or any other rough work. You can use previous year’s diaries and notepads, get the pens refilled, etc. by recycling you not only save on money, but also contribute towards maintaining the greenery of the Earth.

Buy in large quantity and when sales are on

Whenever you buy something in bulk, it costs you less. Moreover, always look out for sales, discounts, or combinations, etc and buy in bulk.

By following these simple steps, every organisation can save up to 20% of their operational costs.

Article Source: Author: JessicaThomson

Read about the Author

Peter has received many accreditation's including many from the Times Online. As founder of You Could Save (2005) and What Stationers (2007) Peter regularly helps consumers and national organisation ‘save money’. He believes that the only successful way to bring people together online is to provide an open marketplace where people can all work together in a friendly, unbiased environment. You can contact Peter Millikin either through his Google+ account or via his websites.

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2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Carl Barton May 10, 2011 at 10:49 am -

    Some great suggestions on saving on your office supplies spend. Two more I think worth mentioning are;

    Don’t always go for brand names – Most office supplies companies will offer branded and none branded options for the majority of stationery items and also Ink and Toner. The savings available by purchasing the none branded items are significant and certainly worth investigating with your supplier. If you are unsure of the quality ask for samples so you can do some user testing.

    Shop online – If you have used the same office supplies company for years then do some price benchmarking with some Online Office Supplies companies. To be succesful online you need to be cheap which means that very often the customer can make big savings.

  2. Adam Huttly March 16, 2013 at 7:38 am -

    Additionally it is paramount to ensure your stationery company reports back to you with usage and cost so you really know the true spend and have a grip on the facts. Areas that are generally overlooked are real and intangible costs, i.e to administer order mistakes, unfulfilled orders, redundant items etc, all which create cost to you and the client to re-deliver or rectify.

    Also one of the best and easiest ways to really reduce your spend is restrict the amount of products you or your staff can see or have access to; Less choice, less money spent on casual unnecessary items that take your eye whilst browsing.

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