Saving Money on Office Supplies: 3 Essential Tips for Small Businesses

Small businesses are always eyeing up ways to save money, but knee-jerk cost-cutting measures should never be the first point of call. Businesses would be much better off taking a step back and assessing the little things which can make a huge difference to their bottom line, such as saving money on office supplies. You’d be surprised at how rapidly seemingly insignificant expenses can stack up, causing headaches for management.

Use these essential tips to help your small business save money on office supplies.

Monitor spend

Are you tracking spend on office supplies by item and quantity? This information is crucial when it comes to staying on top of your costs. Try crafting a monthly audit to identify any excessive expenditure or repeated purchases that would be much more cost-effective if purchased all at once.

How much are you spending on products that you don’t actually use? The answer is most likely more than you think. Staff members sometimes use office supplies wastefully or take them home ‘by accident’, never to return. Encourage your staff to look at cost-efficient means to use and re-use specific office items. Create a procedure for employees to re-order office supplies, which will also help to cut down on waste too.

Do your shopping in one place

If you have the opportunity to purchase supplies from a local company, why not talk to them about their supply-control options. Sometimes you will discover they have relationships with wholesalers who can provide services such as inventory management and online ordering systems.

Many online stores offer discount pricing equal to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. With online shopping, delivery tends to be quick and efficient, which means you can schedule automatic delivery of those products you need on a frequent basis. Buying in large quantity at the same time often makes you eligible for free shipping, yet another cost-saving bonus.

Here at Codex, for instance, we offer 30 Day Credit Accounts which give customers access to over 50,000 products delivered next day by our own fleet. Additionally, businesses can avail of substantial cost savings by using a streamlined office supplies procurement and delivery process – a great option for those looking to achieve the best possible pricing on their core product list.

Go green

With just a few small changes to your company culture, you could save a fortune, and do your bit for the planet too. Examples include checking how long an email trail is before you print – just opt for the pages you actually need. Set your printer default to mono, likewise set your printer to print on both sides by default – this wonderfully simple adjustment can halve your photocopier paper usage.

Another great idea is to scale back on producing expensive hard copies of booklets and documents which become out of date almost the minute they’re published. A more effective alternative would be to set up an electronic shared library that’s simple to access and make changes to at any time.


Although office supplies might seem like a miniscule fraction of your company’s budget, it can creep up rather quickly. However, monitoring your usage, shopping in one place and exploring greener ways to go about your day-to-day tasks are great options for those looking to save money on office supplies. After all, less money spent on bits and pieces for the office means more money available for what’s really important to your business.