Business equipment supplies may seem like a minor expense to your company, especially in comparison to your other budgets.

But, over time, the cost of these things can really add up.

In fact, it is estimated that businesses spend between $186 and $544 per year on office supplies, per employee!

If you have just ten employees, you could easily be spending over $5000 per year on supplies.

Luckily, there are ways you can cut down on these expenses, without being cheap.

Read on to learn the top 5 tips to save money on business supplies.

1. Shop Online

If you’re shopping in-store, you could be seriously missing out on some great deals.

Take your shopping online, and get ready to save big.

First of all, you are going to want to check out the websites of office supply vendors in your area. Compare prices of each vendor to find the best deal.

Also, it can be a good idea to buy from vendors who are online-only. Because they don’t have the overhead cost of running a store, their prices are usually lower.

Lastly, the internet is a great place for finding coupons. For example, business cards are an item you can buy at Vistaprint for a reduced price.

vista print

2. Be Smart When Printing and Copying

Printing and copying costs are usually the biggest culprit of a high office supply bill.

Buying toner cartridge that has been remanufactured is one great way to save money in this area. Remanufactured cartridges come at the same quality level but at half or less of the price.

Another great way to save on printing is to set your printer to be double-sided. Also, change the settings to black and white and to the default setting.

By doing this, you’ll spend less on toner and on paper.

3. Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk is one of the best, and easiest, ways to save money on business supplies.

First of all, when you buy in bulk from a manufacturer, they usually offer free shipping. Oftentimes, buying in bulk means spending as little as $50 to get free delivery.

And, buying in bulk makes sense for nearly every other item in your office. 10 boxes of staples are going to be a lot cheaper than 1 box of staples. Same with sticky notes, pens, and pretty much everything else you can think of.

Plus, you’ll always need these items, so even if they’re stored away for a while, they’ll never go to waste.

4. Create a Station for Supplies That Can Be Reused

Oftentimes, employees have items that are in perfect working condition, but because they have no need for them, they toss them out.

You can change this by setting up a station for supplies that can be reused.

Once an employee is done with an item, they can put it in the station for another employee to pick up and use.

These items may include things like paper, binders, and folders.

And, not only will reusing these items save you money, but you’ll also be helping out the environment.

5. Designate Someone as the Gatekeeper of Office Supplies

Whether it’s intentional or not, a lot of employees walk out the door with an office supply item or two.

Common items to “go missing” include pens, sticky note packs, envelopes, paper clips, notepads, and highlighters.

Luckily, you can completely eliminate office supply theft by designating someone as the supply gatekeeper.

Basically, whenever an employee wants an item, the go to the gatekeeper to get it.

By following these 5 tips, you’ll save a lot on business supplies.