Whether you’re in charge of keeping the office fully stocked in your workplace, or you’re just looking for some pens and notepads for the home, having resources bookmarked to get the cheapest office supplies can come in very handy.
Of course, saving money on office supplies boils down to more than just finding a single site that offers deals on office supplies and putting in your order. It really depends on what you’re buying. Need printer ink? There’s a site for that. Need a killer deal on stationary and notebooks? There’s one for that, too.
And then there’s the option of not even buying those supplies. These days, there are lots of alternatives to doing the things in an office that used to waste paper, ink, and more. In this article, we’ll help you out with identifying some of those savings as well.
Deals at Office Supply Retailers
Here’s the secret to getting the cheapest office supplies; go to places that sell office supplies, and look for the rock-bottom deals.
Sure, you could just go to Staples.com and place your order, but why not take the extra step, click on Shop Deals in the menu, and browse through the Daily Deals, Coupons, and Clearance Items?
These aren’t just little deals either. You can get half off supplies just for buying things (which you’re going to do anyway).
Most of the deals here range from 30 to 50% off the normal retail price of things like sticky notes, business envelopes, white out, highlighters, and gel pens (which are always crazy expensive in the store).
It isn’t just Staples that offers a section catering to the frugal either. Take a look at Office Depot (Office Max), with its own deals section.
If you’re stocking up on supplies and have to buy lots of things like printer paper, boxes, binders, folders, and mailing supplies, why not take advantage of the deals where if you buy a certain volume, you get some free. I mean, it doesn’t really get any cheaper than FREE, right?
A lesser-known retailer of office supplies is a company called Quill, whose motto is “A small part of your job is 100% of ours.” Let’s face it, office supplies help your business (or home) run. Thankfully, Quill offers a deal section, too.
When you can find things like a “Post-it Notes Treasure Chest” worth $227.99 for only $49.99, or a $29.99 Logitech wireless mouse for only $12.99, you know this is a place where you can cut down your office supply expense budget significantly.
Of course, a resource to find the cheapest office supplies wouldn’t be complete if Amazon was left out of the collection. Amazon also offers a deals section of its Office Supplies & Electronics section.
Are the deals here some of the best on the web? Sure, you an save from 30 to 60% off office supplies and electronics, and there’s also a coupons section where you can grab some extra savings.
However, the one drawback of this section is that you have to be on the page when the deal comes up, and you have to grab the deal before the time expires. For busy business owners or families, this isn’t always very realistic.
Price Search Resources
Price shopper services are probably a smarter option if you’re short on time and can’t browse all of the retail sites for the best deals. These sites sift the web for the best deals and deliver them in one place for you to browse.
Many businesses rush over to Amazon to buy their office supplies, because it’s convenient and has a wide selection to choose from. Before you do that, you may want to check out the office section of Pricegrabber first.
This area of Pricegrabber includes categories like calenders, organizers, and paper, but also things like cleaning supplies, furniture, and even office equipment. Pricegrabber doesn’t actually sell these products. Instead, it does the shopping for you, and shows you where the best online deal is, saving you a lot of time.
As a test, I randomly chose a product – the Avery Super Glue Stick – sure enough, the best deal wasn’t Amazon, with the price listed at $9.53 with shipping, but instead Bonanza, with a price of $5.95 (thanks to free shipping). That’s almost half off what you would have spent had you gone straight to Amazon.
Shopping.com [No Longer Available]
Shopping.com also has a dedicated Office Supplies section. There’s a really useful navigation/filter tool on the left side of the page to find exactly what you’re looking for.
You can spot the best deals by looking for the red percent highlight on the upper left corner of the product image.
While Yahoo! may not be the most popular search engine out there, it actually offers an excellent shopping section for office products; find it on Yahoo!’s price search website.
Shopping here is a lot like shopping several large department stores all at the same time. You’ll see the price range for all of the retailers Yahoo! has the product listed for. Click on the item and you’ll see a list of retailers and prices, then just choose the lowest price and order!
Yes, the NexTag page dedicated to price-shopping for the cheapest office supplies might look like something out of the 1990s, but the truth is that you can find some killer deals at this site. Just click the link for deals 50% and up on the left navigation bar and you’ll see what I mean.
NextTag seems to have the highest number of retailers listed in its results, which makes me think this might actually be one of the price-shopper services you should visit first when you’re looking for a good deal on office supplies. The inventory isn’t as great as other places, but that’s made up for by the deals.
Of course, if you’re really into getting some dirt-cheap deals on supplies for the office, you may want to take some time browsing the office supplies offered at Ebay. Sometimes you’ll find box lots that are just too cheap to pass up.
Office Alternatives That’ll Save You Money
Now that your bookmark collection is chock full of great resources to save money on office supplies, I’m going to share one more tip that’ll save you even more money. That tip is this: If you use less, you’ll spend less.
In this digital day and age, it seems inconceivable that offices are still consuming as much paper, ink, notebooks, and pens as they do today. Using technology effectively, any office could go almost entirely digital and save a small fortune.
How can you accomplish this in your office? Here are some ideas:
- Have employees start using a stylus with their smartphone to take notes at meetings, using apps like Penultimate integrated with an Evernote account, or Android tool Supernote. There are plenty of options for iPhone too.
- Stop the printing/photocopying/faxing madness by sending Word documents to people at other companies via digital fax services that can be sent straight from your desktop, like HelloFax.
- If you absolutely have to print, keep printing costs low by making it a company policy to fine-tune printer settings to reduce ink and paper use by setting duplex printing or using lighter printouts.
- Don’t print out letters or diagrams only to slip them into someone’s physical office mailbox. Save both paper and ink by printing those things to PDF, and emailing it! Not only will it save money, but the recipient will also get it faster. No matter what platform you’re on, there’s a way to print to PDF these days.
Many companies give employees bonuses or recognition for suggesting cost saving ideas to management. Feel free to read through our guide on creating a paperless life and suggest some of the ideas for application in you office! You can even take credit for coming up with it, we won’t tell!
Are you ready to take your savings on office supplies to a whole new level? Give some of these resources a try and let us know how you make out. Do you know any other places to get killer deals on office supplies? Share our tips in the comments section below!
Image credits:Africa Studio via Shutterstock