Save Money On Office Supplies

Shop for great deals on office supplies by following a few tips like these that can help you save time and money.

If you work from home or help to manage a business office, purchasing stationery and supplies may be one of your chief tasks. You realize how important it is to buy quality products at the lowest possible price without sacrificing convenience.

Before you go shopping, check out the following suggestions that may be able to help you cut costs and save time:

1. Browse the Internet to find office supply stores in your location. You may want to shop at a large office supply chain store like Staple's or Office Max. Or you may prefer doing business with a small supply dealer that you can interact with locally. Compare the various dealers' product lines, prices, and terms to help make your decision about the best place for your business. Keep in mind any special needs your company may have, such as engraved pens or paperweights, business cards, graphic displays, and so on. Kinko's might be a good choice for some of these items, while another store can offer a better supply of all-around clerical needs.

2. When you've narrowed the selection to a few appealing options, find out which of these stores offer special sales promotions or dates. For example, one store might offer a 15 percent discount to people over age 55. Another store may stock a discount bin with items that especially meet your company's needs. A third option might be to provide a low-interest store credit card for business owners. Decide which package will work best for your company.

3. Subscribe to free catalog services, newsletter sign-ups, and promotional alerts for the store(s) of your choice. You can receive online or print coupons that can save you money. One major chain offers occasional savings of $20 or more off purchases of $150. Instead of using your car and gasoline to hop from one store to another and check out sales merchandise, let the ads come to you at home in the mail or on the computer.

4. Watch the newspaper ads. The Sunday newspaper typically includes several major store chain circulars with ads for all kinds of office supplies. Check these each week so that you will know what's on sale and when to purchase the long-deferred computer stationery or printer you've been waiting to buy.

5. Ask about cost-matching, purchase points, etc., from your preferred providers. Your local store may match the price of another office supply dealer at a more distant location. Or you may be able to sign up for a buyer's plan that provides a certain number of purchase points for each item that you buy, eventually leading to discounted prices or free items on other merchandise.

6. Always check the sales bin where reduced items are kept. If the store you prefer to shop at doesn't have one, suggest that one be started. Or ask if a certain item that you need to buy is ready to be discounted.

Planning ahead can help you find the best dealer and low prices. Instead of impulse or convenience shopping, take time to strategize your shopping spree to stretch your dollars and save time.

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