10 Home Office Money Saving Ideas

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Sometimes after spending the day at the office we come home and spend money on our office like someone else is going to pick up the bill. However, the cost of maintaining a home office will be paid by your personal budget. As a result, cutting costs in your home office is a great idea.…

Sometimes after spending the day at the office we come home and spend money on our office like someone else is going to pick up the bill. However, the cost of maintaining a home office will be paid by your personal budget. As a result, cutting costs in your home office is a great idea.

In addition, if you are self-employed and run your own small business every dollar you save on your business is another dollar profit.

10 Ways to Cut the Cost of Maintaining Your Home Office

1. Refill your own printer cartridges. Undoubtedly, this is a hassle. However, it can provide substantial savings. I have a laser printer and I buy a refill pack for $20. The pack lasts for three refills. The cost of one print cartridge is $80. I save $220 every three refills. Alternatively, consider buying ink cartridges from a discount store online.

2. Keep a list of items you need to buy. If you have a list of items you need to purchase you can watch local office supply stores for that item on sale. In addition, you might have the time available to order the product online. If you get organized you will be able to cut costs.

3. Stock up on sales. When an item you regularly use (like paper) goes on sale purchase a larger inventory. This way you guarantee getting the sale price over an extended time period.

4. Reuse scrap paper. With this one simple action, you save money and the environment. If you print up a piece of paper you don’t need, just drop it into a file for scrap paper. These papers can be used for giving the kids to play with, doodling, or they can be used as printing paper for other non-important print jobs.

5. Set your print default to print to a black and white draft setting. Since color printing is 3 to 4 times more expensive than black and white there is no reason to print directions to Uncle Joe’s house using color ink. When you need the color or a higher print quality you can manually make the changes just for that one print job.

6. Buy used items. Auctions, garage sales, second-hand stores, or store closings are all great places to get used furniture and products. I have two filing cabinets in my office that I paid $20 for (both). I bought them when a local store was going out of business. I used to have a desk that I bought at a garage sale. Also search places like Amazon, Half.com, or used bookstores to find the best prices on books. I buy almost all my books used and the savings is substantial.

7. Make your own bookshelves. I just finished making bookshelves in my office. I’m not exactly a carpenter, but learned to build when I moved overseas. Standard items (like a bookshelf) are great construction projects for anyone with a minimal amount of building knowledge. I ended up with about three times the bookshelf space compared to the cost of buying a bookshelf.

8. Negotiate when purchasing big-ticket items like a computer. You don’t need to be a master negotiator. Just be aware of the current value and average sale price for an item and be sure to use this one negotiation tip – ask “Can you do any better than that?” You can also save money on your next computer by examining your needs (not wants), or buying a refurbished computer.

9. Use free computer software and programs. There is a lot of free computer software. For example, I use SpyBot and Avast for internet security – both are free. I use Evernote as a note pad – free. There are also great products like Skype that allow you to make free computer to computer calls overseas.

10. Consider a laser printer. If you do a significant amount of printing you will see a significant reduction in the ink related to printing costs. You will need to do your own math based on your current product, but you should be able to find out how many pages on average it prints per cartridge. Investigate the cost of a laser printer and the number of prints per cartridge. See if the laser printer will provide a good savings over time.

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About Craig Ford

Craig is a full-time missionary in Papua New Guinea who writes Money Help For Christians and Help Me Travel Cheap, a frugal family travel blog. He is the author of Money Wisdom From Proverbs, has a Masters of Divinity degree, and (most importantly) eats homemade pizza with his family every Friday night.

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  1. susan says

    Hi, just a couple of points. I also tried the refill route without success. However, I did find that Costco carries the same laser cartridge for $35 less than Staples. Staples won’t match Costco pricing but my guy at Grand and Toy does! I just have to buy 2 at a time, which is smart anyway considering I kill a few trees during tax season.

    Also, I made a choice 9 years ago when I started my business that I would not use scrap paper for the kids. I used to do this when I was a kid because my parents were printers. But being that I work from home, my kids at the time were 1 & 5, and the fact that as an accountant I have a lot of “other people’s” paperwork in my office, I found it simpler and better for stress management to tell the kids to only use blank paper. That way I never have an issue where I have to hand over a colourful picture on a client’s tax return. At that age, the kids can’t distinguish between important and not important papers so it is much easier to say only use paper that has nothing on it.

    Also, when I needed a second printer to use as a scanner, I bought the same one I already had so that the ink was interchangeable.


  2. Dany Tosh says

    I use a laser printer and a refill my own printer cartridge. I don’t use anymore Microsoft Office, because OpenOffice is all I need. I save a lot of money. Thanks for the rest of the tips.

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