Every home needs an office space—the space in which you pay bills, take care of household finances and correspondence, where your kids can do homework, etc (it might even be the place from which you run your own business if you are self employed). In your home it might be a corner of your living room or dining room. If you’re lucky it can be its own room entirely!
Where ever it is, setting it up can be an expensive endeavor—especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are some tips that you can use to help you save some money.
1. Membership Deals
Set up memberships at office supply stores. These membership programs are great because you can get credit for things like returning ink and toner cartridges for recycling. Plus, every dollar/pound you spend adds points to your account—which can be traded in for gift certificates on future purchases. You’ll also get members-only discounts and deals, Office Depot coupons being my most recent acquisition. These deals come in handy when you run abruptly run out of supplies or need to stock up for the upcoming school year.
2. Stock Up
Speaking of stocking up, buying in bulk is a fantastic money saver when it comes to office supplies. Printer paper, pens, pencils, highlighters, post-it notes, paperclips, staples, etc—these are all things that you can buy in bulk for much cheaper than you could buy in individual packages. You can buy these from office supply catalogs or bulk suppliers or you can simply take a trip to Costco.
TIP: Make sure you have space to store the supplies you aren’t actually using.
EXTRA TIP: Go “extra bulk” on things your kids will use during the school year like notebook paper, art supplies, etc. This way you don’t have to worry about running out mid-homework project.
3. Update Your Equipment
Is your computer up to date? If it’s a few years old, it’s probably time to replace it. But don’t rush out and buy whatever is on sale just yet. Instead take some time and do your research. Consult consumer reports to find out which computer (and other major equipment like cameras, printers, etc) is best for what you need. Then, take some time to find a good deal. For example, you can take advantage of one of the Black Friday specials 2013 specials to get a fantastic piece of equipment for a tiny fraction of its typical retail price.
4. Personalize It
Keep things from walking away (from you and your kids) by having them personalized. Get pencils, notepads, pens, etc emblazoned with your name and your kids’ names. Personalized office supplies are way less likely to magically appear in someone else’s desk or locker at school (or even at home). It costs a couple of bucks extra now but it can save you hundreds of bucks later on.
There are lots of ways to set up a basic home office without having to dump thousands of dollars into the project. These are just a few hints that you can use to help you get started. What are some of the things that worked for you and your family?
Guest post written by Amanda Green.