How to Effectively Cut Back on Expenses for Office Consumables

It may seem easy to dismiss office consumable expenses, but the costs can build up significantly over time if expenditures are left unchecked.

Fortunately, cutting back on expenses for office consumables can be quite easy. In your own office, you can save money by doing the following:

Go digital

Before you print something, ask yourself if you absolutely need to have a hard copy of that particular document. If it isn’t really necessary, why not keep it as a digital file instead?

Print only essential documents like those that need to be physically signed or those that you have to submit to business partners or government agencies. However, if you still have a significant volume documents that you need to print every day, consider the next point.

Use remanufactured ink and toner cartridges


While printers are considered an office essential, the ink and toner they require can be quite expensive, especially if your office needs to produce large volumes of printed documents on a daily basis. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ink cartridges can cost up to $75 an ounce, and toners can be even more expensive.

To offset some of these expenses, you can choose remanufactured ink and toner cartridges instead. These products, which are recycled from old OEM cartridges, undergo a meticulous disassembly, cleaning, and refilling process that affords them the same quality as original products. However, they tend to be considerably cheaper because. This is because unlike their OEM counterparts, they are not usually sold by manufacturers with exorbitant profit in mind.

Suppliers also often offer XL variants of remanufactured cartridges for well-known brands likeCanon,Hewlett-Packard, andBrother, adding further to the cost savings. These XL cartridges are the same size as standard cartridges, but they offer more than twice the amount of ink.

Reuse and repurpose items

Reusing is one of the 3 important R’s (reducing, reusing, and recycling) of waste management, and it can save businesses from wasting supplies and money, too. For instance you can repurpose old folders as business cards or card stocks, and reuse paper sheets that have only one side printed on. If office items can no longer be used, consider bringing them to a recycling facility.

Additionally, instead of purchasing disposables like plastic spoons, forks, cups and the like, encourage employees to use their own mugs and cutlery. This will lessen the amount of money that you’ll need to spend on restocking of such disposables, and it will also reduce the amount of waste you throw away.

Shop for supplies online

Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, online shops usually don’t have high overhead expenses, resulting in products being retailed at reduced prices. The availability of such ecommerce options also allows shoppers to find the best deals and prices for particular products online. This price shopping can be done within minutes, right in the comfort of one’s office desk.

Take advantage of discount rates

There are suppliers that offer discounted rates to businesses. Don’t hesitate to ask and negotiate for lower prices when buying items that your company will be in constant need of. Focus on getting discounts for pricier consumables that are absolute essentials in your office. Examples of these would be printer cartridges and printer paper.

Don’t buy what isn’t essential.

Never buy supplies that you have no immediate need for. You can end up spending a large amount of cash, especially if those unnecessary items are bought in bulk. Take for example buying a huge number of pens. Even if those pens were cheap, you would have just wasted money if their ink dried up because they were not used for a long time.

Have a repository for supplies

One reason why supplies seem to run out quickly is because some employees keep on taking certain items but end up losing them or not using them at all. By having a storage room or area for your supplies, it will be easier to track the items that are being used or not, as well as those that will need restocking soon. Another tip is to place a limit on the number of items that employees can take from this repository.

Finances can be a tricky thing to manage, but through careful budgeting and wise spending, businesses can effectively cut back on expenses for workplace consumables. By just saving a few dollars here and there, you can cut costs successfully and get some breathing room in your monthly budget.


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