As a business owner, you know that there are certain costs that you can’t avoid. Hiring employees and the rent or mortgage payment for your office are things that usually come to mind when you think about running your business. Often times, people forget to budget for the smaller, but necessary, items such as office supplies. Office supplies are an important part of your office, but they can become expensive rather quickly if you’re not careful. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can save money. Here are five money-saving tips for buying office supplies:

Use a group purchasing organization (GPO)

A group purchasing organization leverages the power of a group of businesses and helps them save money on products they’re already buying, such as office supplies. There’s no cost to join as group purchasing organizations are usually funded by administrative fees from vendors. When you buy office supplies through a group purchasing organization, you can save up to 80% off items you’re already buying, such as pens, highlighters and notepads.

Replenish supplies before they run out

An easy way to spend a fortune on office supplies is to wait until you run out to buy more. When you wait, you frantically run to the store to buy what you need and in the process, you buy other things, too. Stocking up before you’re out of a product decreases your chance of buying something out of impulse, and it gives you the chance to take advantage of sales or other discounts.

Buy an older model if available

If you’re buying electronics or furniture, you can save money by buying the older model of an item. There’s always something newer and cooler coming out, but this also means that there’s money to be saved on an older product. Many office supply stores keep these in stock, especially online. If you wait until the end of the year, especially after holidays, you can save additional money on office supplies.

Quality matters

Use your best judgment in choosing whether to buy name brand or generic products. Sometimes, items that seem like a bargain really are too good to be true. However, this doesn’t mean that all bargain items are low quality. Buy products that you trust and get the job done.

Buy online

Often times, shopping online is cheaper than buying in store. Additionally, if you’re buying through a business site or through a group purchasing organization, you’ll be able to take advantage of additional savings when you shop online. Buying online means you get to shop from the convenience of your home or office, and you don’t have to worry about going to the store just to find that an item is out of stock. Shopping online also means that you can take advantage of clearance or sale sections of the website.

Buying office supplies doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank, and there are many ways you can save money on office supplies for your business. Using a group purchasing organization, such as Windfall, can help save you money on office supplies and other products that you’re already buying.