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5 Ways to Save Money on Office Supplies

No paper shredder -- no problem! Learn an alternative way to shred your paper and which fonts you can use to save you ink! 

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
July 21, 2017

Reinforce Folders

For a pocket folder you know is going to take a beating—like the one we keep near our tool kit that holds instructions—reinforce it on the sides and pockets with duct tape. It will last forever!

Cheapo Paper “Shredder”

Worried about identity theft, but can’t afford a proper paper shredder? This tip is not for the weak of heart, but it is for the thrifty: Use your washing machine instead! Put the papers in a stocking, tie the end, and throw them in for a wash. By the time the cycle is over, the ink will be bleeding, the papers a shredded mess, and your secrets safe from anyone picking through the trash.

DIY Notepads

If you use a lot up a lot of notepads around your house like us (we scribble down everything from shopping lists to schedule reminders, and of course, new tip ideas), you can make your own for much less than you’d spend at the store with something called padding compound. Padding compound is a brush-on glue specially designed for binding papers that you can find online or in hobby and craft stores for $10-15. Once you have your bottle, you can make hundreds of pads of paper with any scrap paper! All you need is a stack of paper in any size, color, and pattern you like; a piece of same-sized cardboard for backing; a couple of binder clips; a small paintbrush; and the padding compound. First, make sure your stack of paper is flush on one side—to do this, just tap it against a flat surface. If you want a sturdy back for your pad, cut a piece of cardboard to the same size as your notepaper, and place it at the back. Hold the paper stack together with binder clips, one on each side. Using the paintbrush, spread a good amount of padding compound onto the flush end of your stack; you can apply more for extra sturdiness. Let dry, then remove the binder clips. Use decorative paper for a personalized and inexpensive gift!

Choose Your Font Wisely

Need to print out some helpful but not super-important pages (such as a grocery, chore, or to-do list)? You can conserve ink by changing the font color to gray rather than using the heavier black ink. Or simply choose a thinner font. Thinner fonts like Times and Century Gothic will use up to 30 percent less ink than Arial.

Revive a Dead Pen

There’s no need to throw away a pen that’s stopped writing long before it should have. Just get rid of the dried-up ink clogging its point by boiling water, then removing the water from the heat and dipping the pen tip into it for 10 seconds.

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