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Save Money in Your Home Office and Create a Green Working Environment Too

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: John Garger•updated: 1/5/2011

Gas prices squeezing your budget? Need a little extra help in the savings department? Lean some easy ways to save money in your home office, and help the environment too.

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    Having a home office can be a huge advantage when it comes to saving money in the current economy. You don't have a commute, so there's no gas or wear and tear on your car to worry about. You don't have to deal with the heavy traffic or worry about having exact change for the bus either. But, there are a few more ways that you can save money (and help the environment too).

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    Saving Money in a Green Home Office

    You've stopped driving to work because you want to save money. So, why would you drive into town to get your printer cartridges? Order online instead. In fact, many Web sites are actually cheaper than many office supply stores. You can get refurbished cartridges that are usually half the price of new ones too.You can choose to refill your printer cartridges, although we've had some problems with that in the past. If you want to try though, many companies, including Staples, offer printer cartridge refills. These refills only cost a few dollars, and it only takes a few minutes to fill them. On the downside, not all cartridges can be refilled. You may want to check with the store to see if your printer cartridges are refillable, or simply get a printer that uses refillable cartridges.

    Speaking of printers, you may want to look into multifunction printers. Individually, printers, scanners and faxes not only take up more room, but they also suck up more energy. If all these functions are wrapped into one machine, you could cut down on your energy use and save money. To penny pinch even more, look for Energy Star home-office products. And speaking of saving energy, why not turn off the machines when you aren't using them (after they've cooled down, if necessary).

    You can save a lot of money by shopping online too. You can compare prices and products side-by-side without ever leaving the comfort of your office chair (that is unless you need a new one). Many Web sites offer free shipping, so shop around for bargains. And, again, you'll cut down on the cost of gas and save yourself some time, too.

    Beyond saving gas, you can save on electricity. Nowadays, you can get energy-saving solar water heaters that will decrease your energy use. There are even energy efficient PC settings, printers, and similar equipment. You can use fluorescent lighting for your office or use energy-efficient bulbs. You can replace your windows with energy-efficient ones, seal or caulk leaks, use blinds, curtains, and more. While you may have to call in an expert, it will save you money in the long run.

    Perhaps the easiest way to cut down on energy costs is simply to turn off the computer and unplug everything at the end of the day. At the very least, you should configure your PCs to "sleep" at night, and turn off your computer monitors. Overall, the motto should be is if you're not using something, unplug it (after shutting it down properly, of course). Even if a piece of equipment is not turned on, it still uses energy if it's plugged in. Finally, if you have good cell phone reception and don't really need a land line, get rid of it. Cutting done to one phone bill can save you quite a bit of money.

    There are many ways to make your house and home office more energy efficient, which in turns leads to more savings on your end. Plus, you'll be helping the environment by consuming less and being green. Savings and environmentally friendly, you can't go wrong with these suggestions.