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March 2009
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Easy Ways To Cut Business Expenses

Many of your business expenses for the last year could have been cut dramatically!  As you get your taxes in order for the tax man (or if you’ve already “come and gone” from the tax preparers’ office), you can readily see that business expenses, such as office supplies (paper, pens, printer cartridges, mailing envelopes, etc),  fabric and notions for the sample items that you make for your customer area have added up faster than you can blink an eye, which all take a toll on your final “net” profit.

I’m a firm believer that every quarter you can save is better in YOUR pocket than in somebody else’s pocket.  We’ve put together a listing of ways that we can cut our expenses in order to “Raise the bottom line in 2009”, so thought we could pass it along to our readers as well.   Keep in mind that “I’m only saving 50 cents by doing this or that” could potentially add up to several dollars or a hundred or more dollars you’d actually be saving by the end of the year.

1. Let’s work on office supplies first.  In every Sunday paper, Office Depot, Office Max or Staples have coupons for savings on certain items.  We go through a lot of paper so when we see “buy 2 cases, get one free” – we don’t waste any time getting to Office Depot to take advantage of the savings (save about $30 – $40 depending on which brand of paper they’re promoting at the time).

If you sign up for Office Depot’s “rewards” card, you’ll get regular coupons in the mail, plus EARN reward money for every dollar you spend there (Office Max and Staples may have similar deals, but we use Office Depot, so I’m not sure what the others have).  Each quarter we get “rewards” money back that range anywhere from $10 to perhaps $30 – $35 – which we turn around and use on other supplies that we need at the time — pens, staples, packaging tape.

2.  Check your local paper for coupons from JoAnns, or go online to JoAnn’s and see what savings coupons they may have.  If you’re contemplating making a certain type of quilt, they may have the fat quarters on sale, or if you’re wanting to make up some sample toys, they may have just the perfect fabrics – at a discount.   My daughter LOVES the “50% off a single item” when she heads in there for a particular item.  In addition, I believe JoAnn’s takes other merchant’s discount coupons, such as Michael’s coupons, etc.

3.  Don’t forget to check ebay for items that you’re looking for – fabric pieces, doll making essentials, etc.  There are places on ebay that wholesale many items, and what you need may very well be available – AND at the cheaper wholesale prices.

4.  There are also websites that sell fabrics and notions that have “end of roll” sales included in what are called “Value Packs” — you get very good prices on the fabrics and notions; however you normally don’t get to choose colors and prints.  Since I do a lot of sewing for family members, etc I’ve gotten value packs from Fay’sFabrics, which are always a great value.

4.  We just finished a tutorial on making a bandana blouse and let you know we’d gotten the bandanas from Oriental Trading.  You can get tons of stuff from Oriental Trading, and all at very inexpensive prices.  For example, the bandanas I believe were around $9 a dozen — you could make up children’s bandana blouses, bandana shorts, bandana bags, etc — pay less than a couple bucks for the bandanas and sell the completed items for $5 to $10, depending on what you’re making.  How great is that for making extra profit!!

The point is this —- if you make a conscious effort to use those coupons (make sure you NEED the stuff you’re using the coupons for, and not just using the coupons because they’re available!), check out sale items at stores and on ebay, you could find yourself saving a hundred or more dollars per month or per quarter, which all equates to more profit in your pocket.

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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author

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