You Lose $21 Every Time You Buy Paper

save money paper volo press

It may seem obvious to some, but I’ve recently run into fellow authors who believed they were really getting a deal by paying $5.00 for a ream of paper or maybe $40 for a 5,000-sheet case. I can’t see how 1.1 cents per sheet or $4 for a ream is a deal (then again, I have to be resourceful with my budget.).

Below is a basic rundown of a recent search I did online that gives you some cheaper options. The last case I bought lasted me multiple years due to digital sharing, critiquing, and delivery being standard for most of my publishing and editing needs. Don’t waste money on something you might not even use that often. Bulk up and store it, like I did!
For 5,000 sheets of white copy/multi-purpose, 92-bright, 20-lb paper: 

Amazon.com: $51 = $0.0102 per sheet / $5.10 per ream

Office Depot (Sale): $33 = $0.0066 per sheet / $3.30 per ream

Office Depot (Standard): $49 = $0.0098 per sheet / $4.90 per ream

Costco: $37 = $0.0074 per sheet / $3.70 per ream

Sam’s Club: $30 = $0.0060 per sheet / $3.00 per ream

For this search, Sam’s crushes the competition with a mere six tenths of a penny per sheet, compared to Amazon’s 1+ penny per sheet (almost twice as much!).

Even comparing total bills, you would save $21 by purchasing paper at Sam’s, versus online with Amazon (sadly, $30 of that $51 was JUST SHIPPING!).

Wholesale Membership

For those of you who don’t have a membership to a place like Costco or Sam’s (use this link and get $20 for joining), please consider signing up. For between $40 and $50 per year, you can rack up some fantastic savings, even if you never purchase bulk food there.

For example, when my bank account’s looking a little faint, I love to go to Sam’s to grab lunch (or dinner…or a snack…you get the picture).

Why? Because I can get a slice of pizza larger than my hand and an extra large drink of my choice for less than $2.50. Most places will charge you that much just for the drink. So, conservatively, you’re looking at at least $5 for the same lunch anywhere else.

If I eat lunch like this at Sam’s just twice a week, I’ll save $20 a month or $240 per year. This is how a $50 membership exponentially pays off! And this isn’t counting other home essentials I buy for my family, including paper towels, shampoo and conditioner, toilet paper, laundry detergent, or dish soap.

The discounts are similar for other non-perishables like pens, dishes, desks, books, bulk notebooks and writing pads, dry erase markers, and more.

If you found this post helpful, how would you have felt if you had gotten this information 6 months ago when I first sent it out to my writing newsletter subscribers? Sign up now and get these kinds of tips, tricks, and knowledge sent straight to your inbox twice each month! 

4 Free Things Writers Pay For

I cannot tell you how many writers I’ve spoken to who have spent hundreds and even THOUSANDS 🤢of dollars on items and services that they could have gotten without ever pulling out their wallet. ere are just a few.

 

1. Book Publishing 🖨️

You knew this would be #1, didn’t you? My heart shattered when a fellow author told me that they’d spent nearly $3,000 publishing only about 500 copies of their book through a vanity publisher. For such a critical part of beginning to build your audience as an independent author, you don’t want to waste money like this right out of the gate. Especially when there are so many free, cheap, simple options that give you a high level of control over the project. And when you buy in bulk like this, you have to be responsible for storing, protecting (fires, thieves, rodents, insects, water, etc.) and transporting all these books. Whereas, having books printed only when a purchase is made–and without you having to store them–can save you a lot of risk, time, effort, and money.

2. Web Site Setup 💻

Again: easy and free. You can even go for ‘affordable’ and get a website with features like this one for around $10 a month. I could understand paying for a tutorial or some IT help once in a while if you’re super-uncomfortable with technology, but paying someone hundreds of dollars just for clicking a few buttons for you seems absurd, generally speaking.

3. Social Media Setup 👍

Social media profiles are generally free and can be set up within minutes. Once you become a world-famous author, maybe these profiles will get a little overwhelming and you’ll want someone to help you manage them (though that’s still not really necessary in most cases). But please, please, please do not pay anyone big money to do something so simple as merely setting up the profiles for you.

4. Mobile Credit Card Readers 💳

These are free. Please don’t ever pay for these. It makes me sad. One author told me they purchased a PayPal Here reader to use at a book fair, even though they didn’t even know how to use it. They hadn’t even set up a PayPal account yet, let alone a PayPal Business account! Yes, it was only about $20, but that’s $20 that could have gone towards book promotions, literary contest entry fees, a decent dinner, or–most lavishly–a brand new book! I understand that the new mobile readers with chip-compatible technology are available, and they can be relatively expensive, but there are still cheaper ways to get those than paying full price.

 

 

If any of this information is shocking to you, or if you have paid for some of these things yourself, I’m available for consultation as needed. As independent authors, we need to learn to reserve our resources (especially liquid cash), by not paying for things we don’t have to. If there’s a YouTube video, blog post, or pod cast that can teach you how to do something, learn and go do it for yourself for free!