Kate McCullough, administrative assistant, makes copies of the church bulletin at First Church of the Nazarene. McCullough saves the church money by e-mailing the majority of the newsletters and copying just a few.

Staff photo by Jennifer Lyles, Muskogee, OK

Editor’s note: One in a series.

As an administrative assistant at First Church of the Nazarene, Kate McCullough seeks to be a wise steward on office expenses.

She e-mails nearly all church newsletters instead of mailing them. She prints documents on both sides of the paper.

“And when I’m done with a document, I just cut it up into pieces to use as a memo pad,” she said.

Steps that McCullough takes to cut church office costs are the same steps anyone can take to cut costs, whether the office is in the home, a college dormitory, a business or a major corporation.

“Saving money is really important for us because finances are tight, and it’s affecting everyone,” she said. “We print on both sides of the paper whenever we can, and we don’t throw away paper.”

One major cost cutter has been to e-mail the weekly church newsletter, she said. The church e-mails the newsletter to about 200 members, but still mails printed newsletters to 20 members.

“We save $26 a week on postage by not sending out the newsletter,” she said. “We also don’t have to print out labels, which is good because those can be pretty expensive.”

Paper isn’t the only office supply McCullough seeks to reuse. The church also sends its ink and toner cartridges out to be recycled at Cartridge World, located in the River City Plaza Shopping Center on West Shawnee Bypass.

Local Cartridge World owner Kelly Seratt said recycling and refilling ink and toner saves in two ways.

“The first reason they come is that it saves significantly in costs,” she said.

It also saves the environment, she said.

A media release for Cartridge World, which also has a store in Tahlequah, said more than 350 million ink cartridges are discarded in landfills each year.

“By reusing a toner cartridge, you save approximately a gallon of oil,” the press release said. “Every remanufactured cartridge saves nearly three and a half pounds of solid waste from being deposited into landfills.”

Seratt said nearly any type or brand of cartridge can be recycled, including Canon, Lexmark, Hewlett-Packard.

Certified Public Accountant Judy Hoffman said sending her cartridges away to be refilled “costs about half as much as buying them.”

She said she sends her cartridges to former Muskogee resident Bernie Susman, who has a business in Tulsa.

“I trust him,” she said.

Office savings aren’t just found in printers and paper.

“I watch ads for coupons and rewards I get,” Hoffman said.

McCullough said the church saves telephone costs by hooking its line through the Internet. A system known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows users to make phone calls by using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular “land line” phone.

Eight ways to save office expenses

1. Turn off equipment, including computers, printers and copiers, when not in use.

2. Encourage communication by e-mail or orally.

3. Save memos to the computer desktop to avoid printing.

4. Print on both sides of paper.

5. Turn used paper into scrap paper.

6. Recycle toner and ink cartridges.

7. Take advantage of coupons and rebates from office suppliers.

8. If you can wait that long, take advantage of back to school sales.

Sources:, Kate McCullough,

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