1. Purchase larger sizes of common antibodies on established fluorochromes. Packaging and shipping antibodies can be costly. Therefore smaller sizes typically cost greater than two times more compared to larger sizes.
2. Titrate your antibodies for optimal performance in your assay. In the majority of cases you will use a lot less antibody and have better results.
3. Properly store your antibodies. Most fluorochrome labeled antibodies contain a preservative such as sodium azide and are best stored at 4°C protected from light. Fluorochrome labeled antibodies can have shelf lives of years if they are stored properly. If you purchase a larger size that you intend to use over an extended period consider aliquoting into amber tubes. This will minimize exposure to light and room temperature increasing shelf life.
4. Use low retention pipet tips and tubes. Antibodies and other proteins can nonspecifically stick to tubes and pipette tips. This can not only result in the need to use more antibody, but also inconsistent results.
5. Mix conjugated antibodies prior to use. Antibodies can settle over time. If they are not properly mixed before use, insufficient quantities will be present in your experiment. This settling can also lead to inconsistent staining from day to day.