Your second question first.. it can be more cost effective doing your copying at home, but this will depend on your printer costs. If you are printing black and white or text then I would use the lowest setting your printer will allow such as "draft mode", unless you need high quality copies. I tend to save to my computer and only print what I need.
The first question.. I dont know what the other person is using but are you saying that he scans the things he needs when next to the computer with the scanner connected. Mine scans straight into the computer and really only takes the time it takes to scan or preview then scan to show up on the screen. Again, my scanner is three years old and I use Corel Print to do the scanning.
Not much help but a few things to think about.