Looking to Save Money on Your Printer's Ink? Tips and Warnings

Marilynn Dawson By Marilynn Dawson, 15th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3rwz9os-/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Technology>Printers

With the cost of ink rising over the past number of years in contrast to the cost of printers themselves dropping in price, so low at times that they are below the cost of a single ink cartridge, one sometimes has to wonder how on earth they will save any money in the act of printing the average document.


A ream of paper can cost $5 or more. The average manufacturer's ink cartridge runs anywhere from $22 to $45 and up. Depending on what you need to print, there often isn't any savings between printing it yourself or getting Staples to do it for you.

There are ways to reduce the cost of printing on a daily basis and save money in the process.

Change Your Settings

1) Change your printer's default preferences in Control Panel/Devices and Printers, to always print in draft mode. Most of what the average household or business needs to print isn't required in high-quality, so changing this setting alone can save a fair bit on ink cartridge replacements. When a document absolutely must be in high quality, choose that setting in the print dialogue box instead.

2) Consider how much ink on the page is really necessary to print. Printing off webpages for example, it is possible to choose not to print the background colours or images. Doing this will reduce how much ink gets used when all you want is the information, not the background imagery.

Consider Where You Buy

3) Changing where you obtain your ink. Now this next bit of advice comes with a caution that must be stated up front! Not all vendors sell authentic ink cartridges for your printer's make and model. Tech sites such as PC World have discovered that vendors who purchase their stock out of China, tend to have a higher rate of fake ink posing as authentic, than those who order direct from the manufacturers themselves. With that warning firmly in place, it can be possible to save money by ordering your ink online. A bit of homework on a company can reveal where they get their stock and whether or not they are a safe place to buy from. Companies such as Newegg and Tigerdirect are generally safe.

Consider the Type of Ink and Consequences of Switching

4) If your printer is no longer under warranty, it is possible to use generic inks in your printer, almost cutting the cost of printer ink in half. But another warning must be given. Generic inks don't have the cleansers present in manufacturer inks, and will eventually gum up the printhead. Printheads are not cheap and often cost as much or more than the printer itself to replace. However, if you insist on using generic inks, obtaining a printhead online may be cheaper than replacing your printer. Again, do your homework to be sure you are buying from a reputable source.


With forms, books, manuals, cards, and other items all going digital and coming to you as ebooks or PDF documents, the need to have affordable printing options continues to grow. These tips will help in reducing the cost of your everyday printing needs.


Cheap, Generic, Ink, Ink Cartridge, Inkjet, Printer Ink

Meet the author

author avatar Marilynn Dawson
I am a computer tech by trade, as well as a Christian author and freelancer. Topics range from devotionals and online safety, to how-to's, family finances, product reviews, and more.

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