Spending too much money on ink? It’s not uncommon—in fact, it’s not uncommon for people to spend much more on ink over the lifespan of their printer than they did in buying the printer in the first place. However, you can cut down on the amount of ink you use—thereby slashing your ink budget—by adopting a few simple habits. Here are a few tips on how you can save on ink.
Use Draft Mode. Your computer may be automatically set to print in Normal or a high quality mode. Instead, set your default print settings on Draft or Economy mode. The printer will print on the page more lightly, reducing the amount of ink you need per page. Save the Normal and high quality print settings for important documents that must impress, such as resumes or business letters. For printing directions, emails, flight itineraries and other documents for your use only, use a setting that uses the least amount of ink possible.
Print in black and white. Your printer may be set to print in colour as a default—even if you’re only printing black and white text. The problem with this is that colour cartridges are typically smaller than black cartridges, which means that you run out of ink and have to buy more cartridges faster than you would if you used only the black cartridge. Whenever you print a page that doesn’t have to be in colour, make sure your printer is set to print in black and white.
Keep your printer in working order. If your printer’s nozzles become blocked by dry ink or its print heads become dusty, you could find yourself printing out several sheets of paper to get a printout that isn’t streaked or smeared—and that wastes ink. Print a test sheet once every two weeks or so to make sure your ink doesn’t dry out, and wipe down the inside of your printer with a soft, lint-free cloth at least once a month. This will help you keep your printer in good shape, and help you prevent wasted ink due to smeared or streaky printouts.
Don’t print when you don’t have to. Do you print out every email for your records? Do you print directions when you could just write them down in a notebook? There are probably dozens of small ways you could save on ink by avoiding printing unnecessary things. Whenever you’re about to print something, ask yourself if you really need to print it first—or if there’s another option, such as saving emails on your hard drive.
Don’t buy a printer with a three-in-one cartridge. Three-in-one cartridges may seem convenient—but they’re usually more expensive than separate cartridges. That’s because all three ink colours are built into one cartridge, and when the first one runs out of ink, you have to replace the whole cartridge—not just the colour that’s empty. If you want to save on ink, be careful of the printer you buy. Avoid printers with the most expensive ink, as well as those with three-in-one cartridges.
Use third-party manufactured or repurposed cartridges. You can save a bundle on ink and toner by buying from companies that sell recycled cartridges—or cartridges that have been reverse manufactured using the original specifications. These ink cartridges are generally as high quality as you’d find with the original manufacturer, but they’re a lot cheaper. You can find them online and get them shipped to your home, and still save money in comparison to what you’d spend buying original cartridges in a computer or electronics store.
If you feel you’re spending too much money on ink cartridges, you probably are. Printer ink is extremely expensive if you buy it from original manufacturers. That’s why it’s so important to conserve ink, take care of your printer, avoid printing when you don’t have to, and search out places to find third-party ink for less. Third-party ink produces printouts that look as good as what you’d get with original manufacturers’ cartridges—at a fraction of the cost. Combine third-party printer cartridges with changing a few habits to use less ink, and you should be able to get your printer ink budget under control.