Saving Printer Ink

If you are like me, you probably use a lot of printer ink for personal copying and more especially in your business. Even printing labels tends to suck it up.

Here are five ink saving tips I suggest. These have worked for me, but proceed at your own peril as your printer may be the exception to the usual rules. And, I would hate to be the one responsible for your printer getting gummed up with a bad batch of cartridge ink. I’m just saying . . . .

1. If you have a printer that works with generic or non-oem ink, use it. Yes you get less printed pages but typically generic ink costs 1/4 the price of the fancy namebrand stuff.

2. Print on draft or fast draft mode with inkjets. Of course the print is lighter but you can get 25% more prints this way. Especially great if you just need the information for a short time.

3. Turn your spent cartridges into the office supply store for credit towards other merchandise. Office Depot, Staples and Office Max give $3.00 coupons for each cartridge turned in.

4. Never, ever buy your ink from a store. Try to always buy in online. For example, if you buy it on eBay it is cheaper, even with shipping and you can get your eBay BUCKS or Mr. Rebates cashback rewards.

5. Don’t worry too much about expiration dates. If you can buy a cartridge online cheap, buy it, even if it is past the expiration date. HP says their cartridges are good for at least two years past the date, if they remain sealed. You can often offer someone less for an older cartriges on eBay with a “Best Offer” purchase and get a great deal. Can’t hurt to try.

And if you are super ambitious and inclined toward learning a new skill, you can always refill your own cartridges. I have factored in the mess I would make and find that this is not the method for my needs.

Here’s a way you might save $20.00 this year!
Change the font in the documents you print.

Because different fonts require different amounts of ink to print. For example, you could be buying new printer cartridges less often if you wrote in Century Gothic rather than Arial. Schools and businesses can save thousands of dollars with simply a font change.

Data on this subject was taken from, who talk about a Dutch company that evaluates printer attributes. They persuaded the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to make a switch in their usual font. Diane Blohowiak, coordinator of information-technology user support, asked the faculty and staff to use Century Gothic for all printed documents. As a result the school plans to change its e-mail system to use Century Gothic exclusively. The school of 6,500 students spends about $100,000 per year on ink and toner and expects to save $5,000 to $10,000 per year with the font switch.


One response to this post.

  1. holy, holy cow…thanks for these great, great suggestions….i will use some of them, for sure.


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