Printing Money

One big advantage to living a life with email, tablet computers and other technologies is that you tend to spend less money on printing at home than in the past. But unfortunately, that doesn’t mean prices for things like ink and paper have come down much. For those remaining personal printing jobs you do have, here’s how to avoid wincing every time the printer starts up.

Buy an efficient printer
One of the best things about the printer market is that for many models, price-per-page statistics are available. Use this information to pick a printer that makes efficient use of resources.

Print less
Many people on a diet put a sign on the refrigerator to remind them to avoid temptation. The same approach is wise for printing. Whether the sign is taped to your printer or only exists in the back of your mind, try to always ask yourself, “Do I really need to print this, or is this a way around it?”

Buy generic cartridges
There is more competition in the cartridge producing world these days, so look up the product number for your particular cartridge and search online to see if a generic equivalent is available.

Have your ink cartridges refilled
Many stores now refill your ink at a fraction of what it would cost to buy a whole new cartridge. On average, cartridges can be refilled 4-6 times, so multiplied savings equals a lot more money in your pocket! Be sure to call ahead to make confirm the store refills your type of cartridge.

…or do it yourself
Research online to find the correct refill kit for your printer and do it yourself to save even more! This option is best for people who tend to be handy, since a mistake can mean you and your immediate surroundings covered in printer ink.

Print in “draft” mode
If you don’t need the print on a page to be perfectly sharp or particularly bold, print a document in draft mode to reduce the amount of ink used.

Get printer paper from a dollar store
It might not be the preferred paper for something like a resume’ or wedding invitation, but paper sold at dollar stores works perfectly well for most printing jobs. And you save even more when you use both sides of the paper, whether in the original printing process or by reusing pages previously only printed on one side.

Use shrink to fit and print preview
A lot of paper and ink is wasted when you rush to print a document without checking to see how it will actually look when it comes out of the printer. By using the shrink to fit option when printing, you can make sure you don’t have any of that annoying overrun that uses up a whole other page to print just a little more information. Print preview lets you get a final look to avoid needing re-dos.

Fonts matter!
Believe it or not, you can actually save on ink over the long haul with your font choice. Because of the dimensions of the letters, numbers and characters, certain more dainty fonts use less ink. Times New Roman is a popular font that tends to be more economical.

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