Every so often when you need to print something at home, you realize your printer is out of ink. It is then time to drive all the way to the office supply store, spend time finding the right ink cartridge for your printer (hopefully you don’t buy the wrong one and have to go back to the store a second time), hand over your cash, and pay for an absurdly expensive new set of ink cartridges that you might not even need to use again until a few weeks or months later.
Replacement Ink and Toner cartridges often cost more than the printer itself. It’s really not fair how expensive brand name ink and toners are, but luckily there’s lots of good advice we can give you, our goal to help everyone save money on printer ink cartridges and toners. According to recent Consumer Reports, a survey on printers was conducted and we realized that replacing ink cartridges too often was the most popular complaint. If printing is important for you, whether it is for personal or professional use, we have come up with some tips to help you save as much money as you can on printing, replacement printer ink cartridges and replacement toners for laser printers.
Tip 1: Order Remanufactured or Compatible Ink and Toner
Instead of buying the super expensive genuine brand name ink cartridges from stores, save money by ordering remanufactured ink online. If you compare two printed documents each from a different printer, one that uses remanufactured ink, one that has genuine brand name OEM ink, you would never be able to tell the difference (besides the extra cash you just saved!). As a matter of fact, cheap inkjet cartridges often have MORE ink than the brand name ones.
Tip 2: Perhaps it’s time to replace your printer to save money on Ink Cartridges
You might think that buying a new printer would be counterproductive towards saving money, but interestingly enough, a new printer actually will cut down costs for replacement ink and toner cartridges.
Did you buy your printer on sale? Electronics stores usually have what appears to be a great deal on printers for super low prices. What could go wrong? Buying a cheap printer turns out to be a huge mistake for some people. Those printers are on sale for a reason, not as a favor to consumers. The initial cost of let’s say $40 for the printer that comes with minimal preloaded ink isn’t going to last long. These printers are set up to use more ink and paper (we will discuss printer settings next) and the replacement ink for a $40 printer could cost as much as $80! We recommend doing a little bit of research about that printer and the costs for maintaining and replacement ink costs. At times it makes more sense to invest more than $40 for a decent printer that costs a bit extra initially but has lower running costs.
Tip 3: Change your printer’s settings from your computer
Did you ever change the settings your printer came out of the box with? If not, you’ve probably been wasting a lot of ink.
Did you know that the default settings on your printer are set up for best performance, which will generate good print quality but will use MORE ink than needed, wasting excessive ink and running your money down the drain?
The average person doesn’t really need super high-quality prints unless you have a professional printing service. Save money on ink by changing the settings on your printer to draft mode or grayscale.
Tip 4: Optimize the power settings on your printer
Do you turn your printer off every day? Did you know that every time you turn on your printer it goes through a maintenance and cleaning cycle that uses a lot of ink? Also, if your printer gets shut down improperly, it could cause the inkjets to dry up and clog the printer inkjet heads.
Every time you turn your printer on, the maintenance and cleaning cycle could use up as much as 5% of your ink. If you add this up for every day you use the printer, you can now see where all that expensive ink is going.
To extend the life of your printer, and your ink, it is recommended to only power off when the printer won’t be used for long periods of time such as a week or more. Be sure, however, to turn off the printer the right way, using the “power” button first so that the printer can have a chance to put the ink cartridges into the storage position, to prevent the ink from drying up.
Tip 5: Try using your printer at least once a week
It might sound counterproductive to use your printer more often to save ink, but it’s true! If you don’t use your printer at least once a week, you might end up losing an entire set of ink cartridges. If your printer stays on standby for a long time without use, the ink inside the cartridge could slowly dry up because the ink is meant to be circulated. By using your printer more often, or at least once a week, you will save money on ink by preventing it from drying up.
Tip 6: Consider upgrading to a laser printer
Laser printers have many benefits when compared to traditional inkjet printers. You might think a laser printer is too much machinery for household use, but nowadays there are many smaller laser printers that are perfect for home offices. Laser printers use toner cartridges instead of ink, it’s a different printing mechanism that is more cost-efficient for people who don’t regularly print in color. Toner cartridges last much longer and don’t try up. The costs upfront for a laser printer seems steep, but you can get more mileage from each toner cartridge that can yield up to thousands of pages. Brother laser printers are one of the most popular options for a compact monochrome laser printer.