If you regularly print off items for work or school, you probably often find yourself wincing at the high cost of ink. According to Consumer Reports, ink costs an average of $50 per ounce, making it one of the world’s highest-costing liquids.
Have you ever noticed that a new ink cartridge never seems to last very long? According to the same report, that’s because most of the ink used doesn’t even end up on the pages you’re printing off.
Instead, it’s generally used for maintenance tasks when the printer is just getting started. So if you’re using a particularly inefficient printer, you could be wasting an extra $100 per year.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to cut down on the cost of printer ink. Let’s look at eight ways to get started.
1. Try a laser printer
If you’re in the market for a new printer, consider investing in a laser printer. These types of printers don’t use maintenance ink and are excellent for printing text documents. That’s why you’ll often see laser printers used in offices and anywhere that documents are printed off frequently.
A laser printer does come with a higher price tag than an inkjet printer, but you can find a black-and-white printer at a pretty affordable price. And because the quality is so much higher, you’ll end up spending far less money on toner.
Laser printers tend to be more reliable and to last a lot longer. So many people find that the investment is worth it and provides them with a better experience overall. Just be sure to shop around so you can find the best deal.
30+ Ways to Help You Save More MoneyRead Post
2. Print in draft mode whenever possible
Did you know that your printer has different modes based on the speed and quality you’re looking for? When you print in draft mode, it’s designed to print quickly and use a minimal amount of ink.
Printing in draft mode is a good option anytime you’re printing something that doesn’t need to look professional. For instance, if you’re printing off worksheets or anything for taking notes, it’s a good idea to use draft mode.
3. Keep your printer turned on
If you have an inkjet printer, one of the easiest ways to save money is by leaving it turned on at all times. That way, you won’t trigger a new maintenance cycle every time you need to print something off.
Most printers use up half of their ink on maintenance tasks like cleaning the print heads. Leaving your printer on at all times can save you quite a bit over the long run. Printers consume very little power when they aren’t in use, so you don’t have to worry too much about the environmental impact.
4. Use an ink delivery service
If you own an HP printer, you can subscribe to the company’s Instant Ink delivery service. With this service, your printer will automatically order ink, and new cartridges will be delivered to your home before you’re out of ink.
There are five different plans you can choose from, depending on how frequently you need to print off documents. According to HP, customers can save up to 50% on printer ink by signing up for the service.
However, a plan like this works best for people who print off a consistent number of documents every month. Otherwise, you’ll likely overestimate what you actually need and could end up paying too much.
How to Organize Your Financial ClutterRead Post
5. Proofread documents before printing
Have you ever written a report, printed it off, and then found a glaringly obvious typo? So you fixed the typo and printed off another copy of the document. This can add up to a lot of wasted ink.
For that reason, an easy way to save on ink is to proofread your documents before printing something off. This will save you from printing off items that you’ll just end up having to throw away.
6. Adjust the document size
Making a few simple adjustments to the document size can double the amount of information you can include on each page. For instance, if you’re editing a document in Word, you can use smaller margins and fit more words on each page.
Or, if you’re printing a PDF, you can adjust the settings to fit two pages side-by-side on each page. This will make the font smaller, so you should preview the document to be sure that you’re able to read it.
Another easy tweak to make is changing the font. According to Consumer Reports, your ink will last longer by switching the font from Arial to Times New Roman.
7. Print in black-and-white
If you have to print off documents, one of the easiest ways to save is by printing in black-and-white. Often, your printer will print things off in color by default but it’s easy to change this in the settings.
According to Business News Daily, printing in black-and-white costs an average of 5 cents per page. Whereas printing documents in color will cost an average of 10 to 15 cents per page.
However, these costs can vary significantly depending on the brand of ink you use. If you need to print in color for some reason, you can save yourself some money by using a generic brand.
My Favorite Office Supplies for My Budget and FinancesRead Post
8. Think twice before printing
And finally, one of the best ways to save money on ink is by thinking twice before you print anything off. Do you really need to print that 50-page work report? Or would reading it on your laptop suffice?
If you do need to print something off, be sure to preview the document first. When you do this, you’ll often find that most documents contain unnecessary blank spaces or logos. And always be sure to choose a printer-friendly version that removes color and ads from webpages.
The Bottom Line
Printing off documents doesn’t have to be expensive, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on ink every month. By implementing the ideas outlined in this post, you’ll stop wasting so much money on printer ink every month and free up more room in your budget.