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Save Money on Printer Ink Cartridges

Updated on March 29, 2013
Printer Ink Cartridge is Empty
Printer Ink Cartridge is Empty

Recent studies have shown that printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids. What makes the situation worse is that consumers don't realise how expensive an ink cartridge is in comparison to other everyday liquids.

A HP 45 colour ink cartridge which contains 42ml can cost you around $48 US. If you do the maths, you will realise that it equates to over one dollar per milliliter. If compare that to a 100ml bottle of Dolce & Gabbana perfume for $90 US or a 750ml of Moet and Chandon for $48 US you will understand how expensive it really is.

Taking into consideration the price of printer ink cartridges and the printer manufacturers' tricks of the trade, below we have a look at ways to reduce the amount of ink we use and save money in the process.

Ink Refills and Generic Cartridges

When it comes to ink there are a few additional options to buying the printer manufacturer's cartridge. You can choose to buy a generic ink cartridge, pay a ink cartridge company to refill it for you or you can do it yourself with refills, saving between 25 to 75 percent in the process.

Minimising Size and Changing Font

You can always minimise the size of the print and change the font in order to reduce the amount of ink being used. Quite often we use big and bold headings which wont make a difference to the final result.

Changing Colour

If the colour of what you are printing is not important, you can choose to print in black and white as it is effectively cheaper. A colour ink cartridge is more expensive then a black one and quite often your colour cartridge comes with three colours together. If one colour is wasted you will need to wait until the other two waste before you can change the cartridge over.

Printer Settings

If you have a look at your printer's settings you can determine whether the default printer setting is ideal for what you need to print. You can actively adjust the settings before every printing job keeping in mind how important the quality of the print is.

Take Your Printing Elsewhere

Printing your things at work or school is a great option if you have access to a printer. Quite often employers don't have a problem with it. However it is always best to ask for permission as it could be considered stealing, depending on your workplace policies.

Choose What to Print

By choosing exactly what to print and leaving out pages or unnecessary headings, pictures, ads and paragraphs you will also minimise your ink usage. Quite often you may receive a hotel or ticket confirmation which has useless colourful pictures and ads. You can carefully copy and paste the text onto another page and save your ink for another day.


Before you press the "print" button you can question yourself whether printing is necessary. You may be able to send something via email and avoid printing altogether.

Paperless Technology

Technology is also helping to minimise paper and ink use with paperless tickets and confirmation barcodes. Several companies and services can send you a barcode via sms or email which you can scan through your smartphone or tablet.

These are all very effective ways to reduce printing costs and save money on ink cartridges. By following these rules you will extend the life of your ink cartridges and have more disposable income to enjoy spending on things you love.


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