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How to Save Money on Printing at Home

Updated on June 6, 2011

How much money do you spend on printing at home? Your printer itself might not have cost a fortune but it can cost a small fortune to refill the paper and ink throughout the lifetime of that printer. Luckily there are a lot of things that you can do to reduce the amount of money that you spend on printing at home.

The cost of a printer

When it comes time to buy a new printer for your home, you want to think carefully about the decision. Many people are tempted to buy the most inexpensive printer available. However, this doesn’t always result in the best long-term savings. Some of the factors to consider when buying a printer include:

o The cost of ink. Make sure that you select a printer that will give you a good return on your investment with options to get low cost ink that lasts a long time before needing to be replaced. Read reviews and product descriptions carefully with an eye towards this issue.

o Economy printing features. Select a printer that will provide you with different options for printing so that you can use the lowest-cost option needed for different projects that you print at home.

o Expected lifetime of the printer. You should look at printer reviews to select a printer that will last and be efficient for many years to come. If you get a cheap printer but it has to be replaced in a year then it’s not really that cheap after all, is it?

Saving on paper

How frequently do you have to buy paper for your printer at home? Some of the ways that you can reduce the amount of money that you spend on paper include:

o Get the cheapest paper that you need. Many people just buy a certain weight of paper and use it for everything. However, you can get different paper weights for different prices. Thin, cheap paper can be used when printing things that aren’t special. Regular weight paper can be used for most projects. Limit your use of expensive papers to reduce paper costs for at home printing. Although you’ll initially spend more to buy different types of paper, properly using only what kind you need will result in savings over time.

o Print on scrap paper. You may not even need to buy paper for some of your projects that you print at home. You may be able to print on the back of scrap paper that you keep around the house.

o Print on both sides of the paper. This may not work if you have a text-heavy document or are using thin paper. However it’s a trick to keep in mind to reduce the amount of paper that you use when printing at home.

o Get your paper at work. There is a big ethical issue that some people have with stealing office supplies from their place of business. Other people don’t have this problem and do it frequently. The decision is up to you but it’s one option for getting free paper.

o Shop around to get the best price on paper. Did you know that thrift stores and dollar stores sometimes carry paper at a really low cost? Also look for deals and discounts to save money on your paper costs when you do purchase paper at the store.

Saving on computer ink and toner

Paper costs can seem minor in comparison with the cost of buying new ink or toner for your at-home printer. Some of the ways that you can save money on ink and toner include:

o Refill your ink cartridges. You shouldn’t be buying brand new ink cartridges once you’ve bought the first set. Instead you should be refilling those ink cartridges. This is good for the earth because it means fewer ink cartridges are going to the landfill. It’s also a great way to reduce the cost of your ink.

o Buy refurbished ink cartridges. Another option is to buy ink cartridges that are refurbished meaning basically that they’ve been refilled already. This is a little more expensive than going to the store to refill them yourself but can be a lot more convenient.

o Purchase ink and toner that are not name brand. You do not have to pay to have a specific name on your ink and toner as long as the generic option that you get is compatible with your printer.

o Shop around to get the best price on ink and toner. Again you should be looking for deals, discounts and the best prices available.

o Implement some printing tips that use less ink. For example, print in black and white “fast mode” or “economy mode” instead of printing a “best draft” in color. Use a thin, light font instead of a thick one to reduce the amount of ink used for text.

Additional tips for saving on at home printing costs

Here are just a few more things that you can do to save on the cost of printing at home:

o Don’t print at home. Many people do their printing at work instead of at home so that the company can pay for it.

o Deduct your printing costs from your taxes. This is only possible if you work from home and are printing work-related items.

o Use a cash back rewards card to pay for all printing supplies. Pay the balance in full each month to avoid interest charges and get cash back for your purchases.

o Clean your printer regularly. A printer that is dirty will be inefficient and therefore more costly.

o Reduce the amount of printing that you do. Start being green and stop printing things that don’t need to be printed out!

What do you do to save money on at home printing costs?


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  • profile image

    ChrisMF 3 years ago

    Printing at home is a great way to save money especially if you can get a good deal on your ink to really make it worth your while. Check out this link for all kinds of ink toners and cartridges at a great price!

  • camielle robinson profile image

    camielle 4 years ago save 85% on your inks toner

  • profile image

    Rad Man 5 years ago

    Thanks for all the information. Since I switched to a colour all-in-one laser rather than an ink jet I've been saving significantly on printing. Even more so since I realized how to override some of the defaults on the printer. The overrides are hidden, but when found, can make your toner last twice as long. I'm about to right a hub as soon as I finish my research on the topic. Plu,s I started using Inksquirrel from to save on toner when printing emails and school assignments.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

    Another great hub which I will be bookmarking for easy future reference.

    I am getting to know how to adjust some of my writing in order to try and earn a little money so many hubs such as this one are priceless at the moment.

    There will be a useful plus up for this one.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Take care.

  • amybradley77 profile image

    amybradley77 6 years ago

    Wow, so very good to learn all of this and I know it will come in handy. Thank you. A.B.

  • fastfreta profile image

    Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

    Thanks Kathryn, I really like your suggestions. I've been hearing about the Kodak printer that suppose to save on ink. I think when I buy another printer I'll get one of those. Voted up.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    That is a great suggestion to start printing and earn money. Thank you