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Ways to Save Money on Printer Ink Cartridges

Updated on May 13, 2014
Ink Cartridge
Ink Cartridge

If you have a computer and a printer at home then you will agree that the cost of printer ink cartridges can be very expensive. After buying a few you will notice that it actually becomes more expensive than the printer itself.

Save Money on Printer Ink Cartridge
Save Money on Printer Ink Cartridge

There are a couple of ways you can do to save some money on the cost of ink cartridges and help the environment too. The very first step would be to choose the most ink efficient printer when shopping for home or office printer. It is also important to consider the printer’s ability to print with one of the ink cartridges only. There are printers that won’t let you print if there are empty or unavailable ink cartridge installed.

Do not print… unless absolutely necessary!

Before you hit the “Print” button, ask yourself if it is absolutely necessary to print the document or page. If you do not really need a hard copy, consider saving the document instead for later use. If it is a web page, you can save it as “HTML only” or “complete" web page by going to File=>Save As and then choosing the location where you want to save it. Another option is to print the web page as XPS document or PDF if you have the necessary software. These are multiple options that you can do to avoid unnecessary printing that may only end up in your trash bin.

Selective printing
Selective printing

Print on black & white or grayscale

Color ink cartridges are definitely more expensive than the black ink cartridge so it is important to save it for more important printing. You can actually default your printer to print in grayscale only which allows you to save money on color ink cartridge.

There are printers that combine color and black ink cartridges to print in grayscale so you will notice that the color ink cartridge also depletes even though you are default to grayscale printing only. This is dependent on the type of printer and should be one thing to consider when buying your printer. But still it saves your color ink cartridges and prolongs its use.

Always consider selective printing

If you only need to print a part of the page, select the text that you want to print and press “Ctrl+P” or File=>Print. On the printer dialog box, choose “Selection” to print the text that you selected only and not the whole page. This also works when you want to print to XPS or PDF instead of sending it to your printer. You can also copy text and paste it to word document and print from there.

It is also smart to always preview the page you want to print before you hit the “Print” button. This allows you to check if there are pages that are included but you never needed anyway. You can print say pages 1-2 since page 3 contains advertisements only. It gives you the chance to review the margins as well to make sure you don’t repeat just to correct the margins.

Multiple pages per Sheet printing

The capability of printers to print multiple pages per sheet has been available for quite some time now but many still do not utilize this good feature. Not only does it save you money on papers but on ink cartridges as well. This is recommended when you are printing presentations or documents that will be readable even when printed 4 pages in a sheet.

Clean up scanned docs before printing

On rare occasion, you will have to print scanned documents that will consume a lot of ink when printed as is. If at all possible, open the document in MS Paint or other photo editor to clean up areas that are not originally part of the document to minimize ink usage.

Good paper

It is recommended to buy smooth and high quality paper which yields a better print quality and less absorbent than low quality papers. Basically, low quality papers are porous and therefore absorb more ink than high quality papers. This is also a factor to consider when trying to save money on ink cartridges in the long run.

Always recycle your empty ink cartridges to be more environmental friendly. You can actually bring them to the store for recycle when you buy new ones.

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    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

      This is a great page! I ALWAYS do these when I'm trying to save ink and paper. I also alter the print quality; normal or high-quality printing means more ink, so I usually choose drafts. I also get my ink refilled at places like Walgreens. Thanks!