Printer ink is stupidly expensive. Instead of buying new cartridges for $50 from Best Buy every few months, here’s an easier solution: save printer ink.
Today, I’m going to show you 5 easy ways to save printer ink:
5) When shopping for printers, compare models based on their cost per page
If you’re on a tight budget, you might automatically buy the cheapest printer at Best Buy. But that cheap printer might cost you more in the long run than an expensive printer would.
How does that work? Well, low-cost printers may use ink less efficiently. They may break down, or they may not come with a very large cartridge.
In any case, you should compare printers based on their cost per page – not on their stated price tag.
Unfortunately, printer manufacturers don’t always supply cost per page information on printer packaging. Instead, you may have to search online. Most printer manufacturers supply that information on their official websites.
Write down a few printers you’re trying to compare. Then, search for those printers online and write down their cost per page.
The $15 you save today off the face value of a printer may be wiped out next month by your first ink purchase.
4) Use duplex printing where applicable
When shopping for printers, consider buying one with an automatic duplexer. What’s an automatic duplexer, you ask? It automatically prints both sides of a sheet of paper.
This is more eco-friendly and economical. Most homes and businesses won’t suffer from double-sided printing, although you will want to switch back to simplex printing for certain situations.
Typically, duplex printers let you switch between duplex and simplex printing using a switch on the back of the unit.
It’s also important to note that duplex printing takes longer because the printer has to switch over the page to print on the other side (it doesn’t print on the paper from both sides).
3) Play around with your printer’s driver tool
All printers come with a driver – it’s what your printer uses to communicate with your PC.
However, some printers have better driver software than others. Some printers include driver software that lets you customize printer settings.
Take a glance through your printer’s driver to identify any potential areas where you can reduce waste.
To find your printer’s driver, type Printers into the Windows Start menu search bar then right-click on your printer’s name and icon and click the Printing Preferences tab.
Some potential settings include:
-Ink-saver or toner-saver modes you can activate (which are not enabled by default)
-Print in draft-mode, which reduces ink consumption at the expense of quality
-Print in black and white mode, which may not always be necessary
-Activate duplex mode
Some printers also include traditional PC software. In that case, you don’t have to go through the whole driver searching process and can just look through your normal programs menu to find the application.
2) Use these tips and tricks to treat your cartridges right
Your ink and toner cartridges need love. Follow these tips to maximize their performance:
-Check the “use by” date on all your ink cartridges. Avoid buying bulk ink cartridge packages so you don’t end up with a bunch of expired ink.
-Clean your nozzles. Some printer software has a “nozzle cleaning” test page printout. Alternatively, you can read a cleaning guide for your printer online and (gently) clean the nozzles on your own.
-Laser printer cartridges need to be shaken from time to time. If you’ve noticed a degradation in quality, then it may not be a low ink problem. You may need to take out your toner cartridge and shake it multiple times. Or, if you like being careful, rock the cartridge side to side multiple times.
1) Don’t automatically trust low-cartridge warnings
Today’s printer manufacturers make a lot of money from selling printers, but they make even more money from selling ink. That’s why they encourage you to replace your ink as soon as possible.
This has led to some annoying habits, like reminding you that you need ink when you still have over 50% remaining, or giving you “critical warnings” when you still have 40% of your ink remaining.
All of these warnings can get annoying. Worse, they can cause you to waste your money.
Don’t automatically trust low-ink warnings on your cartridges. Buy a new cartridge, but don’t rush to replace your old cartridge until quality starts to suffer.