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Don't you just love all the coupons available online? Fabulous, right? When I first started couponing, I loved hitting the print button and seeing my beautiful coupons rolling out of my printer in full color. It was like printing money in my very own home!

After a month or so, I began to see how much money was slipping away from me in the form of paper and ink cartridges. I started wondering if those coupons were so worthwhile. The answer? Absolutely! With a few simple changes, you can start printing those lovely coupons again without the guilt!

There are basically two ways to save on your printing: paper and ink. Start slowly by changing your habits with one or the other. Or be KRAZY and start chopping your costs on both! Here's how to do it:

Simple Ways to Save on Paper

  • Become a rewards member at all of your local office supply stores like Staples and Office Max. These stores routinely offer huge rewards back on paper purchases. For example, my local Staples recently had a promotion where rewards members received 100% of their purchase price back to spend on other things in the store. Save those rewards and use them on anything in the store. They have great sales on things like bottled water and paper towels. Or use them on school supplies or gifts. It's up to you. Either way you've bought paper for nothing!
  • Junk mail or children? I get stacks of junk mail daily. My children come home with huge stacks of paper every week. A few things they keep but the majority are probably headed for the recycling bin. STOP! As you review your child's work, pull out all of the papers that have been printed on one side only. Create a stack of 'coupon paper' beside your printer. When you're ready to print your coupons or even a draft of a letter or project, go to this stack first. I have personally been printing coupons on recycled paper exclusively for almost a year now and have not had a single issue redeeming them. As long as no personal account information is visible, flip that page over and use it again!
  • Three words–back to school!  A few months ago during those wonderful back to school sales, one of the office supply stores had reams of paper for a dollar each. There were $1.00/1 coupons out at the time so I bought six reams to put away for the year. My out of pocket cost was zero and with using the recycled paper so much, we still have five reams to go. My family uses the new pretty white paper only for final school projects and correspondence.

A Few Ways to Save on Ink

  • Refill your own cartridges. About six months ago I started hunting for an alternative to those ridiculously expensive cartridges. Even on sale they are more than I want to spend! I found a cartridge refill kit at my local Walgreens for about $13.00. I had some rewards certificates from Walgreens so I thought I'd give it a try. The cartridges are incredibly easy to refill, and the kits come with simple instructions. I've refilled my cartridge seven times now, and I still have ink left. I think this original kit will probably last me another two to three months. So easy and such a bargain! Kits are available in color too!
  • Print in black ink only. Although those colorful coupons are pretty, the black and white version spends just the same for less! I have changed my printer preferences so that everything I print is automatically converted to black ink only. Again no problems at all redeeming my black and white coupons.
  • Watch your printer. If you are watching what you print and see one of those images that prints one tiny coupon and a huge ad below, just hit cancel and save your ink! You are going to cut that part off anyway right? No need to waste your ink.

With just a few small changes you can print for pennies! So what are you waiting on? Fire up that printer and let's print some coupons!

This has been a guest post by Beth from Lynchburg, VA
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