I recently paid only $4 for an ink cartridge. You might be asking yourself, “How did she do that? I bet she bought them online and they are ‘compatible’ (industry slang for third party vendor items that “may” work for your machine).” Nope, I bought the name brand ink cartridge at a local national chain office supply store. Want to know how I did it? There are 2 easy steps to getting an ink cartridge for $4.  First, a little background.

My printer ran out of black ink right in the middle of printing something really important. Money is really tight right now, so we don’t have a stash of extra ink cartridges lying around! I then remembered that I had a rewards check from Staples!

Step 1: Return empty ink cartridges to Staples. They will send you a check once a month for $3 per cartridge. I had returned 4 cartridges a couple of months ago, so I had a check for $12 to spend at the store. This brought my $25.99 ink cartridge down to $13.99! Not too bad!

Step 2: While I was looking at the rewards envelope, they had an announcement about their latest app. I love free apps and downloaded it right away. Once the app was downloaded I discovered a section called “My Deals.” Within this section is the Weekly Ad, Coupon Wallet and My Check In Coupons. I checked out the Coupon Wallet and found a coupon for $10 off your $25 purchase. (My cartridge is $25.99 – bingo!) My $25.99 purchase went from $13.99 to $3.99 before tax!  The $4 ink cartridge is mine!

Morale of the story:  Don’t throw away your empty ink cartridges; they are worth money ($3 at Staples). Get the app. They might throw money at you through it! Plus, once you have the app, they will send your reward check directly to your app to get you your money quicker.

P.S. There is a “check-in” part of the app. If you “check-in” to the store once you arrive, they will reward you with more coupons!

This has been a guest post by Terry from Greensboro, NC
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An Insider's Secret: How I Paid $4 for an Ink Cartridge