Trying to figure out the best place to buy a cheap printer?
I’ve got you covered! To help you find some of the best cheap printers on the market for the best price, I calculated their prices and efficiency, assuming you print about 416 pages per month (average for a home office is about 5000 pages per year) and that the printer would last at least four years. I also thought about ink, because ink costs over those first several years can really hike up the price of your printer, even if it has a low sticker price.
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1. Don’t buy a cheap printer and wind up spending thousands on printer ink!
If you want to print photos at home, you’re going to pay a price. Sure, you can find a cheap photo printer, like the Canon Pixma TS6420 that prints decent quality photos. And this is one of the top-selling printers for these reasons.
But over time, you’re going to end up paying a ton for ink. Like, in the case of the cheapest HP printer on this list, over $2000 more than you would for the Epson! As for the Canon, the cartridges don’t last long, making the long-term costs high. Always look at ink costs, because even if you spend a hundred more dollars up front, you could save thousands on ink over four years!
See this chart comparing the top four best-selling color inkjet printers.
As far as ink goes in general, consider buying generic ink or refilling the cartridges yourself.
PRO TIP: If you buy everything at Target with your RedCard, you’ll get the best prices plus 5% back on your purchases.
2. Save $75 on the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 at Dell.
If you need a color printer but still want your cost per page to be efficient, you’ll want to seriously consider the Epson EcoTank ET-2720. This is the most expensive cheap printer on my chart above up front, but its cost per page rivals the black and white printer, making the long-term costs really low and therefore the cheapest.
You know that $199.99 sticker price at Dell?
That’s $75 cheaper than the closest competitor. This is a great deal! Here are the calcs if you buy it at Dell:
3. Buy an HP Envy and save 42 – 68% on printer ink per year with the HP+ ink subscription.
HP printers are a super common choice when you’re looking for a cheap printer, like the top-selling Office Jet in the chart above. If you’re looking for one that works great as a wireless printer and won’t cost you a fortune in ink, check out the HP Envy 6458.
You enroll in HP+ within seven days of buying a qualifying HP printer like the Envy, get free ink for the first six months, then you can subscribe to the HP+ program. HP will monitor your ink levels and automatically ship you ink when you run low.
Here’s the breakdown for the first full year of ink, but I’ve added my own calcs for 400 pages per month, the average home office:
$6.99 month/125 pages, $83.88 per year
Compare to: $23.99 every two months for ink, or $143.94 per year
$11.99 month/300 pages, $143.88 per year
Compare to: $23.99 a month for ink, plus three more cartridges per year $359.85
$11.99 month + $10 for 400 total pages, $22.99, $275.88 per year
Compare to: $47.98 month for two cartridges a month, $575.76 year
$22.99 month/750 pages, $275.88
Compare to $71.97 a month for 3 cartridges, $863.64 year
4. Don’t be fooled by the Brother MFC-J1215W claim of one year free ink.
The Brother MFC-J1215W is a home printer with an extremely low initial investment. You can find it at Walmart for about 10% less than you’d pay at other retailers.
Brother claims the INKvestment Tank MFC-1215W can last up to one year, and includes four cartridges (one of every color) in the box. But that’s only if you print about 750 pages a year, or 63 pages a month!
If you print 416 pages per month, you’ll need seven cartridges per year, which, at $40 a pop, will run you $280 a year. So much for your cheap printer.
5. You can get a cheap, black-and-white Xerox printer for $150 anywhere.
Black and white printers are also known as monochrome printers. You might be interested in a monochrome printer if you only really use your printer for term papers or contracts — print jobs that require zero color ink.
The ink for the Xerox B210 prints 3000 pages per year and costs under $70. This makes it the most affordable cheap black-and-white printer when you look at long-term costs.
6. Score an even lower price with refurbished printers.
Let’s say you wanted the HP Envy. That makes sense if you want to take advantage of the HP+ ink subscription program, which you still can for qualifying printers. When searching for refurbished options on Staples.com, you can’t find the 6458 model, but there is a 5330 model. Refurbished printers tend to be older models that are no longer easily available to buy new.
You could save almost $60 by going for the refurbished HP Envy model in this case, rather than buying the HP Envy 6548 brand new.
Staples.com isn’t the only retailer with a refurbished printer section. BestBuy.com has a dedicated refurbished printer page. OfficeDepot.com also has some refurbished printers mixed in with new ones, and Walmart.com offers refurbished printers through third-party sellers.
PRO TIP: When you buy refurbished, you may be not be receiving a printer under warranty. If this is important to you, you can check the printer’s warranty status directly with the manufacture. HP, for example, offers this easy lookup tool.
7. Shop back-to-school and Black Friday to get the best cheap printer deals.
The best time of year to buy a printer is usually Black Friday weekend , though you’ll be able to find great prices during back-to-school season, too. During these sales, we’ve seen similar models to these printers sell for extremely low prices:
Canon Pixma TS3322, Walmart Black Friday Sale 2020, $19.
HP Deskjet 2725, Best Buy Black Friday Sale 2020, $24.99.
Sometimes it’s not so much where you buy as much as when you buy. But again, watch for that ink cost!
Which cheap printer option ended up being the best for you? Share and tell how much you saved in the comments!