Our printer works overtime most months, and if you're anything like me, yours does too. I print hundreds of coupons a month, as well as paperwork and documents for work, so the cost of ink and paper can get expensive and overwhelming. I love my coupons, so I've found ways to cut the costs. Here are six ways you can buy and save on the costs of printing!
Wondering why ink is so expensive in the first place? Well, research done by PC World showed that printer ink is running around $1,300 and upwards per gallon! Whoa….
You'll find your best savings at InkFarm! This is an amazing resource for ink, because of the variety they have. They have a little sidebar where you can choose your make and model, which makes it easy for someone like me, who often has no idea what ink I need. They also offer low shipping—just $3.85 no matter the size of the order, making it an ideal place to stock up and buy in bulk. The savings are huge and they offer comparison charts. For example, printer ink for a Brother brand MFC model printer can cost upwards of $84.75 (and it was listed as that much when I checked an office supply chain), and on InkFarm, it's just $19.95. That's a pretty huge savings, even with the shipping fee. This is also a great place for printers that might need high-quality ink for printing photos, as I've had no problems with their ink brands.
I've found Amazon to be less exact than InkFarm, only because you have to trial-and-error many of the generic brand cartridges. However, I’ve personally found cartridges for just $13.85 for my Brother brand laser printer, and they lasts us 6 months of printing very heavily. I did have to try a few of the off-brand ones (and sometimes the shipping takes a while if you don't have Amazon Prime), but when I found the one that worked, it saved me tons. A cartridge of toner for our laser printer is normally $46.99 at our local office supply store. By paying only $13.85 for ink, I’m saving $33.14, and I get more pages per toner cartridge!
Note: Be sure to test the generic brand cartridges or toner before printing important documents or items (the ink can smear or leak at first in the off-brand ones).
CarrotInk has shipped over one million orders, and their customers love it, so it's a good reason to look into the site! They guarantee compatibility, and offer a “no questions asked” return policy. In addition, they offer same-day shipping, $4.95 shipping for orders under $50, and free shipping for orders that are above $50. You can also earn a 15% off coupon for subscribing to their newsletter!
4. InkJet Superstore
At InkJet Superstore the prices are great and come with a money-back guarantee. I've had to return items to them (I bought the wrong kind of cartridge), and they swiftly helped me do a return and covered the shipping. My Brother toner cartridge was just $19.00 on their site, and if I didn't have Amazon Prime, it would have been a great option for me.
With simple graphics and images, they make it easy to find your make and model on their site as well. Best of all, they offer rewards! I love this part, because they offer referral points, points for purchases, and points for interacting on social media. For every 200 points, you earn $5 in eCash. You could leave four product reviews and earn 200 points easily.
5. Take great care of your printer and ink
Never use ink that's marked past its expiration. Although it can be very tempting to buy expired ink at discount stores, it can clog up the nozzles in your printer by releasing particles into them. You always want to clean your printer nozzles (for regular ink printers, not for toner laser printers), by running test sheets regularly and making sure they're free of clogs and obstructions. For laser printers like mine, you'll want to take your toner out periodically (every few months), and shake it gently back and forth to redistribute the toner and prevent it from settling and separating. Here’s a tutorial that worked well for me to clean my laser printer, and another for regular printers. Some research claims that using generic brand ink can decrease the life of your printer over long-term use, but I’ve never experienced any issues.
6. Change your settings
Did you know if you change your font, you can save printer ink? It's true! Some researchers found that if you change from Times New Roman to Garamond, it prints smaller letters and uses less ink. If you have good eyesight, you can condense documents to single pages by adjusting your printer settings. See where it says "pages per sheet"? I can click "2" and save myself one page of printing. Obviously, this reduces the font size, but it's good for lengthy documents like cell phone bills or things you don't need to have in a huge font. (While we're on the subject, moving almost everything to eBills will save you a lot too.)
This is a guest post by Grace A. in Medford, Oregon.