10 Ways to Save Money with your Printer

We can sometimes take our home printers for granted, printing off homework, CV’s, tickets, family photos and copying documents and not really considering the cost of the ink cartridges and paper that we are using. Then quite easily, your home printer could end up costing you more and more money, and needlessly so. Home printers are designed to be economical to run at home and with a few handy tips, you can make sure it is.


So how do you print more and spend less? Well here’s 10 ways you can save money with your printer.


1. Avoid printer repairs by printing a page weekly


Most inkjet printers need repairing because the ink nozzles get clogged from dried-up ink. A simple way of stopping this from happening is by printing a page or two each week, just something small with colour text will help to keep the ink flowing and avoid the nozzles getting clogged up. A good page to print out is the Google homepage; it doesn’t use much ink but it has all the colours on it.


2. The cost of your printer


What type of printer is best to choose, laser or inkjet is a long standing argument. To put it simply, ink cartridges cost less than laser toner, but inkjet printers run out quicker. Inkjet printers have a much lower up front cost than laser printers. These are things you need to consider when purchasing a printer.


3. Stop turning your printer on and off


In a recent issue of the magazine Consumer Reports, it was noted the some printers use more ink when they are preparing to print after they have been switched off for a length of time than they would do if they were left in standby mode. Consumer Reports also recommends printers with the Energy Star label as these printers consume significantly less power when not printing.


4. Preview before you print


One of the biggest wastes of printer ink and paper is printing off unnecessary web pages or parts of documents that you could otherwise do without. Instead of directly printing, simply select print preview in your web browser or word processor and check exactly what pages you are printing and whether or not you really need them. It only takes you a few seconds but could save you costs on paper and ink cartridges.


5. Print less pages


This isn’t to say you should stop printing altogether. Rather, you should decrease page margins and/or double-line spacing so you can fit more on a single page. Some printers come with duplex printing, which allows for printing to be done on both sides.


6. Use higher quality paper


Cheap paper is more likely to jam you printer which not only wastes your paper, but costs more ink as well. By using higher quality printing paper, particularly paper made by your printers manufacturer, you ensure you’ll get better results as the paper has been designed specifically with your printer in mind to get the best results. It may cost more, but you’ll get the best quality prints the first time with no need to reprint pages.


7. Buy original ink cartridges


You can lower your risk of ink leakage, poor print out quality and short lived cartridges by buying original ink cartridges. Whether it be, Epson, HP or Canon ink cartridges you need, original manufacturer printer ink may cost more, but the ink cartridges last longer.


8. Buy compatible ink cartridges


This may sound contradictory to the previous point, but significant savings can be made by buying compatible ink cartridges. These cartridges offer comparable quality to original cartridges, but at a fraction of the price. Not only can you save money by buying compatible cartridges, but there’s recycled ones too. Recycled ink cartridges, can not only save you money, but can also help save the environment. It’s also easy to recycle your own cartridges for a bit of extra money.


9. Think about what you need when buying a new printer


There’s a host of printers available in the market with a host of features such as scan, copy, email, fax, Wi-Fi connectivity and wireless smartphone printing. But don’t be seduced by a host of features you don’t need. Make a list of features you actually need and shop around. If you are only going to print text documents, you don’t need a high quality photo printer. Similarly, if you print photos often, you don’t want something designed specifically for text documents and office work.


10. Don’t bulk print


Although it is handy to print the odd photo out at home, if you are planning on printing out a lot of high quality photos regularly, it may become costly. For the best results, you’ll want to use photo paper and good quality ink which for bulk printing of photos can be expensive. If you need to print a lot and regularly, you can invest in a more expensive printer and accept printing costs will be higher. Or consider using a photo printer service, most supermarkets have digital photo printing available whilst you shop as well as a host of affordable online printing solutions.


Posted by Wayne Hogan