Printer manufacturers often market Energy Star devices as ‘economical’ because they consume less power. However, the biggest expense of operating a home or office printer is not electricity. It’s the ink.

Ink Cartridges

The high price of ink and having to replace an ink cartridge too often is the most common complaint of people who use printers. Replacement ink cartridges are no doubt expensive but the following tips can help you spend a lot less money on ink cartridges:

Tips to Save Money on Ink Cartridges

  1. Avoid Default Print Quality Settings; Lower Print Resolution

If you’ve been using your printer with ‘default settings,’ you’re almost certainly wasting a big chunk of ink. Default settings are designed for the best performance or highest possible print quality but you may not always need that.

Thermal inkjet printers, for instance, can print documents or photos at a very high resolution of 600 dpi but it isn’t always necessary.

You stand to save on ink cartridge refill/replacement costs if you lower the resolution of the printed image or switch printer settings to ink-saving Draft/Economy mode.

You may have to dig around a bit in the print dialog box, printer driver settings or printer preferences, but it’s totally worth the effort.

  1. Use Fonts That Consume Less Ink

Using fonts such as Garamond, Ecofont, Century Gothic, and Calibri instead of Arial can help you save up to 75% on your ink cartridges. Arial font is one of the worst offenders when it comes to the rate of ink consumption.

Times New Roman can offer up to 27% mileage.  All serifs and spacious typefaces consume more ink than required. You can opt for sans-serif or light font-weights instead.

  1. Except On Some Occasions, Keep Your Printer Turned On

Inkjet printers consume very little power when not in active use. Leave your inkjet printer ‘on’ and you can avoid triggering a maintenance phase each time it’s used. Doing so can yield significant ink cost savings; most printers use as much ink for cleaning the print heads as they do for actually printing a document.

When you keep your printer turned on, you will notice a significant reduction in ink consumption. You can, however, turn the printer ‘off’ by using the Power button during extended periods such as a weekend, week or seasonal holiday. This will help extend the life of your device.

Do not cut the power directly as the cartridges are placed in the right position only when you use the printer’s Power button first to turn it off.

  1. Buy a Reservoir Printer

Printers that come with ink tanks/bottles are no doubt more expensive upfront but they can help you save a great deal of money on ink cartridges in the long run.

Once an ink bottle equivalent to a large number of standard ink cartridges is empty, you can have it replaced at a comparatively much smaller price.

For a power user, investing in a reservoir printer, therefore, is a good option for saving money on ink cartridges. Remember, manufacturers offering cheaper models of printers tend to earn more by selling ink cartridges than the device itself!

  1. Buy Compatible, Third-Party Ink Cartridges

You can save money on ink cartridges right when you purchase a new set.

Instead of purchasing the high-priced replacement original brand cartridges made by printer manufacturers, you can buy compatible, aftermarket inks instead. Usually, sold by third parties in recycled and refilled cartridges, aftermarket inks offer significant savings.

Keep in mind that such inks don’t always work and may even clog the print heads. Therefore, make sure you source aftermarket ink from a reliable vendor only. Remember to ask for a satisfaction guarantee as well.

  1. Low Ink Warning Does Not Necessarily Imply an Empty Cartridge

Low ink warnings on printer dialog box let you know it’s time to buy a new ink cartridge. However, most printers are a bit overcautious in displaying these warnings at a time when the ink cartridge still has 20-50% ink remaining.

You can ignore these early warnings and save money on ink cartridges.

Just make sure not to let the ink cartridges turn totally dry.

  1. Order Digital Photo Prints Online

A home or office printer isn’t an economical way to print a large volume of high-quality digital photos; not unless it’s one of those expensive models offering a really low per-page printing cost.

You can order digital photo prints online at a fraction of the cost you’d incur in printer ink if you print them by yourself. Little Rock provides excellent printing services.

  1. Print Smartly to Save Money on Ink Cartridges

  • Reduce font size before you print a document for reviewing purposes.
  • Remove all unnecessary background colors, advertisements, logos, images, etc. if you’re printing a web page; many websites let you select a printer-friendly version of web pages (text only).
  • Print Preview your documents for spelling mistakes and other errors before printing; re-printing to correct mistakes is clearly a bad idea.
  • Use your printer at least once in a week to prevent the ink inside the cartridge from going dry.

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