10 Ways To Save On Expensive Printer Ink


Ounce for ounce, ink is arguably one of the most expensive liquids you can buy. Ranging anywhere from $13-75 an ounce, that would be $1,664 to $9,600 a gallon! Could you imagine spending that much on a gallon of gas or milk? I didn’t think so.

Here’s 10 tips to save on your printer ink costs:

1. Print In Draft Mode

Unless it’s a presentation that will be seen by your boss, or resume for a future employer, you should always print in draft mode. Not only does it print faster, but it’ll use considerably less ink.

Psst: If you make this you default setting, your spouse and kids probably won’t even know. Only switch to regular mode when it’s for something important or a final draft.

2. Only Print The Important Stuff

Printing a report or directions off a site like Google maps? Only print what you need. Most sites have a “printer friendly” version that will only print text and not print unnecessary ads.

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Google maps

3. Change Your Font To Times New Roman

According to Consumer Reports, it’s true. The font you use can make a difference in the amount of ink expended each time you print. Printers get “27 percent more mileage when using Times New Roman rather than Arial, a default font in many browsers.”

4. Ditch The Dated Cartridges

Part of what makes ink cartridges so expensive is the packaging. Ditch the inefficient cartridge and opt for a printer that has re-fillable ink tanks. The Epson Expression ET-2500 is a great example.

Inside the printer are ink reservoirs that you can conveniently refill with bottle of ink (they remind me of puffy-paint containers). At around $300.00, they’re pretty comparable to the cost of a regular printer, and will save you a lot of money on ink in the long run – the bottles are about $12.00 for 3.7 ounces.

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Epson Expression ET-2500 EcoTank wireless Color All-in-One Supertank Printer, $279.00

5. Beware Of Third-Party Cartridges

My husband and I have tired the ink cartridges made from third parties. When they work, they work great and it’s rewarding to save a few bucks. However, we’ve had a few that have gunked up our printer. And we had to get a whole new printer. Consider yourself warned.

6. Use EconoFast Print Settings

Some printers have an EconoFast setting. It saves even more ink that “Draft Mode.”

7. Print Two Pages On A Sheet

Are your eyes good enough to consolidate two pages onto a single sheet? If so, take advantage of being able to read a smaller font size. PCWorld’s tip: when printing, simply go to the “Properties” menu and look for “page layout” or “page scaling” and select, “two pages per sheet.”

8. Print In Grayscale

Also known as “black and white.” Save the color cartridges only for the presentations that need them.

greyscale photo
Photo by toffekarlsson

9. Try To Print Even When It Says “Empty”

Yes, you print cartridges can last a little longer than they say. Squeeze every drop out of them and print until literally no more ink comes out. According to Kim Komando, your cartridge could have up to 30% left even when it says it’s on “E.”

10. Print To A PDF Instead

Do you really need the document in hand, or just saved somewhere for safekeeping? When you go to print, instead of selecting the printer, open the drop-down option and select “Save to PDF.” That will save the document to your computer instead.


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About the Author
C.M. Tenhundfeld
Animal Lover. Triathlete. Scuba Diver. Master Griller. Quirky Perfectionist. I believe talk is cheap, so I lead by example and let my work speak for itself. Naturally curly hair and a leftie – what else would you like to know?

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