Reduce printer costs

7 ways to cut printing costs & save trees


“Going paperless” has been talked about for years, yet we still manage to produce piles of documents. And while we live much more digital lives, we still all have printing costs associated with printing out assignments, resumes, drafts and more.

Sure, you can buy a printer for less than $100 but the cost of ink can leave you in the red (ever hear of the razor/razor-blade pricing model?)

Here are 7 ways to cut printing costs while saving trees:

1. Print in draft mode. It uses less ink. Use your regular or fine print settings for final copies and you’ll dramatically cut your ink costs.

2. Put up a good font. Changing your font can use up to a quarter less ink. For example, Consumer Reports found that using Times New Roman rather than Arial, stretched your ink by 27%. And, shrinking your font size for drafts will also save you ink while cutting paper use.

Or try double-sided printing to save even more trees in the process.

3. Cut the background noise. Printing a web page with all the ads, background graphics and headers uses a lot of ink. Be sure to de-select the headers, footers and background graphic boxes in the print options dialogue box to dramatically reduce ink usage.

4. Refill your cartridges and save

Manufacturers like to trick us into believing that we must only use their ink products or the warranty will be voided. Not so! Of course, they want you to believe this, as the markup on ink supplied by them is huge. The Competition Bureau, however, prohibits such manufacturer practices. So you can save money by refilling, or buying third party ink cartridges.

5. Save colour for your photos. Print documents in grey-scale. ‘Nuff said.

6. Choose a printer that is cheap to run (not buy). The cheapest printer may not be the most affordable to keep using. A laser printer generally costs less per page to print than an ink jet. If you only need to print in black and white then laser may be the way to go.

7. Keep your colours separate. Some printers use four cartridges or one for each colour. Others will only use two (a black ink cartridge and another for three colours).  The latter option sounds more convenient, however in a three-colour cartridge if one colour is empty you’ll have to replace the entire thing,  even if the other colours are full. It’s generally cheaper to get a printer with separate colour tanks so you only replace the empty cartridge.

While going completely digital may not be possible yet, cutting your printing costs (not trees) will save both you and the forest some green.

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