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Cost of Printing Got You Down?

Technology is advancing at an incredible rate. This advancement offers benefits in many ways, including the fact that printer prices are getting lower and lower every day. The bad news, though, is that the cost of ink is still pretty expensive.

The cost of printer ink is an issue that all of our budgets face these days, and along with it comes decisions and adjustments that we need to make. Sometimes, for instance, we may be tempted not to print out important documents just to save ink. We might even forego printing out money saving coupons as we have to lay out an inordinate amount of cash for ink just to cash in on those savings.

In this article, we take a look at the high cost of printer ink and point out money-saving tips and hints that you might not already have thought of or implemented.

Overview Cost of Printer Ink

First, why is printer ink so expensive? Ink technology costs a great deal to develop, which includes investments in time, research, and engineering. Printer ink must be formulated to work at a temperature of up to 300 degrees, be squirted at an amazing rate of 36,000 drops per second through a printer nozzle that is one-third the size of a human hair, and then dry on paper instantaneously.

Add that to the fact that the ink itself must remain in its liquid form for one to two years while sitting on the store shelf or at your home, and you can see that the whole nature of printing with ink is complex. In essence, what you are paying for is image quality as well as reliability. Although generic refill products can be substantially cheaper than regular ink cartridges, they are not always as reliable as their officially manufactured counterparts, and they may produce inferior print quality.

Tips for Saving on Printer Ink

When it comes to saving money on ink, the bottom line is to focus on reducing the amount of ink you use. Take a look at the following tips that will help you conserve ink while saving money into the bargain:

  • Print only the pages you need. Often you only need some information printed, and not an entire 20-page document. With this in mind, just select the pages you need, ensuring you perform a print preview to check you have correctly selected everything you want to print out.
  • Use economy mode. Go to the ‘properties’ of your printer to see if you have the option to select either an 'economy' or 'draft' mode. That will provide you with a printout that’s a little less precise and lighter, but it will help you save some precious ink. That is a good idea for printing pages that are for your reference and benefit rather than for more official documents and letters.
  • Print in black and white. By changing your default settings to printing only in grayscale, you will not need to use any color ink at all.
  • Change the font. You may not have even considered it, but changing your typeface makes a real difference to ink consumption, and can save you money over time. Times New Roman, Calibri, and Century Gothic are all good fonts for making your printer ink go further. In fact, when Consumer Reports tested fonts, they found that the ink went 27 percent further when printing with Times New Roman than with Arial. Since Arial is sometimes a default font in software programs and browsers, it is a good idea to check to see if it is your default font and if so, switch it to Times New Roman.
  • Print even when your printer indicates that its cartridges are empty. Even when the printer notifies us that it is out of ink or toner, there is often some left in the cartridge even when the printer says there isn’t. A trick that might help you get every last drop of ink out of your cartridge is to pull the cartridge out and shake it, then reinsert the cartridge.

Perhaps the best way of all to save money on printer ink is by going paperless. Printing documents is an expensive business, however, through following the tips above, you can ensure you get the most out of your printer ink — and your wallet.