Printer ink cartridges are expensive. However, there are several things you can do to help put some green back in your wallet (or purse) when it comes to printer ink cartridge costs:
1. Purchase the Right Printer
If the moment has not already passed, compare ink cartridge prices for the various printer brands before purchasing your new electronic hardware. The cost of printer ink may not be on the top of your priority list, but it’s a factor worth considering. Some printer models may cost a tad more upfront, but make sure to do the math, as the ink cartridge costs may make the printer a more economical option (and better investment) in the long-run.
2. Compatible Ink Cartridges
Many retailers, such as Staples and Office Max, and numerous online companies sell “compatible” printer ink cartridges (a.k.a third-party, or generic brand printer ink cartridges). These compatible cartridges are designed for your printer but usually cost significantly less due to not being manufactured by a brand name company.
3. Ink Cartridge Refills
Businesses like Walgreens, Costco and Cartridge World refill used printer ink cartridges for a fraction of the cost of a new cartridge. These retailers only refill certain types of printer ink cartridge models though, so do your homework and check ahead of time on the internet or by phone.
4. Shop Around
Always shop around and compare prices online when making any purchase. That being said, I have discovered that Ebay.com is a treasure trove for deeply discounted brand name printer ink cartridges. To give you an example: A package (a “package” in this instance includes all five ink cartridges my printer requires to operate) of brand name printer ink cartridges costs $42.71 on Amazon.com. The compatible printer ink cartridges for my printer cost $22.15 for two packages on Amazon.com. However -on Ebay- I can purchase four packages of brand name printer ink cartridges for just $23.96, including free shipping!
5. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges
Remanufactured printer ink cartridges are recycled, refilled and resold. They can be 30-60 percent cheaper than the name-brand cartridges. Typically these are sold online rather than at retail outlets. Some websites to check if you are interested include:
6. Printer Settings
Set your printer quality setting to “draft” when you don’t need a perfect copy; this setting will consume less ink. Print in “grayscale” when color is not necessary. If your printer’s ink is manufactured into separate cartridges, the grayscale setting will allow you to purchase color ink cartridges less often, thereby saving you money.
7. Print Only What You Need
This is an obvious one, but it is worth repeating. Print only what you need. Make sure you specify which pages to print, and only print the pages that contain the content you want printed.