Apr 30, 2013

Posted by jinson on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Image found at: www.computershopper.com

Purchasing ink is not a cheap investment. One of the best ways to save is by using remanufactured or compatible third party products through sites like CompAndSave.com. In addition, there are a few simple and easy things you can do at home to cut down on the amount of ink being used, resulting in saving money. From adjusting your printer settings to taking another look at your designs, the tips below will help you extend the life of your ink cartridges. 

Printer Tips

Each printer has different features that can impact how much ink or toner you use. Take a look at the tips below specific to your type of printer.

Your Inkjet Printer
  • Draft mode: The majority of inkjet printers give you the option to use a "draft mode", which prints in one pass (versus multiple passes in "normal" mode). The result is text and imagery that is less bold and often in grayscale, but may be acceptable for what you need to print. If you need to print a document of higher quality, it’s easy enough to switch back to normal mode. 

Your Laser Printer
  • Lower resolution: Your laser printer may be on a high DPI setting, which may be applying more ink to an area than necessary. While you may get better quality with higher DPI settings, you may not need it for your specific purposes. For regular everyday printing, a setting below 300 DPI should be adequate. Your printer may even run faster.
  • Toner Save: Many laser printers have a feature called Toner Save that tells the printer to use less toner when enabled. Check your printer for a button to turn the feature on or look for it in your printer driver settings.

Every Printer
  • Be mindful of size: Printer cartridges come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them are smaller for those who do not print very often. Others, which may be larger, are good for those who print more frequently. If you don't print very often, but purchase larger cartridges to save money, it could be costing you. Manufacturers recommend to use or replace cartridges within six months of opening, as ink tends to dry out.
  • Clean your cartridges: With cartridges being so easy to insert and remove from your printer, cleaning them should not be a problem. By wiping away buildup or dried ink, you can save yourself from costly reprints or damage to the printer.

Design Tips
 
The design of what you plan on printing has a big impact on how much ink or toner you'll end up using.  Whether you're creating a simple document with text or composing a detailed illustration, consider the tips below to reduce ink usage.

  • Using black: Sometimes images and text appear black on a screen, but in actuality are several colors combined together to look black. In addition, some graphics software display "rich black" as a combination of other colors. In printing, when colors are added to the black bolder and more saturated, this is called “overprinting.” Check your black preferences in your document's color settings to make sure you aren't using color where it isn't needed. The surefire way to test it is to remove your color cartridges completely and see how it prints without them.
  • Fonts: Many fonts are much wider or bolder than their counterparts. Use lavish, bold fonts only when necessary to avoid exhausting your ink and toner. You can even reduce the size of a font on your typical documents will help in the long term.
  • Simplistic design: When designing your pieces, consider using a simple, minimalist design.  Large, colorful images are often overused and can create unnecessary clutter. Furthermore, they can overshadow what you're trying to communicate to begin with. Think about how much you could save without the chaos and go with less.


General Tips

Aside from the type of printer being used and the design of the document, there are a few other significant corners you can cut to eliminate wasting ink and toner. Also it is important to take into account the benefits of recycling your used cartridges.

  • Printing without graphics: If you print a lot of pages from the web, they can be littered with banners and in-content images that you don't really need. Your printing properties should allow you to "print only text" or "remove backgrounds and images". This will cut back on your ink and toner usage.
  • Print preview: This might seem like a no-brainer, but people often print out draft versions when they could simply see how a document will look on screen. Lesson the amount of drafts being print not only will save ink but it will also cut down on your paper expenses.
  • Recycle: Many office stores offer store credit when you turn in your recycled cartridges. This is money you can reinvest into new cartridges. 

Try even just one of these quick and easy ink and toner saving tips and you'll increase the value of your ink or toner investment. You could save tens or even hundreds of dollars annually.  Put them to use and start saving today!


Eddie Shackleford is a blogger for Direct2tv.com who focuses on money-saving tips and tricks for your home and office. Eddie is a huge fan of saving money and writes most of his content based on this topic! He has been researching and practicing on how to save money for many years.