How to save on printing

July 4, 2013

Just ask Consumer Expert Andrea Woroch.

"When you break down the cost of how much an ink cartridge holds in ink and what the cost for that ink cartridge is," she explains, "You'd be paying over $3000 for a gallon of printer ink."

Talk about sticker shock!

Fortunately, Woroch has a number of tips for saving money on this high-priced commodity.

First, comparison shop. She recommends the site InkJet Willy.

"InkJet helps you find the best price on the original equipment-manufacturer printer ink and then it also shows you options for refurbished or re-manufactured printer ink that's available for your printer model," she says.

Re-manufactured and refurbished ink cartridges can cost 40%-70% less than name brands, but be warned, Woroch says not all printers will take them.

"Some printer brands actually use technology that doesn't allow re-manufactured and refurbished ink cartridges to be used. So, when you're shopping for a printer, read consumer reviews and see if those indeed are allowed to be used."

If you can't save that way, Woroch has some other tips, Including changing your font. She says Century Gothic uses 30% less ink than Arial.

And don't be too quick to change your ink cartridge when the computer says you're running low.

She says, "When a printer alerts you that the ink cartridges are low, usually, they've found that there's usually 30%-40% of ink left in that cartridge. So ignore it, hit whatever buttons you have to push to keep printing, and make sure that you use every last drip of that printer ink."

Also, don't print unless you have to. If you can show a boarding pass or coupon on your Smartphone, there's no reason to print out a hard copy.

Finally, consider recycling your old ink cartridges. Staples, for example will give you $2 in Rewards for each cartridge you bring in, and some online sites offer up to $4 per cartridge.

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