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Quick and Easy Solutions to Help Save Printer Ink
April 15, 2016
As much as printers have changed over the years, there remain a few constants. Among these are that printing is still very much part of life and that most people feel that printer ink is entirely too expensive. A recent article that appeared on The Recycler today referenced a recent article that appear on the West Valley News page courtesy of Consumer Reports that offered up five different strategies to save money on printer ink. So without further ado, here are some money saving tips to take advantage of:
Step 1: Opt for a different font
Amazingly, a simple move like switching from Arial to Times New Roman for printing, says the article, provided 27%more pages. Two other mainstream fonts that will help save on printer ink compared to the fat-faced Arial are Calibri (the default font in MS Word 2007 and later) and Century Gothic, an elegant and readable, but thin, font face. If you are willing to invest some money into a font, you can purchase a lifetime license to Ecofont for $19.99. It removes some ink from the characters, but still keeps them readable.
Step 2: Be Smart About Color Ink
Even if your first reaction might be surprise at the suggestion, take a step back when printing and think about what will happen to your output once you’ve printed it. Obviously you are not going to be printing out nice photos in black and white, but if you just need to get a recipe or some directions printed, is color really all that critical? To take it a step farther, you can go into your default printer settings and set jobs to print in grayscale. And as an aside, while you are in there, you might want to go ahead and opt to automatically duplex your print jobs too.
Step 3: Printer Friendly Means Ink Friendly
While not an exact translation in tech speak, choosing a web site or email’s printer-friendly option should help eliminate a lot of the extras you would pick up by simply hitting Ctrl+P or Command+P in a browser. There are also some browser plugins you could opt for such as Print Friendly or Clean Print to take some of the guesswork out of optimizing printing.
Step 4: Opt For A New/Different Printer
This may be the most drastic of options (as well as the most expensive), but making the switch to a new unit could provide you a better cost per page. As printers have advanced and become increasingly efficient at printing, the cost per page has also dropped. Now, we are not suggesting you go purchase a fully-loaded laser printer (though they could offer low-cost text printing), but the general rule of thumb is that the higher the initial investment in the printer, the lower the cost of the ink and pages for either inkjets or laser printers. Other new and popular ways to invest in new technology and save money include the HP Instant Ink program or Epson’s latest EcoTank printers (more on this in just a moment).
Step 5: Take Advantage of Draft Printing
Somewhat similar to Steps 2 and 3, if print quality is not critical for what you are about to print, do you really need spend the ink? As printers have developed further, and image quality has risen, draft printing is a lot better than it used to be even 3-5 years ago. The best way to tell is to test print something in draft first and decide if you can live with it. If you can, then you have just saved yourself some ink, if not, then you at least know for next time. Also, as the article points out, Draft mode is going to be really quick too, with new inkjet printers reaching speeds of close to 28 to 35 ppm.
Just a quick note here about Instant Ink and EcoTank printing?HP Instant Ink is HP’s new business model which automatically delivers ink to your home based on data collected from your printer and sent in to the company. Plans are based on pages, not ink use per se, so monochrome and color printing cost the same, a portion of unused pages rollover, and you can pay extra to go over your allotment. Epson has inverted the equation by instead sending you all the ink you will need for roughly two years up front and charging more initially.
Obviously as cartridge resellers, we would suggest that a sixth option for saving money has been omitted from the article, namely the use of non-OEM and remanufactured cartridges. While this may or may not be appealing to users, the industry is larger than many people think. Data from the International Imaging Technology Council showed the value of the industry sits at close to $5 billion. Not only can users typically save anywhere between 40-75% on the cost of ink, by using recycled cartridges they are positively impacting the environment. We would encourage those on the fence about using these types of cartridges to do some research on pricing next time they need ink or toner. While not all remanufacturers are created equally, reputable ones, like ourselves, should offer some type of guarantee on their products and stand behind them.