You could be forgiven for thinking that the printer ink for your inkjet printer in made from a blend of liquified gold and caviar when you take a look at the prices of those little cartridges in the shops. With the printers themselves getting cheaper and cheaper – you can get a perfectly good one from a top manufacturer like HP or Canon for less than £20 – it can cost more than the price of the printer itself restock the ink.
Here, we provide some tips and tricks for reducing your ink costs. Give them a try, and just count the savings.
1. Shop around
This is the age of choice and online shopping. If you buy your ink from a high street stationery or electronics store, you are certain to be paying over the odds. Take a look online and you will find, for example, a full range of Canon cartridges on Printer Inks website. They also stock cartridges for a wide variety of other manufacturers too, and at a fraction of the cost you would pay on the high street.
2. Buy non-OEM
If you took a look at the above link, you will have noticed that for each printer cartridge there are two choices. One is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) cartridge – in this case the Canon one – or there is a non-OEM choice that will typically be half the price or even less.
As long as you are buying from a reputable company like the one mentioned, the non-OEM will generally be every bit as good as the OEM cartridges. The only time you might want to think twice is if you are printing photos onto OEM photo paper, as in this case, the OEM ink is usually formulated to be a perfect match for the paper to give the highest quality result. But for everyday printing, it’s non-OEM all the way.
3. Print in black and white
Again, this tip is obviously not appropriate when you are printing photos, but for ordinary documents, black and white is usually fine. This is particularly handy if you are printing a webpage, where there are likely to be images and thumbnail pictures that you really don’t need to be wasting your coloured ink on.
4. Use draft mode
If you are printing something off for your own reference, where you don’t need it to be in crystal quality, you can switch the printer to draft mode. The text or images will still be perfectly legible, and the printer will use far less ink. In Word, you can change the settings under the Print Options tab.
5. Change your font
It might sound crazy, but some fonts use more ink than others. While thicker ones, such as comic sans or Verdana are very ink-heavy, that old classic Times New Roman is believed to use less ink than almost any other, and is far more economical than Arial, despite the latter having overtaken it as most people’s font of choice in recent years.