How to Control Your Inkjet Printers Costs?

Inkjet printers can produce amazing results and amazing bills for replacement cartridges! But there are ways of keeping costs down while still getting the most out of your printer.

Inkjet printers are inexpensive to buy, but can be horrendously expensive to run, churning their way through paper and ink at an alarming rate. But there are a number of ways in which you can dramatically cut your printing costs.

First of all, you can cut down on paper costs by using the right paper for the job. The price of paper varies enormously, with the most expensive costing perhaps a hundred times as much as the cheapest. The specially coated paper made by the printer manufacturers, for instance, produces great results but can cost a fortune, so it makes sense to use the coated paper only when it is absolutely essential for top quality results and to use cheaper paper for all your rough drafts and less important printouts.

You can make even greater savings by using general purpose copier paper, rather than inkjet paper, for drafts. It works perfectly well in most inkjet printers, yet usually costs less than 1 cent a sheet.
An additional advantage of using copier paper is that you can get it in different colors, or preprinted in a range of varied designs. If you can find the color or design to suit your taste, this is a much more cost effective option than printing solid color backgrounds.

You should take the makers’ claims about ink consumption with a pinch of salt; the rate at which your printer uses ink depends to a large extent on the kind of pages you print. The makers’ figures for ink consumption are often based on just few per cent ink coverage per page. If you print lots of pages with solid color, or full-page photos, you go through ink cartridges much quicker.

One way to cut ink costs is to work out what kind of printing you are doing. Next time you start a new cartridge, make a list with five columns: draft black text, top-quality black text, a little color, 50 per cent color and full-page color. Place a tick in the appropriate column for each page printed. Use a special mark for pages that are reprints with minor changes. You could be reprinting many ink-greedy top quality black text pages if you’re only spotting mistakes on the printout. If so, you could print in draft mode first, switching to top quality for the final printout.

Top tips to keep your printing costs down:

1. Check the document on screen before you print. Use the Print Preview to check for layout errors.
2. Recycle draft pages. Keep wasted printouts for other drafts, notes or drawing paper.
3. Keep a record of your total expenditure for your printer.
4. Use draft mode on your printer. This uses a lot less ink. Save the ink for those important documents.
5. Shop around for new cartridges. Not only do prices vary from shop to shop, but also you might find a multipack that saves even more.
6. If you use your printer a lot, consider refilling your cartridges.