Personal printers seem to cost next to nothing these days. You buy your new home printer without worrying about the cost and print bill payment receipts, good coupons, hotel confirmations, maps to unfamiliar places, etc.
But once the ink runs out and you find out the cost for new cartridges, you then realize why the printer didn't cost much -- they make their money on the ink! I have a $50 printer / scanner / copier that has ink cartridges that cost $55 brand new!
Now the decision is whether to go with those online ink discount services that offer ink for less. Not sure about that yet, but here are some tips I recently viewed online that might help prolong the life of your current ink and save you money when it comes time to replace it.
-The Vera Sans font is said to use 30% less ink than other fonts. It has holes in the print that are invisible to the human eye and will use less ink over the life of your ink cartridge;
-Use the fast draft setting on your printer. It will use less ink , dry fast and print faster than the normal setting;
-Use PrintWhatYou Like.com to remove those annoying background images and ads from webpages that you would otherwise want to print. Get the pages you print as close to text only as possible to save tons of ink;
-When turning off your printer, use the power button rather than a power strip button. This is because using the power button on the printer itself causes the ink cartridges to settle in a position where they will save ink rather than dry out. By turning it off using a power strip, they will stay in print position and dry out faster;
-When ink runs out, get the genuine cartridges refilled a few times before purchasing brand new ones for less. If you live near Costco, they offer this service for about $8 per cartridge versus what you would pay full price for a manufacturers cartridge;
-You can also try using refill kits for a few times. Be careful, as they can be quite messy, and use on black ink cartridges only. It's not worth it on the color cartridges;
-If you don't need to print in color, set your printer to the black & white setting to keep the color ink cartridges from running low so quickly. Depending on your printer, you might have one or several color cartridges that can save you a lot of money during the year if you don't use them on every print.