Consider the Cost of Printing
We’re not just talking about the initial investment – heck, some manufacturers will even give away a printer when you buy a new computer. That’s because the return on the high-margin ink and toner is higher than the printer itself. But ink is just one expense you’ll need to consider. There’s also the medium on which you’re printing – which, depending on the project, can just as easily bust your printing budget. Follow these tips and you’ll spend a little more time in the black – even if you’re printing in full color.
Easy Ink and Toner Budget-Stretching Tips
While ink and toner prices start around $5 for black ink cartridges and run into the triple digits for laser toner, ink costs can add up as you get into more ambitious printing project. Help prolong the inevitable purchases by following a few simple ink-economizing tips.
- Only print what you really need. Sure, it can be tempting to print your favorite blog posts for reading later, but after a while, those pages add up.
- Look beyond the name brands. Shop around for generic alternatives to name-brand ink and toner; buy recycled office paper for everyday print jobs; and buy from refilled or refurbished suppliers like 4inkjets.com.
- Use your computer’s built-in ink-saving features. Use the “Print Preview” function to make sure the image you’re printing is the one you want, and print in draft mode (click here to find out how) or black and white whenever you don’t absolutely need color.
Get More from Your Supplies
With this guide, we’ve tried to cover every range of project a novice print enthusiast could hope for, but we also recognize that supplies (for paper alone, we’re talking from 3 to 15 cents per sheet at the low end) add up.
Assuming you already have a printer – which, after all, is the biggest initial investment – most of what you’ll need can be found around the house: scissors, glue, tape, even old sheets of printer paper that you can use as test pages by flipping them over to their unprinted sides.
Work your way up toward the more ambitious projects here, and comparison shop before jumping into a new craft. Because while it can be a ton of fun to print your own wall calendars or paper toys, sometimes the more economical choice is simply to buy what you need right off the shelf.
For more helpful tips, see what you’ll need to print: