Money Saving Tips on Printer Ink

One of the biggest scams around is the outrageous prices companies charge for printer ink cartridges.  If you think that cheap printer is too good to be true, you're probably right.  Printer companies can afford to practically give away printers because they know consumers will be forced to buy ink cartridges for $30-$50 each.  In fact, ink for your printer can cost the equivalent of $3000 to $5000 per gallon!  Ink cartridges are a huge margin item,  so printer and ink toner companies are raking in huge profits on each sale of their overpriced cartridges.


If you print a lot (or even if you don’t), you’ll want to avoid paying exorbitant prices for your ink cartridge refills.  Below are some tips on how to save on your ink.

First, when buying your printer, consider the following:

Are Ink Cartridges Included With My Printer?
Some printers come with a black cartridge, some come with no cartridge, and very few come with both with color and black ink cartridges.

How Much Are Ink Cartridges for this Printer Going to Cost?
Find the cartridges compatible with your printer and factor their price into the cost of the printer.

How Long Will These Ink Cartridges Last?
This can sometime be hard to find, but check the “page yield” per cartridge. The higher the page yield, the less the cartridge will need to be replaced.  Another trick printer companies use is to follow up their inexpensive printers with reasonably priced cartridges with minimal ink.  The result is that you need to replace the ink cartridges twice as often as you normally would!

After you have made a frugal decision on which printer to buy, here are some more tips to help you save on future ink purchases:

Manually Refill Your Ink Cartridges
This is my favorite money saving method!  With a little effort, you can manually inject your cartridges with ink (basic instructions:  here).  You can find cheap priced ink refill kits on eBay.

Buy Discount Ink Cartridges
Avoid the brand names and you can save up to 50% on your cartridges.  Compatible non-brand name cartridges should work just fine in your brand-name printer.

Use Ink Reducing Software
I have heard mixed reviews on ink reducing software, but if it works it could save heavy ink users a bundle.

Use Up All the Ink in Your Cartridge
Don’t be fooled by an ink cartridge telling you it needs to be replaced when it doesn’t - you can fight back!

Reduce Printing Frequency
Only print when absolutely necessary and, if possible, print only in black and white.

Use Coupons
Check for ink cartridge coupons... duh!

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