How to save money on printer ink and toner cartridges

Ink and Toner Cartridges

One of the most common questions we are asked here at Printernet is how to save money on printer ink. A sometimes costly expenditure for those who print in large volumes, business and home users are always looking for ways to save money.

5 ways to save money on printer cartridges

1. Print in draft mode

If you are printing a document for you own reference or files, print it as a draft. Whilst the print quality won’t be as good in draft or fast mode, it will use far less ink that in the standard mode and still produce legible and acceptable quality documents.

Print in Draft Mode

Before you click print, go to ‘preferences’ in the print dialog box. Under ‘print quality’ select ‘draft’ or ‘fast’ mode. Click OK and off you go.

2. Use a different font

This might sound mad, but some fonts have been found to use significantly less ink than others. We’re not talking about WordArt here, but genuine professional fonts.

As part of a science fair project that went global, a super clever 14 year old from the US called Suvir Mirchandani looked at how his teachers could reduce the amount of ink they used by switching to a different font. Sampling the most commonly used letters and four of the most popular fonts, Suvir collected his data using APFill Ink commercial software. The results showed that by switching to Garamond, his school could cut its ink usage by 24%! 

Ink Saving Fonts

3. Print only what you need

Save on ink and paper by thinking about what you are printing. Do you really need to print out a 50 page report? Can you cut down the number of pages you print? Before you click print, think about why you need a hard-copy; would a digital copy suffice?

If you are printing a webpage for example, you have two options. Some websites offer their own print option which opens a print preview with a slimmed down version with just text and minimal unwanted content. If that option isn’t available, try using PrintWhatYouLike.com. Enabling you to manually select what you want to print, this clever little app lets you strip away unwanted content and lets you print what you like!

PrintWhatYouLike website

4. Be sceptical of low cartridge warnings

Whilst your printer’s inbuilt utility is great for warning you when your ink or toner cartridges are low, don’t take it as gospel. Warnings are often given when your cartridges are running low and start well below the ink level is a problem. Think of it like the petrol light on your car; it’s good to know but doesn’t need instant action.

Ink Level Status Monitor

Accuracy of these warnings can vary from brand to brand and depend on the cartridges you are using. If you start to notice degradation in the print quality, it may well be time to change the ink or toner cartridge.

5. Check your printer’s settings

Most printers now come with their very own user friendly software which enables you to tweak many of the functions. Alter the print settings according to what you are printing, the ink and paper you are using.

Printer Settings

For example, if you were printing a photo using a standard inkjet printer, setting the paper quality to ‘photo paper’ and quality to ‘best’ will actually reduce the amount of ink used compared to when printed on standard paper. As copy paper is absorbent, your inkjet printer lays down more ink that in would when printing on shiny photo paper.

Compatible Cartridges vs. Manufacturer’s Originals

Buying compatible cartridges is often considerably cheaper, but might not necessarily work out to be cost effective in the long run. For printing quality colour documents and photographs, it is recommended to buy the manufacturer’s own inks. These are formulated to work with their printers and paper, giving the best quality results.

For those who print a lot, compatible ink cartridges can save you large amounts of money, but make sure to check you are buying quality inks and toners like the ones we sell here at Printernet.

If you don’t print a lot, you are in danger of your ink drying out and blocking the print heads. In this case, it is best to stick with the manufacturer’s original cartridges as they contain a specially formulated chemical to prevent the print head from clogging up. 

To buy quality original and compatible ink and toner cartridges, order online at Printernet. 

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