The Problem: The alarming fact with printers is just how much they can cost to run. Printing documents have never been easy, especially with printer ink costing so much. Here are some things you can do to minimise that cost.
Choose the Right Printer
Printers don’t consume their ink at the same rate, and this is often the real cost with printers. It won’t matter if the printer was cheap if it uses a lot of ink, forcing you to buy ink cartridges more often. So when you’re looking at printer reviews, you should look at how much each page costs to print.
Also keep in mind additional features that can reduce costs. Duplex printing means the capability to print both sides of the page. This might not be good for photos, but the rest of the time it’s fine, and can halve the amount of paper you use. If the printer can be connected to a network, then a group of people will be able to share it, so you won’t each need your own printer. This will reduce initial costs, and running costs.
Whenever you print, ask yourself whether it needs to be a high quality print. Once you’ve selected print, click on properties to change the print quality. The lower the print quality, the less printer ink is used. If you’re only printing to test how something looks, then you might only need to select low or draft quality printing. If you’re putting together a portfolio or presentation, then a high quality print might be necessary to give the best possible impression.
You can also reduce printing costs in other ways. For example, don’t print emails to show to someone, forward them instead. The cost of printing a page in mono might be low, but the more you eliminate this practise, the more you’ll save. If you want to be really smart and save even more money you can configure your printing software defaults to help too.
Do you need to print that page in colour, or will mono do? Colour page printing costs can be over 3 times as much as mono page printing costs. If you’re printing it as a draft, or need to keep one for internal records, then printing in mono will save you money.
I haven’t suggested using non-official printer cartridges as they don’t always work. Instead, paying attention to printer reviews, careful buying, and thinking about what and how you need to print can produce real savings.