How to save money on printer ink

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September 16, 2011

Have you ever noticed how the printer-ink relationship has reversed in terms of cost? It used to be that printers cost much more than the ribbon doing the printing, but now ink printers are normally priced lower than an ink cartridge it uses. Computer printer ink today is said to cost more than the best wine, even the best champagne or perfume, ounce for ounce. It follows therefore that if you can save money on printer ink, you can save a substantial amount.

Below are several ways you can do that:

  1. Tweak the computer’s printer settings. Use economy or draft or any other setting in your computer printing commands that reduces the amount of ink used, when the documents you are printing are not so important that very good presentation appearance is not needed. Draft printing will often do for ordinary printouts, for instance, and you can always instantly switch to document or fine printing when necessary.
  2. Use Ecofont or Century Gothic font. These two types are said to be most economical while retaining best readability. Century Gothic is a thin, sans serif type that uses less ink by its nature. However, the font is wider and may use up more space than Arial or Times New Roman. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay uses Century  Gothic as default font for the bulk of its printing needs in all departments.

Ecofont, on the other hand, is a new typeface that has holes in the letters not readily observable by unaided eyes, and so uses less ink than any common typeface. You may have to download the software to use it, or, better, adopt the developed Ecofont software which makes holes in the letters of any type you wish to use to save printer ink.

  1. Use the printer less. In many cases printing the document is not truly necessary; you may just want to have a hardcopy for ready reference. But you can always send the document to your iPad, mobile phone or netbook so you can access it anytime you need to. Or you can save it on a document storage site for the same purpose. Either way, less printing is less ink usage.
  2. Always review your document for errors. Checking for errors will let you avoid reprinting it without errors.  Make it error-free as much as possible on first printing.
  3. Print only what you need. When printing direct from online, there may be portions you do not need, such as pictures, advertisements and comments. By copying the document onto another file, you can delete the unneeded portions and thus avoid using more ink unnecessarily.
  4. Use a dot-matrix printer for draft or reviewing purposes. A dot-matrix printer is today more expensive than an inkjet or laserjet printer, but you can save much on printer ink because a dot-matrix ribbon is very inexpensive and you use your ink printer less. You don’t need an ink printer if you are just reviewing a document for typographical errors.

Computer printer ink is expensive; therefore saving on its use makes sense for yourself and your pocket. Make it a habit.

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  • PC

    Tweaking the setting will help save ink. I did that recently and my ink has lasted longer.