Tips for Saving Money on Printer Ink

The major problem faced by people who print in high volume isn’t the expense of printer’s energy usage neither it is the paper to create the document. The real cost component of a printed page is its ink. No matter how minimal the energy consumption of a printer is, there will still be an additional expense because of the ink cartridge. There are no hard and fast rules to reduce the printing costs but below are some tips that you can easily follow to save money on printer ink.

1. When buying a printer, compare cost-per-page not the printer’s price

You will find a number of printers at a cheap price but the key feature that will determine if it is a profitable buy or not is its cost-per-page which is published by the printer’s manufacturer. That cost is based on the most economical ink cartridges available for that printer. It is better to do your research rather than ending up paying more for the ink in the long run. In most of the cases, the ink costs tend to be inversely proportional to the printer’s price. For instance, high-end laser/digital printers often have a very low cost-per-page, while budget ink jets printers would use more ink and you will be paying much more on the ink.

Still, if you are a person who prints a lot then you can opt for a printer that has low cost-per-page. These printers might seem expensive upfront, but in the long run, they will surely outrun most of the low-cost printers.

2. Go for third-party inks

If you have an inkjet printer then chances are you will end up surfing more on the ink rather than the printer itself. Choosing the right ink refills won’t make your cartridge last longer but it will surely get you more for your money. When your printer runs out of ink, getting your ink cartridge refilled from the same manufacturer who made your printer i.e. OEM (original equipment manufacturer) can be more expensive. To tackle these cots, you can buy third-party or non-OEM ink cartridges at a much cheap price. For instance, if a five-pack of canon cartridges for a printer costs about $57 on Amazon then a non-OEM would cost around $7 or $9.

You can find a lot of non-OEM ink cartridges on Amazon but make sure you go through the customer reviews and check if they are compatible with your printer model or not. However, if you use OEM high-quality photo paper to print photos then it is recommended that you stick with the OEM cartridges because they are made to match with the paper to give the best output.

3. Make use of the Draft Mode

If you want to print something for your own reference then make sure you don’t print with the default settings because they are normally set to print in high-quality to provide optimum results, which is directly proportional to the ink consumption. If you have an inkjet printer then switch it to the ‘Draft’ or ‘Fast’ mode, this way your printer will use much less ink. The print quality might be not that good but everything will still be perfectly legible.

To print in Draft Mode, open Microsoft Word; click File, then Options and then Advance. Scroll down to the Print section and click the Use draft quality checkbox. Once you are done doing it, you might get dull prints but the text will perfectly be readable and most importantly, you will be saving your precious ink.

4. Print in black and white (Monochrome)

When printing a page, make sure you don’t have any unnecessary photo (even a small one) on it because it can use the color ink. If the pictures on the page are not that important then it is recommended that you get around this by printing in monochrome (only the black ink cartridge will be used).

Changing color settings normally depend on the printer. There are printers that have special software which manages all their print settings. If you want to print pages in Word, click Print, go on Print Properties and change it to Black and White.

5. Use ink-saving fonts

This might be something new for you but believe it or not, some fonts such as Verdana, Comic Sans etc. use up much more ink than you might even know. If you print pages on regular basis and are serious about saving money on the ink then you might want to consider using Ryman Eco Font that uses 33% less ink than others while still preserving readability.

Some other fonts that use the least amount of ink are Times New Roman, Garamond, and Century Gothic fonts.

6. Use web page’s own print option when printing directly from a website

If you want to print directly from a website then it is recommended that you use web page’s own Print option because it is completely useless to print out the whole web page with ads and vague pictures– a terrible waste! To avoid this, you can simply highlight all the text or images you want to print, press right click and select Print. It will only print out the highlighted, which will ultimately save you a lot of ink that you were going to waste on useless text and images.

7. If you have HP, go for HP Instant Ink Program

For people who print a lot, it is an amazing program offered by HP that lets you print about 300 pages per month for $9.99 only. If you run out of ink, the HP instant ink program will back you up by providing new ink cartridges (much better than buying new expensive ones). Without this program, you will end up paying double the price of this package on just a black ink cartridge and the tri-color cartridge is even more expensive.

If you go above 300 pages a month, then for every additional 25 pages you will only be charged $1.00. One more interesting thing about this program is that it also acts like a personal ink assistant; whenever your printer runs out of ink, it will automatically order a new one when you need it.

8. To save money on ink in long run, switch to a laser printer

For business documents that need to be printed in an abundant amount, it is better to opt for a laser printer. Laser printers and their toner cartridges are much more expensive than inkjets but they can get you over 1000 pages printed per-toner-cartridge that will save you a lot of money.

If your cartridge runs out of toner, you can get it refilled easily in a cheap price and they also are much less messy as compared to ink refills.

Here are some best laser printers you can get out there:

Where to Buy
Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer with Duplex Printing
Canon imageCLASS MF247dw Wireless, Multifunction, Duplex Laser Printer
HP LaserJet Pro M477fdw Multifunction Wireless Color Laser Printer with Duplex Printing
Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer


9. Don’t take the warning too seriously

Mostly, when people see the warning popped up on the screen that you are running low on the ink, they tend to change the cartridge right away which isn’t a cost-saving thing to do. That warning is right, you usually are running low when it pops up but do not replace the cartridge until you get the notice that you are completely out of ink.

If printing is extremely important to you, keep a spare cartridge at hand but again, do not replace it until you are unable to print anything further.

10. Proofread your document

Last, but not the least, proofread. It is much better to spell check your copy and see the overall document using print preview rather than printing those copies over and over again. Use Grammarly or other any other software to make sure you don’t leave any mistake unnoticed.

You have no idea how much ink people waste just on re-printing because of the mistakes and wrong formatting.


Now you must be aware of the things you can do in order to use less ink and make every drop count. These tips will help you save money on printer ink in a long run, so you can enjoy more for less. There is a lot you can do from changing fonts to printing in draft quality, which will make your printer consume much less ink. Happy Printing!