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Saving Money on Toner & Inkjet Cartridges

The computer printer has become a household necessity for many of us. However, the cost of toner and ink cartridges can be very expensive. This is a guide about saving money on toner and Inkjet cartridges.


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3 found this helpful
August 16, 2016

ink cartridge and tools

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? 3

Buying a new ink cartridge is expensive, especially if you have a lot to print or you're printing out photos. Recently I've noticed that I can't even print out 100 black and white pages before I need to change my ink cartridge. Fortunately, I can buy the ink I need to refill my own ink cartridges.


January 13, 2014 Flag

I just bought several new refurbished ink cartridges at the local office store and they would not work. So, I took them back. The manager pointed out to me they were expired and should not have been on the shelf. They were HP refurbished/refilled cartridges. He explained to me that after time, ones that are refilled lose head quality and can sometimes even damage your printer. So, they have a microchip in them that will cause them to quit working on the expiration date, even if they are still full of ink.

I thought that was odd, so I called HP. They transferred me to numerous people until I got a guy who knew what I was talking about and he confirmed what the manager of Office Depot told me.

So, check for the expiration dates. If you buy several, rotate them so that they don't expire and quit working on you. This is true for HP, don't know about the other brands.

With some cartridges costing up to $60 or more, this tip can save lots of money.

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January 16, 20140 found this helpful

Thanks for this advice. I had it happen to me just last week, so I will be checking from now on.

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June 5, 2013 Flag

If you use your printer a little or a lot, ink is still expensive. I use my regular printer a lot, mostly black but it still "uses" color inks.

  1. Over the years, I have found it is best to check the cost of ink refills BEFORE you buy a printer. You may have to buy a little more expensive printer to get individual ink cartridges but these usually save money over the "all-in-one" color and black refills. Sometimes this type of ink refill can cost as much as the original printer cost!

  2. New printers usually come with "ink" so you may feel this is a good deal - but the ink in new computers usually is not a full refill - just a small portion of ink so you can get started using your printer. This supply will run out quickly. It is best to buy some refills when you buy your printer.

  3. I have been told that a good computer tech will usually tell their customers that it is best to use your printer several times a week even if you do not need to as this will keep the ink from drying out and keep your printer working properly. I have never tested this as I use my printer almost every day. If you decide to do this I would suggest keeping a single sheet of paper just for this purpose and only type a couple of lines.

  4. The most ink saving tip that I have found is to hit OK on my printer when the screen comes up and tell me my ink is out. I always have the message on my PC screen that my ink is low and shows me the colors. I have printed so many more pages after hitting ok that I lose count! Sometimes I print for weeks (every day) before this message comes up again. I have hit OK several times before I have to replace any ink cartridge.

Please keep in mind that I print only in black (but I still have to have color ink in my printer) and most of my friends tell me they have to buy a lot more ink than I do. I keep a record of ink purchases on my calendar (each color and black) so I know just how old each color is. My printer was not very expensive and it is 6 years old but it does have 5 ink cartridges (2 size black and 3 colors) which is a BIG savings. I have not always had good luck with "off brand" ink cartridges so I pay more and stay with the original brand.

Some people may like the laser printer but I have no experience with these.

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June 11, 20130 found this helpful

Another way to save a significant amount of ink is to set print quality on "Fast Draft". After clicking PRINT, look for "Preferences" on the pop-up window. Open "Preferences" and change print quality to "Fast Draft". Not only will this save lots of ink it will also print faster! I find that Fast Draft is prefect for almost everything I print with the exception of photos where I prefer a higher quality print.

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0 found this helpful
July 19, 2006

Refilling Ink Cartridges Tip. Save money by refilling your own printer cartridges. I found that refilling ink cartridges is very simple and will save a ton of money! I ordered a refill kit from and it came with everything to do the job. . .

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23 found this helpful
March 29, 2011

To save up to 30% on ink when printing, use the narrowest font possible. I never would have thought of this on my own.

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August 7, 2007

Save money on printer ink. When printing, under Preferences choose "Draft." You will find the copy quite dark. It's surprising. It makes your printer ink go further.

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0 found this helpful
March 3, 2012

Some of us have printer/fax machines that are costly. I know that after purchasing my Canon printer, I began to regret it because I felt that I couldn't afford it.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
January 21, 2005 Flag

Tips and advice for saving money on ink cartridges for your printer. Post your ideas.

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June 1, 20050 found this helpful

Make sure your home printer is on black and white default. The ink is less expensive than color.

By Rennae G

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January 10, 20060 found this helpful

I have tried refilling different brands of cartridges with no luck at all. I found "Master Inkjets" to be inexpensive, $14.95 for color or black and white for many brands. They are very quick, guarantee their work and pay the postage! Just go to they are great.

GH in OK""

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February 1, 20060 found this helpful

When the ink cartridge starts to fade, take it out and give it a little shake. You can get quite a few more pages out of it. Also, don't forget to choose "Fast Draft" for printing things that don't have to look excellent--shopping lists, for example.

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October 24, 20070 found this helpful

Go to to get an excellent refill kit that I bought at Cosco. It has the needle connected to the bottle so there isn't as much as a mess. It has 2 bottles of black and the three colors in photo and regular. They are all 80ml. A total of 640 ml of ink. A really good deal for those who fill up there ink and you don't have to have the store membership to get it.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

0 found this helpful
March 29, 2011 Flag

Switch your printer font to Century Gothic. It uses less ink than other fonts.

Source: Women's World

By lynda (crabby) from Kearny NJ


By JustPlainJo 02/28/2011

I hadn't really thought about the difference in the fonts and how much ink or toner they use. I don't print much, but for those who do, this is a great tip! Thanks, Linda.


By simplify 02/24/2011

I have used both fast draft and gray scale. Finally I decided to choose a less black color with your document's choice of ink color. Choose one that is a little blacker than gray and you will save even more ink! Most people (unless they have poor eyesight) will be able to read the text even with the color change. Try it - you just might like it!


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0 found this helpful
February 24, 2011 Flag

Does your computer printer use a lot of ink? Mine does, even when I go in and change the printer to fast draft before printing and gray scale only. You may want to consider changing the font setting to cut ink consumption. Ecofont, a Dutch company, has developed a set of fonts that uses 15 percent less ink by essentially leaving small holes in printed letters. The Ecofont website allows you to download an ink-saving font. Ecofont ink-sparing fonts include Times New Roman, Calibri and Franklin Gothic Medium. I hope you like this tip as much as I do!

Source: AARP news letter

By Bobbie G from Rockwall, TX


Use EcoFont to Save Printer Ink

I just did this, downloaded their free shareware font and tried it out. I have no idea if it will save that much ink, but the font is pretty cute, with tiny little dots inside each letter, forming the same shape as the letter, like a dot T inside the letter T. My daughter likes it, and says it looks like "polka dot ribbon". I will see if I notice a difference in ink consumption. (08/25/2010)

By poepadoe

Use EcoFont to Save Printer Ink

I'd never thought of this, since I use toner. But I have a friend on a fixed income with an "inkasaurus" who'll love it! (08/26/2010)

By JustPlainJo

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