Choosing an Inkjet Printer

July 5, 2017

A printer showing ink levels on five cartridges.If you are planning to purchase a printer, I would recommend that you check to see how many ink cartridges the printer takes and research the cost of the ink cartridges. One huge disadvantage of the printers that require five cartridges is that if one cartridge is out of ink, you are unable to print until you replace that ink cartridge. There is no way to bypass low ink, or no ink.


I have a HP Photosmart 7525, purchased from Costco for $130. This printer requires five Cartridges. The cost of individual cartridges for this printer, in no particular order since all five are needed to operate the printer:

  • Black Photo $13.99
  • Black Ink $15.99
  • Yellow $13.99
  • Blue $13.99
  • Magenta $13.99

  • Total Cost: $71.95

Compare this to my new printer, which is a HP Envy 5661. I purchased it from Costco for $65 a couple of months ago. The advantage with this printer is that it only requires 2 cartridges, a color and tri-color. When one ink cartridge is out, you can still proceed to print. The cost of cartridges for this printer:

  • Black: $16.99
  • Color: $21.99

  • Total Cost: $38.98 (Assuming you purchase individually as you run out, but if you purchase the bundle it's slightly cheaper at $36.99.)
  • I don't recommend printers that require so many ink. Those printers will really drain your wallet because once you change an ink cartridge, it seems like another one is running low and it is a chain reaction. Not to mention the printers itself and ink cartridges are more expensive and does the same quality printing as other printers. I am saving money with my new ink purchase!

A printer showing ink levels on two cartridges.


July 7, 20170 found this helpful

I agree with that big time. I have a cannon that has I think 7 cartridges. Everytime I turn around one of them is empty. The kicker is that I had only printed 2 pages that had any amount of colour on them.


Never again!! Next time a laser printer for me.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
July 9, 20170 found this helpful

I too have an HP Envy. If you can, get in on their printer ink program. Here's how it works.
You print a number of pages a month for 1.99 flat rate. I think it's 50. When you are getting close, they send you an email saying "you are getting close to your limit but don't worry, we have your back"...

Then, if you go over, it's so much per 10-15 pages. I forget the exact amount but it's not much. Then, when they know you are getting low on ink, they send you new cartridges and even an envelope where you can send back the empties for free.


You can learn more here. Hope that helps!

July 9, 20170 found this helpful

I rarely print in color as stores will take coupons in black ink only. I keep my print setting set to grayscale or draft, if your printer has that selection. Such a setting will use a bit of color but I find my Brother 5 cart printer uses much less ink than my old Cannon, 5 cart, and it easily outperformed my old Lexmark with a black ink and a colored ink cart. You can also change the font to narrower, lower pixel style which will save a small fortune on ink.
As I rarely get hard copy photos, I put the images on a thumb drive and take it to the local Rite Aid or big box stores for printing.

July 10, 20170 found this helpful

Whoa! You have 7!!!! Cartridges? That is a lot. I had a laser printer in the past and I had problems with the printer, it was a Dell..

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