Tips For Saving on Printer Ink

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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June 12, 20130 found this helpful

Another tip for saving ink, which was posted by a TF member a couple of years ago, is to print most of your documents in Century Gothic font. This person said it uses less ink. I haven't tried it myself, but have been meaning to. That, combined with Draft setting should extend the life of an ink cartridge a great deal.


You can also try refilling your cartridges. I did this with great success with an Epson printer I had. I refilled the first two cartridges (black and 3-color) I ever bought, over and over until the printer itself broke down, so I never bought new cartridges for that one ever again. It lasted about 10 years.

I tried it with my current HP printer, initially with success, but then I got a "cartridge incompatible" message the last time I filled a cartridge. I bought a new cartridge, which is working fine, but when it runs out, I'll try refilling it. I don't know if HP has sneaked in some software that detects refilled cartridges now, or not. I guess I'll find out soon.

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July 11, 20170 found this helpful

These are all great tips, Betty's post and reader's comments. I really really wish I had followed the rule to check on the prices of the cartridges before purchasing my printer because that would have saved me a lot.


My printer was on sale so I jumped on it, but the cartridge costs are killing me :(

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