Saving Money on Toner & Inkjet Cartridges

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
November 4, 2009

Printer ink color cartridges.I just learned this one yesterday. Wish I had learned it long ago, as it would have saved me a lot of aggravation. I am assuming this is true for a lot of printers, so I am passing it on.


Being home schoolers, we use a lot of ink and paper. To save, I have Walgreen's refill my ink cartridges (for an HP 2210) when they run their specials of refills for $5, or I buy the used/refurbished ones at Office Depot or Walmart. Usually they work, sometimes they don't. Sometimes I will have one that I have used several times, and it will suddenly just stop for no reason.

This happened again this week. My nearest Walgreen or Office Depot is 30 minutes away, so its a real pain to go buy one and bring it home only to find it won't work. And, the two I got wouldn't work. I called HP to see if there was a work around as I didn't want to drive all the way back again. I mean we are talking 100 miles for 2 trips.

I was told to look at my cartridge for a date. There is evidently a microchip in the ink cartridge that tells the printer when that date has arrived. When that date gets here, it is considered to be an expired cartridge and will no longer work. The two ink cartridges I bought were indeed expired (sold to me by Office Depot in October and one had expired in April of 2007). That also explains why ones I have refilled over and over suddenly stop, the date came up.


So, I will no longer refill them close to or past the expiration date, and I will open the box and check the expiration date of refurbished ones at the cash register before I drive all the way back home.

I thought this was worth passing on!

Source: HP customer service rep

By mom-from-missouri from NW Missouri

Comment Was this helpful? 8
Read More Comments

More Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
January 13, 2014

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 5

Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 109 Feedbacks
February 2, 2011

This may apply to you if you have a computer with a printer. Specifically a printer that warns you or "shows" you it is low or even out of ink. You should test how long you can use you printer before you are actually out of ink. Don't trust the program telling you about it.

Comment Was this helpful? 4

Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
June 5, 2013

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 23

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.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

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.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

12 Questions

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.

January 21, 2005

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


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
January 21, 20050 found this helpful

Ink cartridges can cost a fortune. They also do not last as long as they used to. I have come up with the frugalist way to refill and eventually earn free cartridges from Office Depot. Buy the better kits, and soak your clogged cartridges in the designated cleaning fluid, sometimes this will take a few days. Refill, wipe the inside area of the printer with cotton and cotton swabs with alcohol, save the printer cleaning fluid to unclog that cartridge to get it refill one more time.


If it finally gave up the ghost, time to recycle. Go to Office Depot and ask for the little bags for cartridge refills when you return enough you then receive a free cartridge.

By Shelley Wagner

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Harlean from Arkansas (Guest Post)
January 21, 20050 found this helpful

I buy my ink from Sam's Club and refill my cartridges. I have a Canon printer, and each color is a separate tank, so this makes refilling pretty easy. At Sam's, a refill kit that costs $20 gives you 1 bottle of each color, cyan, magenta and yellow. Also, in case you have a printer that takes special photographic ink, there is 1 bottle of each, photo cyan and photo magenta. And 2 bottles of black. These bottles are 85 ML which appears to be about 3 ounces. They include a manual that lists all the different printers with detailed instructions on how to prepare and refill the cartridges. Also all the necessary equipment to work with, such as rubber stoppers to seal the cartridge back.


I can't even guess how much money this has saved me in the 6 years that I have had a computer. I know that I print way more than the average user. Many people don't take the price of the ink refills into consideration when they purchase a printer. Cheaper is not really cheaper if you don't refill your own. And just FYI, your printer manufacturer cannot void your warranty because you choose to refill rather than buy their cartridges.You might try this link that is listed on the bottles of ink. They may be selling the kit on the net.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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""

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 24, 20071 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.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
By hwm98264 (Guest Post)
March 28, 20080 found this helpful

Local Costco no longer carries Ims-Ink refill kits. Last one I bought cost $20. The 240ml is 3 bottles of Black @ 80ml/bottle. I refill a Brother MFC3420C and have never had any difficulty with refills. I previously have refilled Epson and Lexmark ink-jets.
This Bother is my favorite. I use the copy and scanner frequently. Refill is the only way to go. It saves you a fortune.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

August 17, 2017

Some consumers like to save money on printer cartridges by refilling their own. If you have access to the ink then the process is usually quite simple. This is a page about refilling printer ink cartridges.

Refilling your ink cartridges at home.

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes

October 14, 2020

I don't print from my printer everyday therefore my ink seems to be drying up before I even have a chance to use it. Is there a way that I can preserve it or can I wrap it? I don't know I'm at a loss. I even had a printer and computer at home for a very long time and I'm feel like I'm new at this again. Thank you for any answer

A collection of printer ink cartridges.

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes


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

March 29, 2011

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

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

February 24, 2011

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.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
In This Page
Computers Printers InkJuly 25, 2011
Thanksgiving Ideas!
Christmas Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2022-11-01 01:12:32 in 3 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2022 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.