Amy Clark

Save Money On Printing

My husband is my web guy so he knows a few things about computers. Through his experience, we have been able to save ourselves some money by doing these things every day. Now if you know a few things about computers these ideas might not be mind-blowing, but I still think they are worth mentioning for the novices out there.

- When we print documents (unless they are needed for something important) we always use the “Draft” mode and the “Black & White” mode for printing. When you go to print, you can select, “Options” and you will select the black & white mode (should you have a color printer) and the draft mode. This will cut down on your usage of your ink considerably.

- If you work somewhere where you do a lot of printing, bring home your recycled paper for the kids or even for yourself. My husband brings home his paper for our son and it doubles as great paper for coloring for him.

- When you are home printing, use both sides of the paper to do your printing instead of just one side. You will use much less paper. You can save paper from junk mail, school announcements, fliers, etc.. and use these as paper for printing on too. Anything with one blank side is fair game in our house for printing or coloring on. This paper is basically free so it works well for a tightwad like me!

- Don’t pay full price for inkjet replacements. There are great sites out there that you can get your ink through without spending an arm or a leg. Websites like 123 Inkjets, offer up to eighty-five percent off of the regular price on these cartridges. Companies like these use remanufactured cartridges and refill them (often times with more ink than you would have gotten in the original cartridge). Consumer Reports tested remanufactured ink cartridges versus their brand name counterparts and felt that the brand name ink cartridges did perform slightly better, but using these would only be preferable in situations where the quality of your printing is of the utmost importance. For the regular old computer user, it usually does not matter.

- When printing from another web page, sometimes you are printing extra pages of advertisements or printing items on the page that you don’t need. I like to highlight what I need and plop it into a Word document so that I don’t end up with the extra cost of ink & paper. If you want to avoid opening Word, you can highlight what you are wanting to print you can select the File button at the top of your web browser. Next select Print. Then go under Print Range option and choose the Selection button. Only the area that you would have selected will be printed.

For those of you who are more technical than the average Joe, check LifeHacker out, as they have featured a free download that you can add as an extension to Firefox that allows you to customize pages and change their color, dimensions, or remove selections completely.

- Before making a printer purchase, always compare rates on the ink cartridges first. Even if the printer you are looking at is dirt cheap, you might be putting yourself in a worse financial position over time as the cartridges need to be replaced.

- Empty cartridges can be taken to your local office supplies stores for recycling. Call around in your area and see if they recycle the cartridge and if they offer anything in return. Some office supplies stores will give you money off of your next purchase or they will give you free paper for dropping your cartridges off at their location.

- If you have a large print job, it is usually cheaper to do these print jobs at copy centers. Ask if they offer any types of paper that are cheaper than others or how to reduce the cost on your job. Doing the printing yourself at a self-service copier is cheaper than having them print it for you.

If you have ideas that you would like to share with the readers, feel free to share under the Comments section.

Published January 30, 2007 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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