Ways to Reduce Printing Costs

Posted Monday, May 17th, 2010 by .

At home or in the office, if you print on a regular basis the costs will add up over time and take up a portion of your budget.  Because we do not pay per print, it is easy to disregard printing costs.  However, there are some simple things you can do to reduce those costs, thus opening a significant chunk of the budget for other things.

Use Compatible or Remanufactured Printer Cartridges

Instead of purchasing replacement ink or toner cartridges from the manfucturer or at a local office supplies store, check out some third-party vendors online.  Often they will have rebuilt cartridges or new, compatible cartridges that will produce the same quality but without the high price tag of the OEM versions.  There are also kits out there that you can use to refill the cartridges yourself, but this comes with many risks that may end up costing more than the original, especially if you have to replace your printer due to damage.

Print on Both Sides of the Paper

Most modern printers have an automatic duplex mode that will print on both sides of the page in a single pass.  Some printers only offer manual duplexing which requires you to flip the paper over after the first side has printed.  If this mode is used consistently, paper costs could be reduced by almost half, which could save you a significant amount of money.

Use the Draft Mode or Eco Mode

Most printers provide various print quality modes that you can choose from.  The draft mode or eco mode is the most economical as this mode uses less ink or toner per print.  The quality may degrade slightly, but it is usually hardly noticeable and the documents will still be acceptable for everyday use.  To set this mode, select Properties in the Print window and go to the Quality tab. Some models even offer a button on the control panel to enable this setting.

Adjust Darkness Settings

Setting the darkness level lower will not drastically change the document, yet it will usually reduce the amount of ink or toner being used per page.  The image or letters will still be crisp and clear, just not as bold.

Keep Things Digital

Some situations require a hard copy, but if something can be handled digitally, do so.  With the rise of scanners and the fall of fax machines over the last decade, only a single hard copy of something is often needed.  This can be scanned and saved or shared.  Important documents can be digitally signed, eliminating the need to print numerous copies.

Use the Right Kind of Printer

You know how much daily printing is done in your home or office, so it is up to you to determine the right kind of printer.  Inkjet printers are less expensive upfront, but the consumables have low yields, meaning you will be spending money on replacements frequently.  Laser printers are more expensive off the shelf but will cost less per page as the laser printer toner cartridge yield more and cost less.  If you are in an environment that requires a lot of printing, copying and faxing, the most economical choice is a multi-purpose machine.  It will save money, space, time and energy.

These are some of the ways you can cut your overall printing costs, none of which require too much work.  Most require simply changing a few settings and finding a new cartridge vendor.  If you make these changes, you may be amazed how much less you spend to print over the course of a year.

Steve Leigh

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Steven Leigh has been enthusiastic about technology since he was very young, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others, through his writing. He is also a composer, a musician, and a singer, experimenting with the blending of technology and music with his recording and performance projects. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf and running in 5K races and is currently training for his first 10K.

One Response to “Ways to Reduce Printing Costs”

  • […] Printing in “Draft Mode” uses less ink or toner, and also prints more quickly. It is a great way to preview a page or two to check the formatting before printing a large document. It is also one of the best ways to reduce printing costs. […]

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