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Making Your Printer Ink Work for You

Printing is a major expense for most businesses; conservative estimates tell us that businesses typically spend six percent of their revenue on printing. The associated costs - ink, paper, and maintenance - can climb high as the printer continues churning out copies all day. Even smaller business and personal use can create quite a printing bill. Fortunately, there are ways that you can make your printer ink work for you. Here are some suggestions to keep your ink well from running dry.

The average employee prints a whopping 10,000 pages per year, which typically cost between six and thirteen cents each. That's $600 to $1300 per employee. Personal use can be substantially less, but it can still add up quickly if you are using your printer for school or work. A simple solution for getting the most out of your ink is to cut down on printing.

Lexmark, a leading ink manufacturer, estimates that about seventeen percent of all these printed pages are waste - why not cut that out and save money and ink? Do not print emails, send drafts via email instead of printing them out, or email office memos. If you are printing a document, print only what you need by using the "print current page" option. If you are printing something from the internet choose the printer-friendly version or copy it to a Word document so you can out the unnecessary ads, URL, and other extraneous information that uses up ink (and mainly colored ink at that).

When you do print, try using the draft mode. This can be found by clicking on "Options" on your print page. Draft mode uses less ink and is ideal for pages that do not require a professional finish. You can also choose to print some documents in black ink only so you do not waste colored ink if it is not necessary.

There are times, however, when you need a professional-looking document that includes color and graphics. This is the time to make your ink work for you. An excellent way to do this is to buy refurbished ink cartridges. These can be found for virtually any make and model printer, from HP to Canon. They are simply ink cartridges or toner cartridges that have been returned to the manufacturer. They are filled, thoroughly inspected, certified, and then eligible for resale. Because refurbished products cannot technically be considered new, they cost much less.

Do you get less quality? No. They are still the same great HP, Canon, Brother, Epson, and Lexmark cartridges you need but offer a substantial savings. After you have finished a cartridge, you can recycle it. Often, manufacturers or stores will offer a rebate or coupon for those who recycle their cartridges. Inquire about this so you can save even more money. And while you are shopping, buy a few extras. Often, you can get a discount for buying multipacks. When you run out of ink, you simply pop in a new cartridge and your day doesn't have to be interrupted by a frantic trip to the office supply store.

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