Tips to save on printer ink

There's nothing worse than running out of printer ink just before you need to print an important document for school or work. What's more, ink cartridges are costly to replace – especially if you're in a hurry to buy them from the nearest store. So here are some tips for making your printer cartridges last longer and your printing more economical.

Use economy mode
Most printer settings will offer you 'economy', 'draft' or 'fast' printing. The quality is slightly lighter and less precise, but it's fine for when you don’t need a perfect presentation copy. It saves on ink, and it's faster too.

Stick to black and white
Even when you’re printing black text, your colour printer mixes in other inks to make the shade. Turn this setting off by choosing 'black' in your printer properties, so you're not needlessly using up colour inks. Consider whether you need a colour printer at all – if what you print is mostly text documents, you could save money by sticking to black and white.

Ignore low-cartridge warnings
Your printer will beep and tell you you're running out of ink, in many cases long before it's actually a problem. Don't override the warning if you have a big, important document to print out, but do be sceptical. You may have weeks of printing left before you need to replace the cartridge.

Preview your documents
To make sure you're only printing what you need, preview your document before you send it to print. Maybe you only need one or two pages of that fifty-page document? Be careful with copies, too – you want to avoid accidentally telling the printer you need 100 copies instead of 10!

Leave your printer on
Every time you turn your printer on, it uses a little bit of ink to warm up. So if you think you're going to be using your printer again soon, it's more economical to leave it on. And never turn off your printer in mid-cycle – the cartridge will stop where it is, wearing out the nozzle and drying up ink.

By bearing in mind some of these tips for saving printer ink in mind, you should be able to make your printing life more economical and save some hard-earned cash.


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