I hate spending money on things like ink cartridges. Yes, I know they are necessary and a must if you have a printer, but there is nothing more frustrating than that message that pops up telling me I am out of ink. I have been surprised at how much the cost of a basic printer has come down in recent years. The last time I bought one it was less than $50, and it also functions as a fax machine and scanner. What a deal, I thought (until I needed to buy my first replacement ink cartridge).
In my case, my printer has four cartridges. One is black and the other three are colored cartridges. I should note that I rarely, if ever, print anything in color yet somehow my color cartridges still need to be replaced from time to time. The cartridges run about $30 to $35, depending on which one needs to be replaced. In my view, this seems pretty steep when you consider that the entire machine was less than $50. My suspicion has long been that the printer is a loss leader for the manufacturer and that the real money is in the ink.
Last week I needed another new ink cartridge and I drove up to my local Staples to shell out another $35. Unfortunately, they did not have the cartridge I needed so I had to go online to see what I could find. This turned out to be a very good turn of events, since I was able to find a generic versions of the ink cartridges I use at a discount of 97%. Shocking but true, I simply searched for the cartridge number I needed on Amazon and found a deal that included 4 packs of 4 full sets of replacement cartridges for $12. Yep, I was getting 16 cartridges for $12 vs. the full retail price of what would have been more than $450! In fact, I will not need to buy a new ink cartridge for at least two to three years based on the supply I now have. My eyes were really opened and I began to check around online and found that there are a myriad of websites selling generic ink cartridges that are fully compatible with the big name brands.
Discount Ink Sources
Tips For Shopping For Discount Ink Cartridges
I found Amazon.com a useful place to shop as I was able to consider the large number of customer reviews that were posted on the generic ink cartridge providers. I did not just go with the lowest price, but I also factored in the customer reviews. I have installed my first cartridge and everything is working perfectly. In my research for this article, I did find a lot of warnings online about buying off brand replacement ink cartridges without doing some basic research.
If you don't want to do your shopping online, there are other options. There are a number of retailers that will refill your ink cartridges for a fee. I know that Walgreens and Costco do this and I am sure that there are others. There are also kits you can buy to refill your cartridges yourself. Honestly, though, I don't think it is worth the trouble of trying to refill a cartridge when you can buy the generic versions so inexpensively online. You will also find that many of the big office supply stores are now offering generic brands right on the shelf. The prices, however, are not anywhere close to the deals you will find online.
Other Ways To Save On Ink
If you do a lot of printing just for your own review, you may want to consider printing in grayscale or what is called 'draft' mode. This is still very easy to read, but uses a lot less ink. Of course, when you are printing out correspondence you can simply make the adjustment back to full resolution printing. Most printers make it very easy to switch back and forth between full resolution and draft mode.
Eco Friendly Fonts
If you simply Google that phrase you will find that there are now a wide variety of new fonts that you can install on your computer that are designed to consume minimal ink. Those using eco friendly fonts claim that you can achieve virtually the same print quality and use only about half the ink. After discovering how to buy ink so inexpensively this last week, I don't see myself worrying about installing an eco friendly font on my computer.
Helping you make the most of God's money!