How to save money on printing: 10 proven tips

Updated: 2023-09-02

Admit it, the global economic crisis has affected all of us. Even in small things like printer inks, one can feel that the prices of printer ink cartridges can be heavy on the pockets. Generic or compatible toners and cartridges are cheaper but even these can get a bit expensive if you print a lot on a regular basis.

Well, we understand what you need (or rather your “printing needs”) by giving you 10 proven-effective tips on how you can save money on printing ink while at the same time, also prolong the life of your printer cartridges. These tips are very easy to follow and they won’t take up much of your precious time, just a couple of simple steps that you have to take before you actually hit on the Print button.

Table of Contents

1. use the “Print Preview” function before you actually print the document

Most of today’s printer drivers and word processing applications come with a Print Preview function. It allows you see how the document will come out when when it’s printed.

The Print Preview function is useful especially when you’re printing directly from websites. It can lets you make sure that the material will fit into the page. The Print Preview also allows you to minimize the graphics or remove the images and texts that you do not need.

2. print only what you need or what you want

We know how busy life can get and how precious your time is but it will only take you a few minutes to edit or modify webpages and documents so you’ll print only what you need or what you want.

For example, if you need or want information from just a portion of a page, then print only that portion and not the whole page to save some ink. Besides, it is useless to print images and other texts if you don’t need them. When you’re printing straight from a website, you can print the portion that you need by highlighting it. Check the printout through Print Preview and then click on Print.

Also, always remember that files can be stored in your computer or in an external drive. This means that you don’t necessarily need a hard copy for everything. This saves not only your printer ink but also some space in your room or office.

This is also both environment-friendly and printer ink cartridge-friendly because it will allow your printer ink cartridge to last longer.

3. “Add years” to the life of your printer cartridge

You don’t have to print something daily but we suggest that you try to “run” both black and color printer cartridges at least once a week. This means that you should let your printer “do its job” from time to time.

If you don’t have anything to print, you can just run a diagnostic test or print a single word, phrase or sentence to let the ink flow and the printer head function. Printer ink cartridges that are seldom used might dry up. This happens to all brands (whether OEM, compatibel or remanufactured).

4. Use Generic/Replacement/Compatible or Remanufactured Printer Cartridges

Generic/replacement/compatible or remanufactured printer cartridges can give you more savings without sacrificing the quality and quantity of your prints. This is especially recommended to those who do bulk printing on a regular basis.

5. Clean your printer head regularly

Most printer drivers have a Clean and/or Deep Clean functions in their Maintenance menu. It is advisable to Clean your printer head regularly and to run Deep Clean at least twice a month to get rid of the dirt and residues that can accumulate in the printer head. This can help preserve your printer ink cartridge’s life.

How to clean printhead

6. Turn off your printer the right way after using or when it is not in use

Some people, especially those who are always “on the run” or who are busy, would turn off their printers by unplugging the switch from the electric socket without turning it off from its power switch. This is not right.

It only takes a few minutes to wait for your printer to turn off so take time to turn it off the right way. Otherwise, you will be cutting off the power before the print heads can go to their correct standby position. Print heads that are left on incorrect positions can make the ink dry up faster.

7. Plan what to do, what you want and what you need before you print

Take time to plan what you will print before hitting the Print button. When we say “plan”, this means determining what you want or need to print. This also means that you have to proofread your texts, fix your images and double-check everything before printing it. A lot of people tend to print on impulse. This is incorrect because if you are not satisfied with what you have printed, chances are you would want to print it again. This means wasted paper, ink and electricity.

8. Print more blacks

It is adivasable to use your black ink more often. If it’s not important, you can skip the color. Also, make sure that your printer setting is always set to print in monochrome so you can save on your color inks for more important applications.

9. Set your printer to Draft setting

Most printer drivers come with a Draft option in its settings. Choosing the Draft setting is actually one of the best ways to save on your ink while at the same time, allowing your printer to print faster than its normal rate.

10. Consider using software that helps you print efficiently

There are a handful of helpful software available today. They can help you organize your printing tasks more efficiently. Most of these software work by removing the empty spaces and images that you don’t need so they won’t be printed.

Professional Print and Layout Software