17 Ways to Cut Your Printing Costs

In today’s world you cannot save yourself from printing, but you can save on printing. Here you will some useful tips how to cut your printing costs.

Can you imagine what the business world would be like without printing? No newspapers, no contracts, no bonds, no checks, no paper money, no maps. This list is almost endless. You would end up with very same list if try to think of a world without paper. Today printers and paper come side by side.

The emerging technologies have long promised to deliver us from printing and use of paper. In 1975, Business Week magazine predicted by now we’d have a paperless office. But do we? The development of the internet and electronic documents was expected to force out the printed pages. So is the invention of electronic paper. But today businesses still print between 2.5 and 2.8 trillion pages worldwide and this number is expected to grow within next 10 years.

In today’s world you cannot save yourself from printing, but you can save on printing. Here you will learn how to cut your printing costs. These money saving tips are generally oriented to home users and small and midsize offices. However, everyone who’s looking for an efficient printing would find these tips useful.

OK, let’s get straight to the point. There are several factors that affect your printing costs:

Printer

This is where you may save money before you spend a single dollar. Choose a printer wisely and according to your needs.

  1. Think then buy. When choosing a printer, try to figure out the running costs. This is not a piece of cake for there seem to be a silence conspiracy about running costs. However, computer internet sites and offline magazines often run independent tests, so check them out.
  2. Choose large cartridges. A printer with larger print cartridges fits better if you print a lot. The initial costs are generally higher, but per-page costs are significantly lower.
  3. Buy printer with friends. Inkjet photo printers, unlike regular inkjets, are not designed for printing documents. So if don’t print many photos regularly, the printer is idle most of the time. So if you have friends interested in printing their own photos, you may consider buying a printer together and sharing it among yourselves. Thus, each of you saves money the printer and consumables.
  4. Printer with separate cartridges. In case your work involves a lot of color printing, you should find a printer with 4 separate cartridges for the 3 colors and black ink.
  5. Consider the laser printer. On the opposite, if 90% of you printings are black-and-white, consider buying a laser printer. They always have a lower cost per page than an inkjet printer, when it concerns texts, charts and other things that don’t require color.

Paper

  1. Use double-sided printing. Set your printer to duplex (2-sided) printing. This won’t save you in, but printing on both sides will save a fortune on paper and the storage space for archived documents. If you printer doesn’t support 2-sided printing, you can do it manually. First, print all odd pages of the document, then turn the printed pages to the other side, insert into printer and do even pages.
  2. Place several pages/images per sheet. You can cut down media costs by printing a few pictures onto one large photo sheet. For instance, instead of four separate 4 x 6-inch prints, they can all be printed on one A4 sheet, and later cut with scissors. Note, though, that the size of each photo printed on the A4 sheet is actually a bit smaller than actual 4 x 6-inch prints. Same about texts: 2 A4 pages can be shrunk to fit an A4 sheet without compromising the readability. Combined with 2-sided printing, you can save on paper even more.
  3. Reuse old/printed pages. For printing an e-mail or a to-do list you don’t really need a whole new sheet. Any printed page that has enough free space will do.
  4. Cheaper paper for less important documents. Printer paper comes in varying qualities. Along with the wood pulp, there are many additives included to make a smooth, white surface. Black text can be easily read on not-so-white paper, so if the look is not the issue, you may use a cheaper paper.
  5. Preview before print. When done creating a document, check it for hanging lines, few last lines of the last paragraph page that slid to next sheet. Reformat the text so that hanging lines stick together with the rest of the paragraph on one page.
  6. Preview before print from Web. This is a whole separate issue. While some browsers (for example, Opera) can automatically reformat a web page for print, others can’t. But they still can preview the page, and depending of what you’ll, you have several options to use. You may change page orientation (portrait to landscape) to fit the web page’s width or you may choose to print only selected part of the page. There is also various software to give you a hand with web printing, like HP Web Printing Software.

Ink

  1. Set printer to draft mode. Set the printer to work in economy mode and only print black by default.
  2. Make draft prints. This is one of the most effective ways to save on ink and photo paper. Make a test print on cheap plain paper before printing the actual project. Ensuring the correct print resolution and paper size settings helps prevent wastage and prevents clogged print nozzles or alignment problems.
  3. Buy cartridges online. A great way to save money on cartridges is to buy online where you can search for the best deal and offers. For instance, TonerCartridgeDepot offer cheap cartridges and you save time and gas money too, as you do not need to drive down to the outlet to purchase or collect. Further more, the store provides free delivery for any purchase. If you buy in bulk, Toner Cartridge Depot may offer significant discount on the cartridges. Speaking of cartridges, there are several options you may consider to reduce the costs on printing:
  4. High yield cartridges. Most printer makers offer cartridges that contain more ink or toner for a lower price. This makes them more effective in cost per page.
  5. Compatible cartridges. These are new cartridges produced by side manuifacturers for brand printers. Compatible cartridges are 100% compatible with whichever printer they were designed to fit and provide good quality for the money.
  6. Remanufactured cartridges. These are old, unused or just empty cartridges that are stripepd down, cleaned out, refilled again. Basically these are resurrected original cartridges. Like the compatibles, remanufactured cartridges are often cheaper than OEM cartridges.

Following all or at least some of these tips you can cut down your printing.

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