Even though our digital world today relies on paper less than ever before, printing is still a reality, especially among families with school age children. With the prices of printer ink and paper sky high, I thought it might be helpful to look at some ways to combat the high cost of printing.
Four Smart Tips
- First and foremost, you can start saving money by changing your font style and size. Changing the font size one or two points lower on the font scale is not going to be that noticeable in reading, but it will make a difference in ink usage. Also, when writing your document, there are font types that can save you money on ink as well. You don’t want to use a font like Arial, whose letters are very large and prominent. Fonts such as Times New Roman, Courier, and Century Gothic are all much easier on ink usage because they use thin letters. Look for terms in fonts such as “thin” or “condensed” or “narrow”, since that generally indicates that the font has been designed to use less ink. Add that to using a slightly smaller, but readable, font size and you have a money saving combo.
- The next step you will want to take is to format your paper to have small margins. Although this will not save money on ink, it does save money by printing your document on less paper, which can be just as big of a cost as ink.
- Another step you can take is to proofread your document on your computer screen before you go to press the print button. You might not catch all the errors, but even catching a few can save you some ink and paper.
- Once you have proofread your document, you should be ready to print. However, before you press “print”, always check your print settings. First, you will want to make sure to print in “eco”, “draft”, or “toner save mode” to reduce the amount of ink used in the printing of the document. Also, if it is a long document, try to print double sided, so as to save some more in paper costs.
Ink Jet Printers vs. Laser Printers
Over the years I tried really hard to love all of our ink jet printers. They were so reasonably priced up front. I tried to save money on the expensive ink cartridges by using refill services so I wouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg buying brand new cartridges. Unfortunately, though I found that the refills just didn’t last as long as the brand new ones. Plus, it seemed like the ink jet printers themselves did not have a very long life span.
It took me a long time to finally come to my knees and purchase a laser printer. I did all the research and I finally found one that was highly recommended by some other homeschool families who used that specific model – A LOT. If it got a lot of use from them, then I knew it could handle the use of our household. Suffice to say that now our family has two Brother brand laser printers that are work horses (one also functions as a copier). Although we do have an ink jet printer that sits next to one of the Brother printers, it hardly ever gets used now, if at all.
After so many years of struggling with the high cost of ink jet printers, I finally came to the realization that laser printers are a great fit for our family. Since we are a homeschooling family and we do print a lot, I know we are saving money not just with our laser printers, but also putting into place the four money saving printing tips above.
Do you have any money saving printing tips that you use? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!
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