If you print a lot of documents, we don’t have to tell you how expensive it can be to maintain and regularly use a printer. While we’re always trying to provide our customers better prices for these printing consumables, there’s only so far that we can push the envelope. So, if you want to even more savings than what we’re making possible, then you need to implement some usage based methods to save money on printing.
There can be a sense of injustice in a person using a printer. Most of us have a sense of entitlement too because we believe that we’re being taken for a ride by the big multinational companies. While there may be an element of profit making involved with the way printers and printing consumables are priced by these financial behemoths, it isn’t completely out of control. To qualify that statement, let us explain why printing consumables are expensive before we give you tips to save money on printing.
Why are Printing Paper and Printing Cartridges So Expensive?
These manufacturers mainly make profit on these consumables instead of their printers. In fact, most of the cheap printers you find in the market are being sold to you at a loss.
The manufacturers believe that they can recoup this loss when you choose to buy printing cartridges. Thus, the printing cartridges are priced to not only take care of their margins but also the margins of the printers that they are used in. If you add to this equation a measure of greed, then you have exorbitantly priced printing cartridges.
You might think that retailers like us get a share of that margin but we don’t. Most of us make a paltry 5 percent of the retail price as opposed to manufacturers who take home around 2000 percent of profits!
So, since the pricing of these printing consumables aren’t under our control, what options do we have left? Should we just choose to reduce how much we print? Is it even viable for most of us? We doubt it’s possible to go without printing altogether especially for businesses.
The only option left to us then is to save money on printing by printing wisely. This means implementing initiatives pertaining to your printing habits that will end up helping you save money on printing. Here are some suggestions from us.
Separate Cartridges for Separate Colours
Printing, obviously, begins with the printer. When you buy your printer there are a couple of things that you need to base your decision. No, it’s not how cheap the printer is. We’ve already mentioned above that the cheaper a printer is, the more expensive its printing cartridges will be.
If finances are a concern with regard to buying a new printer, then you need to focus on the cost per page metrics to reduce printing costs.
Another thing you should keep in mind when buying a new printer is the cartridge system it depends on. Many colour printers in the market currently tend to use tricolour ink cartridges. Tricolour ink cartridges are basically cartridges that contain more than one colour of ink. The problem with these cartridges is that if one of the three ink colours is spent, then the whole cartridge needs to be replaced. It doesn’t really matter if the other two ink chambers are still full.
In fact, you should forego colour printers altogether if you don’t think you’ll be using your printer for colour printouts on a weekly basis. Colour print cartridges can cost as much as 40 percent more than black and white cartridges. Moreover, if you only need to print colour once a month or few months, then getting it done from the market will turn out to be much cheaper than buying a colour printer.
Choose Scanning Over Printing
If you already own a printer, don’t worry because there are ways through which you can save money on printing too. The most obvious would be to save files to PDF as opposed to printing them out. Google Chrome would give you this option the moment you give the print command.
If you’re not using Google Chrome, then there’re many other software programs that you can use to do this. Some are even web based such as Print Friendly which will allow you to save any webpage to a PDF or make it print friendly.
A lot of people use their printers as copying machines when they could instead use their scanners. You can save money on printing by simply choosing to scan and email a document as opposed to copying it.
Choose the Draft Mode
There are different settings on which you can operate your printer. These settings are usually accessible in the ‘devices and printers’ section of the Windows control panel. Switching from normal modes to draft mode can be very beneficial if you’re looking to save money on printing.
Inside the printer settings, you’ll be able to set ‘Draft’, ‘Fast Draft’, or ‘Draft Quality’. This setting not only churns out printouts faster but also uses less ink. You can change to other higher quality settings when you need presentation quality printouts. It would be rare because most people print things for their own personal usage.
Save Money on Printing through Formatting Changes
A lot of the formatting that exists for printouts is not important, unless the printouts are meant for clients, customers, bosses, or presentations.
Inside homes and offices, these formatting elements can be done away with to save money on printing. The following are some things you should consider.
- Get rid of headers and footers from all resumes, webpages, and company printouts,
- Avoid placing thick margins and line spacing on a document,
- Print in fonts that are known for saving ink such as Ecofont, Garamond, and Times New Roman,
- Use smaller font sizes,
- Unbold the content,
- Try to get duplex printers or manually flip papers,
- Print all PowerPoint slides or more than a single page on one sheet, and
- Shrink to fit your pages on print preview screens.
Be Careful of Printer Warnings
One very common mistake that people make when it comes to their printers is to listen to their warnings. Most printers come with inbuilt mechanisms designed to tell their owners when their cartridges are about to run out of ink. However, these warnings are not always accurate.
Sometimes, they start warning the owner way before the problem becomes critical so that the user chooses to replace his cartridges sooner than required. For instance, there are actually printers out there that give these warnings when the cartridges still contain 30 percent of their total capacity.
The best thing to do to save money on printing when you receive such warnings is to get a replacement cartridge but not replace it. You should ideally wait for the ink to finish before replacing the cartridge. How can you know when the ink is finished? Your printed pages will start fading.