It’s nice to have the new computer printers that can do all kinds of work like print photos, word processing, fax, copying, and scanning. But the most expensive purchase is not the printer oddly enough, but ink refills. MDM once had a conversation with another shopper who made the observation that it was more economical to buy a new printer on markdown than it was to buy refills for his current printer. Now there are several ways to combat the expense of constantly replacing ink cartridges, some better than others:
1. You can buy in bulk from an online supplier and get the cost per cartridge reduced. However, ink cartridges have a shelf-life so be sure to check the dates.
2. You can buy a refill kit and DIY. Hopefully, you will have better luck and less mess than MDM has had with this alternative.
3. You can go to an office supply retailer and have your refill filled by experts and save 50% off the price of a new cartridge. It makes sense to recycle the cartridges this way since a cartidge will take 1000 years to decompose and contain 2.5 ounces of oil (each inkjet cartridge). Did you know that more than 300 million cartridges are dumped in landfill each year?
4. You can make your cartridges last longer. You can print most documents, except the final version, in draft mode and use black/white to copy web pages and other documents that may eat up a lot of ink if done in color.
5. You can buy "generics" cartridges. The downside is that you may have quality problems that could void your printer warranties–however great the savings, it’s best not to take a chance with a very expensive printer. Do your research and know your supplier.
6. Like the old adage sometimes ‘You get what you pay for’. In other words, the higher priced cartridges can last up to twice as long as the cheaper versions.
7. Check what cartridges will fit your printer. Even by the same manufacturer, cartridge output capacity can vary and your printer may accept other models that have a higher output.
8. You may want to consider buying a Laser Printer rather than an Inkjet printer. Laser printers cost more, but the printer costs are substantially less.
9. When buying an inkjet printer, look for one that has separate color cartridges. You will probably go through black ink faster than the other colors, so, it is more economical to replace the black cartridge than having to replace all the colors in the cartridge that probably still have ink.
10. Look for Markdowns. Yes, if you have an older printer, you can find refills occasionally at 30% or greater markdown. One of of MDM’s older printers is a basic Canon printer that is really reliable and does excellent printing, although slower than today’s models. However, from time to time, MDM has found new cartridges markdown substantially at a local department chain store. Even if you don’t need it just then, buy it anyway since sooner or later you will have to replace your current supply.