Article last updated March 7, 2023
Ink is one of - if not the first - considerations when people buy a printer for an office or their homes. Apart from the quality of the prints, people want to know that the replacement cartridges they will eventually buy will also be affordable. Because if you print a large amount of documents or images, the cost of ink can add up quickly.
So, whether you are looking to buy a new printer or just want to save ink when you print documents on your current device, we have listed 5 ways to save ink (and ink costs) without sacrificing print quality.
How To Save Ink When Printing
Ready to cut down on ink consumption and reduce your printer ink costs? Here are our top 5 picks on how you can do it:
Most printers today come with software to allow users to adjust and customize their settings. An ink-saving mode is often an option in their software. As the name suggests, this mode allows users to adjust and control the device’s functionalities to conserve ink.
Here’s how you can access the printer settings:
- From the Start Menu or Control Panel, click on Devices and Printers
- Right click on the printer icon
- Launch the Printer Preferences tab
From the software interface, choose the ink-saver mode. You can also choose draft mode for when you don’t require the highest quality prints (which is most of the time for most users):
- From the Control Panel, click on “Printers and Faxes”
- Right click on the printer icon and then click on “Print Preferences”
- Click on "Advanced" and then choose “Fast Normal” or “Draft”
2. Reduce the number of pages you print per month.
The easiest way to reduce ink usage is simply to print less. Before you click on that print button, take a moment and ask: "Do I REALLY need to print this? What will I do with the printed pages?”
If the answer involves putting them in a pile never to be seen again, or throwing them out in short order, give that print job a second thought.
Think about just how many of your previous print-outs were really necessary - how many of them just turned out to be unnecessary? By limiting the amount of pages you print, you save printer ink significantly.
3. Choose your fonts wisely
Did you know that different fonts use different amounts of ink when printing? It’s true! So it’s best to choose a font that does not use a lot of ink.
The font Arial for example, is a popular default font. But it uses up to 10 times more ink than another type of font, Helvetica. The reason why some fonts take up more ink than others is the shape of the typography. Some fonts are thinner in design, and others are thicker and more bold. These thicker fonts use more ink.
Another reason is that some fonts are serif, and others are non serif. ‘Serif’ refers to the little tales and extensions to some letters. Each one of those little additions to the letters use a little bit of ink, but that can add up to quite a bit over the course of many print jobs.
Lastly, do not choose a large point size for your font when printing. Choose a smaller one, instead. It may seem obvious, but choosing a smaller size for your lettering uses less ink.
4. Avoid printing a lot of graphics
Luckily, one of the most ink consuming practices on this list is also the easiest to avoid: printing graphics. Graphics use up a lot of space on a page and naturally consume more ink.
According to the standard page yield approximation provided by ink manufacturers, printing a "full page" is actually only equal to about 5% of the entire page being covered in ink.
Simply put, your ink cartridge's lifespan can be reduced drastically in a matter of pages, depending on the graphics you print.
However, if you really must print graphics, then consider reducing their size so you consume less ink. Also, the amount of ink you use depends on the color intensity of the image. Meaning, a light blue color will use less ink than a darker blue shade. The same principle applies to printing graphics with silhouettes, shadows, or when you print large amounts of dark colors.
5. Print using grayscale instead of black
If you are running low on black ink but you still have some color ink remaining inside your printer, there is one thing you can do to make the most out of the remaining black ink: print using grayscale instead.
Grayscale mode combines black with other ink colors to create different shades of gray. You will still use up a little black ink; but you use more yellow, cyan, and magenta in this mode and less black.
Also, not all grays are the same! In grayscale mode, the colors of gray can be adjusted to different shades so you can differentiate it from each other - which works if you need to print a chart or graph for a presentation. Admittedly, it wouldn't be the most cheerful graph to look at, but it can save you a lot of ink without sacrificing the quality of your print out.
How to Save on Printer Ink - A Few More Tips
We said 5 ways to save ink. But we’re on a roll! Here are a few more "runner ups" that can help you cut down on printer ink costs.
Regularly maintain your printer - Clogged up printer heads and printer jams can cause your ink cartridges to leak, or worse, cause damage to your printer. Make sure that you protect your device by regularly maintaining your printer. You can either do this using the in-system cleaning software (if your device has one), or learning how to clean a printeryourself at home.
Go for XL or High Yield Cartridges over Standard Ones - To understand the difference, we need to know what “yield” means in this context.
Simply put - “yield” refers to Page Yield - which is the number of pages a toner cartridge can print before needing to be replaced. As the name implies, high yield cartridges contain more ink, last longer and print more pages before you have to replace them.
A standard yield cartridge prints the, well, standard number of pages. The “standard” print number is around 300 pages. Standard yield cartridges are priced lower, but because you print less pages out of them - they have a much higher cost per page printed and you wind up purchasing more of them over time to get the same number of pages as the larger capacity cartridges.
XL or High Yield cartridges on the other hand, have more liquid ink or toner powder in them. This is true even though many are generally the same shape and size as their Standard Yield counterparts. As mentioned before, ‘high yield’ means they print more pages before you have to replace them, so they have a lower cost per page. In other words - you save more money.
Consider getting a new printer - If your current printer is more than 5 years old, it might be a good time to consider an upgrade. Old printers are not as economical when it comes to ink usage. They are also more prone to paper jams and malfunctions, which can ruin print jobs and cost a lot to repair. If you are unsure whether your printer needs an upgrade, there are ways to know when it is time to get a new printer.
Printer ink is not cheap, and doing what you can to save ink is a smart and financially responsible thing to do. We hope that by adopting some of the methods we shared in this article, you can start noticing a significant change in your ink consumption in the next few months - without having to compromise on the quality of your prints.
Remember, a lot of the advice here pretty much comes down to being practical in your printing methods. So, the more practical your printing methods or actions, the more you save on printer ink.
Save more by buying affordable ink without sacrificing quality
The best way to save money is to spend less of it! You can buy much less expensive ink without having to compromise on quality. Remanufactured ink cartridges are 100% recycled OEM brand products, professionally cleaned, quality tested, and refilled with the same ink quality of popular ink brand names. Compatible cartridges are brand new ink cartridges made by a third party, but guaranteed to work just as well, if not better, than the more expensive OEM cartridges. Either way you choose, both of these options can save you big bucks!
In fact, buying remanufactured ink cartridges from Inkjets.com can save you as much as 80% compared to OEM brands sold in office supply stores!
At Inkjets.com, we offer an enormous range of high-quality remanufactured and compatible cartridges for all printer models and major brands. More importantly, we pride ourselves on having the best customer support in the industry.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about any of our products before or after a purchase, get in touch with us via phone, email or live chat via the website and our Customer Experience team will be happy to assist you!