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Feb 06

Six tips for economical home printing

Home printing can be extremely expensive. Despite the low cost of the printers themselves, many find themselves being stung with astronomic ink cartridge replacement costs.

So if you’re conscious about how much you’re spending on your print-outs, follow these six tips for changing the way you print:

Opt for the more expensive printer

This may seem somewhat counter intuitive, but one of the ways printer manufacturers are able to put ridiculously cheap printers on the market is though expensive ink replacements which over time really bump up your printer costs.

More expensive printers actually tend to have a higher ‘page-per-cartridge’ ratio, which means that, on average, you’ll actually get more out of the ink you buy.

Remove banner ads and advertisements

Think about what you’re printing. If you’re printing a webpage straight from the internet you should pay close attention to the ‘print preview’. How much of the page contains elements that you don’t need, like banner ads, logos and other unnecessary ‘filler’ that’s going to waste your ink?

Handy hint: if you just need to print the text, copy and paste the content to Word. You can quickly delete everything you don’t need, change to a more economical font and reduce the text size.

Buy compatible ink cartridges

Why pay over the odds for officially-branded Epson ink cartridges for your Epson printer when less expensive compatible ink cartridges are widely available? While they’re probably not the best for your digital photos, for everyday printing compatible ink cartridges are perfect.

Recent manufacturing advances mean that they’re now far better than they once were, and capable of some great results at a fraction of the price.

Print duplex

Remember that your replacement printer paper is also an expense. If you’re printing large text files, halve your paper use and select the Duplex option before you print. Not all printers have this functionality however, but if you find yourself in the market for a new printer, this is definitely something to look out for.

Reduce print quality

Most printers’ print quality is automatically set by the manufacturer – and it’s usually set to print in high quality. If you’re going to print text, or files which don’t require the very sharpest print results, lower the print resolution and easily cut down on the amount of ink you use.

Buy a second printer

I know it sounds a little odd, but if you regularly print colour images and plain text, having a dedicated colour inkjet and a black and white laser could really save you money in the long run.

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