Saving Money on Printer Ink

Printer Ink

I just recently purchased what would be $120 worth of ink for our printers. After my Ebates cash back, a coupon code, FREE shipping and deciding upon purchasing a cartridge refurb, that total dropped to around $35!

We all need printer ink, especially to print the great coupons!!! It is a requirement to saving money with coupons. Sometimes printing so much makes me wonder if the $1 coupon is really worth it! Luckily for Ebates and saving purchasing cartridge refurbishments, I don’t have to consider that as much.

Have you use remanufactured or refurbished cartridges before? I have been purchasing remanufactured cartridges for a few years now. I have found, for my printer, the quality is just the same. And, I don’t know if it is me but the remanufacturered cartridge ink lasts me longer than a brand new one.

The only downside to purchasing ink online is the shipping time. The very last set of cartridges I purchased were brand new and from Staples. The cost was around $50! The same two purchased as remanufactured were about $20. Since I didn’t have time to wait for the shipping time, I had to suck up the cost and spend more. I firmly believe that planning most purchases will save you in the long run. That’s $30 I can’t get back!!! And, the cartridges didn’t even last as long as my refurb ones did!

I ordered my cartridges through But, I have also ordered from 4inkjets offers 19% cash back at Ebates and 123inkjets offers everyday 16% cash back. The cartridges were $1 more expensive at 123inkjets too.

Another thing worth the mention is these companies also offer 100% Satisfaction Guarantees. If you try these and don’t like them, simply return them! I have never had an issue. It is a nice way to try something new if you are nervous about it.

Walgreens has also offered FREE cartridge refills on certain days too. Those have also been great! I have only used the black refill since I typically print in black only. But, with my refilled cartridges, I get both black and color and they work perfect. I always keep at least one old cartridge at home for the Walgreens refill FREEbies (if they come around again).

Don’t forget that you if you order from either or you can ALSO use online coupon codes when you shop through Ebates. So you are saving buying a refurbished model, using coupon codes to get additional savings, AND getting cash back! It’s awesome!! Remember, new Ebates members can get a $5 sign-on bonus too! Read all about Ebates and other ways to shop online and earn $$.

Just a few general printing tips I have been following for years. If you are printing coupons, or other non-critical documents. Set you printer to fast draft. For coupons, they really need to scan, but the most critical aspect is the remit to address being legible. So, a draft quality works fine! You can save on ink and it just prints faster.

Also, for large documents, I try to select only the text I really want to print (highlight the text and when printing, hit the “Print Selected Text” button). By doing this, I don’t get the ads or other items that I don’t necessarily need to have printed. That saves on ink and speeds up the printing.

So, this is just one more way I save as I save (to print coupons). As I mentioned above, buying refurbished cartridges, or even purchasing online to get cash back, does require some planning. I actually always order two refills just so I don’t have to order for a while! It’s always good to have a backup!

Do you have any tips or suggestions for saving on printer ink?

I purchased all reburbished cartridges: 4 OfficeJet cartridges and 1 Laser Jet cartridge. A brand new Laser Jet cartridge retails for around $75!! And, yeap, my total after all discounts/cash back was around $35! Love it!!

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  1. In addition to my blog, I have also run an Ebay store for the past 2 years. I make personalized candy bar and nugget wrappers, as well as nursery prints like ultrasound poems. As you might imagine, we were BLOWING through ink- like a new cartridge every 2 weeks or so!!

    We decide to try refilling our own cartridges- WOW!! I spent $50 (like $26 on color and $24 on black) for refill kits in January. We are only halfway through the ink as of today!!!

    We’re still on the same black cartridge… and just last week the color one finally got gummed up and we had to replace it. Not bad though!

  2. Another thing is that when you print, in addition to printing only the text you want, print only in GRAYSCALE, which sales on ink too and prints a whole heck of a lot faster!

  3. Typically when I print a bricks coupon I wait for just the coupon to print and then press cancel on my printer so I don’t print all the ads and then I turn the paper around and print the 2nd coupon and the bottom half of the paper where all the ads would have been- but make sure you press cancel again so you don’t print ads on you precious coupon : ) Doing this helps save paper and ink! I also print mine in greyscale and that seems to help.

  4. Refilled cartridges are BAD for your printer. If you’re using a printer you don’t care about, go for it. Otherwise, don’t do it. Refurbished are fine.

    I recently bought a laser printer that I’ve been using. It was cheap, and it came with a toner cartridge. I’ve been printing like crazy, and it’s still holding up great. You get a much longer life out of toner cartridges. They are pricey, but they last forever. You can compare cost per sheet estimates on printers and laser is much lower. Another plus is that you can use your highlighters without the ink smearing.

    If you print business supplies, strongly consider using a print company like Vista Print. Printing business cards yourself is a nightmare and a half. By the time you buy the ink, the special paper, and spend the time trying to get it through your printer correctly, you could have easily gotten more professional cards much cheaper from Vista Print.

  5. Seriously, a laser printer is the only way to go. I can’t believe that couponers can afford to be without laser printers. You can spend less than a hundred (see them fairly often for $50) for one, which is decently comparable to a laser, and the toner lasts for EVER. I have replaced the toner in ours just three or four times in SEVEN YEARS, and that’s printing several books and a gazillion coupons. :) It’s faster, looks better, smells better (I always think inkjet smells funny), the pages don’t look inky, quieter.. I have a love affair with my laser. :) The toner for my HP is very expensive for the “real” stuff, but I’ve been buying generic brands for $20ish the last couple of times and they work fine. So… it’s great to not feel like printing coupons is a real cost… except the paper. :)

  6. This is terrible for the environment but I buy a cheap printer when it comes around. When I’m done using all the included ink, I give the printer away, sell it or recycle it. I do plan on getting a laser eventually. I’m going to start reviewing printers since I buy 2-3 a year.

  7. Kisha (or anybody),
    What’s your laser printer brand? After reading all of these posts about laser printers, I am seriously considering getting one, since our little HP seems to drink ink like water! But the problem is that there are so many brands and types!

    1. Naomi, I have several printers that I use the remanufactured ink. One is a laser (it’s a Dell) and the other is an HP OfficeJet All in One. The laser printer is so awesome, it prints super fast and especially great with large print needs (which for us, would be coupons ;).

      1. I’m considering buying a color laser printer from Dell but have also successfully used VistaPrint. However, I use a lot of flyers for promotional purposes and the cost at VistaPrint for those are expensive.

        What do you think the cost comparison is for a color laser printer versus using VistaPrint?

        Thanks! :)

  8. I don’t have any input on the printer cartridges, but I have a great suggestion to save on paper. My kids bring SOOOO many papers home from school (handouts, graded papers, etc.) that I used to just throw away. Now, if the back of the paper doesn’t have dark ink coming through, I save and use those papers to print my coupons. I’ve never had trouble with a coupon not scanning b/c it had printing on the back. I hardly ever need to buy printer paper anymore!

    1. Nicole, you can refill cartridges however the quality isn’t as good. I used to get cartridges refilled at Walgreens when they did the free refills and noticed my ink would streak more and the quality would be hit/miss. The remanufactured cartridges are different since they use the same quality of ink the full-price cartridges has.

  9. I was in the business of publishing for 27 years and have printed four-color bound publications both through a professional print service using four-color presses and digital printing on my business premises. The cost is never cheap. Even when I leased a huge digtal printer that handled 12″x18″ paper and could fold and staple all in one process, ink was very expensive. Of course, on the leased equipment, we were not allowed to use anything but ink manfactured for that machine by the manufacturer. I have also purchased many desktop printers from many different brands through the years and am convinced they did not make their money on the printer itself, but the ink they sold latere. Once you had the equipment it had to be fed and of course each manufacturer and model had to have a different type of cartridge. We never seemed to get the page count that they claimed either. Our first taste of cheaper cartridges was getting refilled cartridges for our old Mac laser printer. It felt so good.
    I am using an old hpdeskjet 940c right now to print my coupons as it takes the cheapest ink of all my printers. I have priced on line and local stores and the averge local retail price for a black ink hp15 is about $35 and for the color hp 48 about $40. I have purchased refilled cartridges at my local cartridge world for a total of $45.40 before taxes for both. The cheapest I could get an hp duo pack was at WalMart for $68.97 before taxes. I could not get both cartridges in Ink for Dummies (carried by WalMart) and the one they did offer was only five dollars cheaper than the brand name.
    The cartridges are holding up well. Cartridge World carries a huge inventory and can be accessed online as well. It is not the cheapest place to buy, obviously purchasing online with a place that offers cheaper prices and free postage would be better. If you don’ t have time to wait ,a local Cartridge World is better than the regular sources.

  10. I learned how to refill my own. Walgreens sells ink refill kits…. I can usually fill my cartridges about 6-8 times before I have to buy another kit. It does get a little messy when I fill them, but for someone who prints an entire paper ream of coupons every 2 or 3 weeks, it has worked for me.

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