Friday, January 15, 2010

Frugal Friday: Got Ink?

This is my printer.

This is my printer with ink.

See how many cartridges it takes...all at once?

Said printer will not work even if ONE color is empty...even the very light blue which, really, how much light blue do you need? (I rarely change that one)

Anyway, as you know, I print a lot of coupons. I try hard to use fast drafts and black ink when possible, but not all of the time. I also home school, which means we make copies of something almost every day.

Printer ink is expensive.

Individually, the cartridges for my printer are roughly $10 each depending on where you buy them; sometimes up to $14.99. I found a multi-pack that includes one of each color, along with a huge stack (200?) of 4x6 photo paper for around $50. Yes, it's a better deal. Though, since the light pink and light blue aren't used as much as the others - I have a LOT of them collecting in the drawer. So, here I am STILL trying to lesson the amount I'm spending on ink.

Some people do refills, though I have heard horror stories about them leaking all inside the printer and what-not. Trust me, that would happen to us so I avoid that option. Others have mentioned online ink companies where you buy in a bulk fashion. I like that idea even though it's more money forked out up front.

I am now going to try the Staples Rewards program (this is NOT a credit card - simply a store rewards card.) It's free to sign up. They have two different programs: one for anyone and one for teachers. Once you enroll, you can print your Rewards card right online. HERE are the benefits you will receive with the "anyone" program. Most interesting to me:

Recycle any ink or toner cartridge, up to 10 per calendar month, and get $3 back in rewards per cartridge. Ink Recycling rewards are issued monthly.

Do the math. You can earn up to $30.00 (in store credit) per month! Plus, you can feel good about recycling those old ink cartridges. Get them from your friends & family, gather them from work, or maybe your printer takes six at a time - like mine. (I already have 3 sitting here empty) Then, when you receive your credit, use it to buy more ink.

That's my plan.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Do you have any suggestions for saving money on printer ink?
Leave a comment and let us all know!


dianne - bunny trails said...

I do this and get some nice checks from my ink cartridges. I think I'd look into getting a different printer, though. It would make me cranky to not be able to print just because one was empty. My Epson doesn't do that to me. If I'm out of black, it asks if I want the printer to make black out of a composite of the three color inks. It's quite nice. And I do <3 Staples Rewards.

Mum in Bloom said...

Saw your link over at Life As Mom. Great tip!

Mum in Bloom said...

Saw your link over at Life As Mom. Great tip!

Toni said...

Dianne - mine WILL do that for a little while, but will stop if the ink is completely out - which is why I like having the "backups" stashed in the drawer :)

Mum - Thanks for stopping by!