When you buy a printer, you’re signing up to buy a lot more in the future. For one, you’ll also have to buy new ink cartridges every time the printer ink runs out. You might have to purchase cartridges before they run out entirely.
One man sued Canon for not letting him use his multi-functional printer that wouldn’t scan when the printer ink was low. He’s seeking over $5 million in damages over the issue. Although you probably won’t spend millions of dollars on your printer, refills and other costs can pile up over time.
That’s why every little penny-pinching tip can help. Read on for five tech hacks you can use to save cash when you print.
1. Always use the Print Preview feature
There’s nothing worse than printing out a page only to find the format is wrong. Unfortunately, documents on the computer can sometimes look better than their paper counterparts.
That’s why you should preview your papers before printing them. This way, you can get a good idea of how the formatting will transfer from the screen to the real world. You can find out which spaces you need to adjust and which pages you can print.
2. Turn off color ink cartridges
Colorful ink can cost a ton of cash over time. If you’re printing a webpage with a vivid pink and purple theme, you might want to switch to black and white. For example, maybe an article you’re printing has a big, fancy footer at the end.
You won’t need it, and it could slurp up a ton of printer ink. Try to make the ink last by printing only what you need. Just remember that a black and white aesthetic is better than colorful pages that zap your bank account balance.
3. Print in Draft mode
If you aren’t printing something important, try this trick. It prints your papers at a lower resolution, which can save ink. Just go to File and then Print. This opens a new window with detailed printer settings. Click on Properties and head to the Paper/Quality heading. Here, you can select Draft Quality Printing.
This way, you can print rough drafts and other unimportant items. You can easily switch to a higher resolution for your professional printing jobs.
4. Check your printer nozzles
Here’s a quick tech lesson if you don’t know how a printer works. Your printer comes with ink nozzles that spew ink onto the paper. Over time, old ink can clog up these nozzles.
Because of this, you should clean the nozzle heads every few weeks. Do this more often if you use the printer a lot. This trick also helps if your color cartridge isn’t printing certain colors.
Remove the ink cartridge and wipe its bottom with a lint-free cloth. A damp paper towel should also do the trick. This can unclog the nozzle, helping ink flow more smoothly from now on.
5. Replace your printer with a better model
Having your own printer is so convenient. You can print coupons, the kids’ homework and essential documents for work, all from the comfort of your home.
The downside? Expensive ink cartridges — unless you purchase an EcoTank printer from our sponsor Epson. They come with a ridiculous amount of ink right in the box — enough to print a whopping 6,000 color pages.