Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ink Saving Tips

So I've yet to really find a steal on printer ink.  About a month or two after I started coupoing, I purchased refillable ink.  Which worked wonders for a month.  And then disaster struck.  I spilled ink all over me.  And my kitchen.  My nail beds were black for something like EIGHT days.  Because one can only scrub her nail beds so much before tears form.  This was a rinse, wash, repeat situation about three equally ridiculous times.  The final time resulted in ink spilling all over me- like so much spilled on my leg that it soaked through my favorite pajama pants and onto my knee and leg.  And on the carpet.  Holy hot mess.

So what I am trying to say is that it was not purdy, my friends.

Though it felt sort of cool until disasters started popping up.  Refilling my ink was a close as I would ever come to a medical career.  I felt fancy and surgical.  And I am trying to look into how to make it work because the cost is significantly lower to re-fill your own.

So then the printer refused to print with the refillable ink altogether.  Just stopped recognizing that there really was ink in there.  Only new ink seemed to work. 

Great.  Super helpful.  Oy!

That all said, I do have a few tips to save ink. 

First, if you are in the market for a new printer, check out the ink prices first.  This is not something I did and now I am paying for some of the most expensive ink ever known to man.  I wish I had bought a more expensive printer that used less expensive ink.  Live and learn.

Second, print in black and white.  Better yet, grayscale.  My coupons seem to scan better when not in color anyway.  And never have issues with grayscale.  Color ink is more expensive than black and white. 

Third, pay attention when printing.  Many coupons come with 1/2 a page of advertising.  When I see a coupon is finished printing, I hit cancel on my printer to stop it from wasting ink (and paper) on an ad.  I mean, if I'm printing the coupon, no need to sell me on the ad.  I'm clearly already interested.

Fourth, know what you are printing.  When I first started couponing, I got excited to see high value coupons for new (to me) products that I wanted to try.  Only to later realize that they weren't even being sold in my region of the country.  Now when I find one of those curiously good coupons, I google to see where the product is being sold.  If it's a CA/WA product, I have no need to print it in NY.

Fifth, paper is cheaper than ink.  In fact, paper is often free.  I used to always print as many coupons as possible per page.  Now I print only what I need.  So if I only want one coupon, that's what I print.  I try to re-use the paper either to print more coupons or to make my shopping lists.

Sixth, and most important, be realistic.  Once I had the (working refillable) ink system going, I started printing everything.  Because the ink was so cheap.  But every time I cleaned out the expired coupons from my binder, I was reminded of how many printed coupons went unused.  I hate waste.  It annoys me.  So I am slowly learning to be realistic.  Am I truly interested in that product?  How much does the product normally sell for? Is that product even sold at my regular stores?  And how many would I really need/want/have room to store?  It might be tempting to print off a coupon for nearly free margarine but if you only eat real butter...what's the point?

I do still print a good many coupons.  But I am starting to let go of a lot of once super attractive coupons.  The whole point of using coupons is to save money.  Where's the savings in printing extra stuff you are never going to need?

1 comment:

Jayna Rae said...

Laser printers are great on ink, not that I have one. I did my first year of teaching though, and I never used the copier. I just printed all my handouts. I didn't run out of ink until the end of April.