Thrifty Thursday: Ten Tips for Saving Money on Printing Costs

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Today I'm going to share with you how to save money on printing costs. We all print amazing internet coupons, but if you've even just started printing coupons, you've probably realized just how short-lived those print cartridges are!

Here are a few tips on maximizing your ink usage and lowering your out-of-pocket costs for printing supplies.

  1. Buy your cartridges online. There are several online retailers, but my favorite is DataBazaar. They offer free shipping and my normally $14+ cartridges cost me $4. They're easy to use and last long- both bonuses!
  2. Refill your print cartridges at drug stores. I know Walgreens in my area has this service. I've heard it's substantially less than buying a new cartridge. However, I know they don't offer this service for a wide variety of printers, so call ahead first.
  3. If you have to buy them at a store, go to Staples. They have moderate prices, good selection and will also take your old cartridge and give you a $3 credit on your next cartridge purchase!
  4. Print in draft. I print my coupons in color. The reasoning is because there are often watermarks on coupons that simply don't print in black & white. Many online coupons are high value and I don't want to take any chances with my coupon not being accepted! You can select “draft quality” (also called “fast quality”) in the Preferences options before printing.
  5. Watch your coupon print. Most often, the coupon prints on the top, with advertisements on the bottom. After the coupon prints, push the “Cancel Print” button. The rest of the sheet comes out and you haven't wasted your ink on those ads!
  6. Don't replace your cartridge until the ink is GONE. My printer gives me a warning for a long time before the ink runs out completely. During that time, my print quality still looks very good. If I replaced the cartridge when the warning came up, I'd waste quite a bit of usable ink! Wait for the ink to be completely out before replacing it. {Each printer is different- if yours is running out of ink and the prints start to look terrible, replace the cartridge!}
  7. Stop printing photos from your printer! Sure, it's nice to have them right then, but the quality really is much better when you use an online photo service such as Shutterfly for printing.
  8. Print on scrap paper. Old homework assignments, fliers- if it has a blank side, use it to print coupons!
  9. Print on both sides of a new sheet of paper. This tip only works for single prints of coupons! When you print several from places like, don't try to print on the back side or you'll end up with a coupon on each side of the paper {and having to choose which one to use!}
  10. Take advantage of “Back to School” sales for buying paper. Right now, office retailers are having huge sales to get shoppers in for school supplies. Even if you don't have kids in school, pay attention to these sales and stock up now!
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11 thoughts on “Thrifty Thursday: Ten Tips for Saving Money on Printing Costs

  1. Beattie Family says:

    Thanks for the tips! I need a new ink cartridge and hadn't even thought to fill it up or get a cheaper one online. I love being able to come to your site and find information for Utah.

  2. Anonymous says:

    wow thanks for giving the tip on where to get ink for the printer. I was really dragging my feet spending so much money on just one cartridge let alone two! I didn't get it at four bucks but I'm as happy as a lark. Thanks so much again for the great tips

  3. xela says:

    I know this post is really old, so maybe no one will see this tip, but I just found the most amazing deal and had to share… I normally pay $7.50 for my black ink cartridges at Wal-Mart. I got an email from ebates yesterday with an offer of 19% cash back on ink from so I decided to check it out. They had my toner for only $3.99 each, or $2.99 if you buy 3 or more, plus there was a back to school coupon code that gave me an ADDITIONAL 10% off. So after all the discounts and cash back from ebates, my cost per cartridge was only $2.19… a 70% savings!!

  4. Anonymous says:


    If your printer doesnot print the colors,just go the properties of your printer and click on ''print colors in black & white "tab.
    Thats what I do.

  5. Karen Z. says:

    I take my cartridge out of the printer, shake it up, put it back in, and I can usually get a lot more printing use out of it too. It's like shaking shampoo to the bottle opening to get more out.

  6. Trevor says:

    I'd also suggest looking at LaserJet printers. I bought a refurbished color LaserJet for $100 over a year ago and have not had to replace the toner yet. The advantage of a LaserJet is that you replace toner so infrequently that even though it is more expensive when you do replace it the cost per page is much, much less. If you don't print photos at home you may want to look into a LaserJet.

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