How to save on your printer ink cartridges

I bet yout want to save on your printer ink cartridges, they are so expensive, especially the orginal brand cartridges, even more expensive than the printer itself! It doesn't make much sense.

Luckily, there are several alternatives: you can buy compatible cartridges, remanufactured cartridges, have your ink cartridges refilled or you can even refill them by yourself.

However, I believe it all starts from the printer!!

Which printer shall I buy? Rule number one

There are so many printers available around that you'll be spoilt for choice. I won't examine any of them but the only thing I recommend if you want to save money is to buy a printer that has 4 separate cartridges, one per each colour.

In case you haven't noticed, some printers have one cartridge that includes the four colours, black, yellow, cyan (blue), magenta (red), while other printers have 4 separate cartridges, one per each colour.

With a printer with only one cartridge, when you run out of ONE colour (usually black), you have to replace the WHOLE cartridge and throw it away with all the remaining inks for the other colours.

I really don't understand why they make such cartridges this way, to me it only seems a way to force you to buy more ink, that is, spend more money.

A lot of people don't pay attention to this when they buy their printer, maybe printers with one cartridge are cheaper, but when you buy your printer ink cartridges, you spend much more.

Which printer ink cartridges shall I buy?

Original cartridges

This is easy to understand, they are the cartridges produced by the same manufacturer of the printer. Of course, the manufacturer will recommend you to buy their original ones, saying that others may not work well on your printer. It could be true, but I've used both original cartridges and others with no problems.

They are the most expensive ones, but if you choose to buy them, still follow Rule number one with your printer: use separate cartridges.

Compatible printer ink cartridges

These are new cartridges manufactured by others companies, that can work on brand printers. They are very practical, they work exactly as the original ones.

Remanufactured cartridges

These are, sort of, second-hand cartridges, that is they collect and refill used cartridges. This is good because there is less waste of plastic and they are cheaper, although they are not very common.

Refilled ink cartridges

You can have your ink cartridges refilled, there are some shops where you take your empty cartridges and they'll refill them for you.

These shops are usually computer shops or stationery shops in cities, so if you there is one near where you live, it would be a good alternative to buy new cartridges. You'll support a local trade, save money on postage, reduce waste for the cartridges and all packaging.

Refill cartridges yourself

One more option to save some money, is to refill your cartridges yourself. Some computer shops or stationery shops or big supermarket, both online or offline, sell DIY kits. You buy little bottles and refill the cartridges. Easy!

I've never tried it, but I'm going to do it, because this is by far the cheapest option, if you don't mind "getting your hands dirty", as they say!

Save money on paper

Another way to save money, is to save paper. Sheets have two sides, so it makes sense to print on both sides. However, not all printers allow you to do so, therefore before buying your printer check that that it has this function.

Maybe your printer does have this function but you don't know, here's how to check. When you gve the Print command, usually you get a dialogue box where you can choose several options. Click on Properties , then Page layout and look for the 2-sided printing option.

Save the environment: Recycle

In addition to saving money on your printer ink cartridges and on paper, you will save the environment too! This will also save everybody and you a huge amount of money which would be otherwise spent to remedy the damage caused by pollution everywhere: in soil, water, air. We cant't eat printer ink cartridges nor drink printer inks!

Also, ink cartridges are spacial waste, which means you can't throw them in your bin with all your normal waste, they have to be collected and disposed of in a special way. So, you should take them to special recicling facilities, but how many do this?

Some manufacturers will even send you envelopes to send cartridges and toners back to them to recycle, like the epson recycling scheme I've used when I used original cartridges. They even recycle your printer. Check your printer company website to see whether they do they same.

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