You all know I live on a tight budget and that every penny is accounted for. I allow myself treats, of course, but where I can save money I will and when it's something I do a lot of I really want to make the most out of it. I print a lot. From quotes and art work to hang in frames to invitations and photos to the many many drafts of my novel that have ended up in the recycling bin. Ink is expensive in my world and a luxury so I don't tend to buy a lot of it and save it for when I need it. Or I did before the novel stress of 2013. So I'm going to give you a few tips on saving those cartridges because knowledge is power (or something like that).
❥ Buy your cartridges from a trusted source. There are so many duds on eBay that I've been fooled into for the price that haven't lasted a month without heavy use. Sure, I've got lucky a few times but I've also wasted money. The luck of the draw for some but I've learned my lesson with them. There are plenty of places that sell reputable cartridges so buy from local computer supply stores and support local businesses or go online as I do and buy from Cartridge Discount. My printer is a HP so I end up lusting over this page. Yes, I like to print. A lot.
❥ Always buy compatible ink cartridges. They save you money in the long run and are a lot kinder on the environment. Now, I'm a terrible recycler and my boyfriend often has to go through the bins and sort them out after I've tried to help but when I can buy the greener option, I do. A single mono toner cartridge has approximately 4.8 kg CO2 per cartridge (excluding the toner inside). I'm sounding a bit preachy now but I firmly believe in reducing our impact and I'm learning to get the bins in order.
❥ Print black and white where you can and if it's a simple print and not an important document (like my novel pages which will from now on be in the right bin) choose a high speed and set the print quality to 'draft'. It doesn't take much of the quality away but it's enough to make a significant saving on your ink.
❥ I found this website today Print What You Like where you can select only certain parts of a web page to print and get rid of all the ads and unnecessary text. This will just make me dangerous for the wedding scrapbook, I know it.
❥ And the biggest tip? Invest is a universal chip resetter. Basically your printer can sometimes say it's out of ink when it's really not. This little thing will reset your printer so it overrides this command and allows you to use what's actually left of your cartridge. If you're using an Epson printer they can be picked up on eBay but if you're using a HP it's a little more tricky but still doable (you can find out how here).
* If you like the budget series, please tell me. I'm happy to do posts on how I personally save money and share my tips (not the crap ones in the likes of Pick Me Up).