The following is a guest post by James Adams.
Printing is now an essential part of the home office environment. Photos, academic papers, reports, research documents and letters are all printed by the millions. The rise of self-employment means that more people than ever have switched to printing their documents themselves at home. Unfortunately, this has lead to rising printing costs. Here are ten ways to save money on printing costs.
1. Use Online Discount Printing Services
Several companies now offer to print whatever their customers want remotely at their offices. They will then ship the printed documents to their clients for a small fee. Prices are much lower than the comparative costs of printing everything at home. All the customer has to do is upload or create their design on the website, choose paper and delivery options and place the order.
2. Print in Draft Mode
Save money on ink by selecting Draft Mode as the default setting. Draft Mode is a setting that prints using less ink and toner than usual. Draft Mode is much faster than the regular setting, so this trick saves both time and money. Documents printed in this mode still look professional and clean. Most printers also allow Draft Mode to be the default setting.
3. Print Using Grayscale
Color printer ink comes in cyan, magenta and yellow. Using only three colors, the printer can create any color required. Printing in color costs much more, however, so save money by only printing in grayscale. This uses shades of black and white to create the appearance of words and images. The process does not use color and uses much less black.
4. Select Text to Print Less
When printing web pages or documents with plenty of colorful images, select only the text when printing. Highlight the text to be printed and then choose the “Selection” option from the “Page Range” section of the dialog box. When that will not work, select only certain pages to print. These techniques work well when printing documents with lots of extraneous material, like blog posts.
5. Shrink to Fit
Even though the printer dialog box says only one page will be printed often two pages are printed. One has text and the other is simply a blank sheet. To correct this problem, use Print Preview and select “shrink to fit”. This will shrink the content down to fit on one page. A custom zoom option is also available, allowing the user to fit even more content on the page.
6. Purchase Refilled Ink Cartridges
Most printer ink cartridges are good for more than one filling. In fact, they can be used many times over. Companies offering to refill ink cartridges for their clients often have cartridges for sale much cheaper than new ones. There is some controversy about how often refilled cartridges fail. An upside to this is most refill companies offer money-back guarantees.
7. Use Laser Printers
Sometimes all costs associated with color ink can be dealt with by changing printers. Switch to a laser printer. Laser printers are not as fast or as fancy as the newer inkjet printers, but their output is still crisp and professional. Best of all, it’s cheap. No more buying ink and replacing cartridges. Just use regular copy paper and save money.
8. Buy Re-manufactured Toner Cartridges
Third party companies now offer re-manufactured toner cartridges for laser printers at substantially reduced prices. Contrary to popular belief, the use of these cartridges does not invalidate the warranty for the printer. Re-manufactured cartridges are made from empty originals. Many websites of questionable authenticity exist online, so be careful and perform due diligence before making any purchases.
9. Use Smaller Fonts
Decreasing the text size will save paper and ink. Be sure to remove any bolding from the text before printing. Make it as small as possible without compromising the ability to read it. Some fonts are simply too small; using these is counterproductive. After all, what use is saving money if the documents are unreadable?
10. Print on Both Sides
Print on both sides of the paper and forgo the use of double spacing. This saves money and drastically reduces the amount of paper used. Doing this allows more information on each document.