Thursday, April 9, 2009

money saving tips for your printer

Most homeschooling families have their own printer and use it on a daily basis. We generally use a lot of information off of the Internet, and there are many free lessons online. But the cost of printing does add up.

Here are a few of my tips to help keep those printing costs down.

Walgreen's will refill black cartridges for $10. However, several times a year they will run a coupon to refill them for only $5. The coupon can be found online at their website in their circular, or go into the store and get one of their circulars free.

If you have an Office Depot nearby, check them out. Ours will give me a $3 credit for each empty ink cartridge I bring in.

Office depot often has paper sales or paper by the case sales. Now, combine that case sale with several empty ink cartridges and you will save even further. Once I got a case of paper for only $7 this way.

Print on both the front and back of your paper. You will maybe have to reset your printer options to do this.

For everyday school work and notes, don't print in high quality. It uses more ink. Instead print in the lowest quality setting your printer offers. To change that you will have to go into your print options.

On some printers, you can turning your printer off will recap your cartridge, and prevent the ink from drying out. (It will also save electric).

Store unused ink cartridges in the refrigerator. They will last longer.

If your ink acts like it is quitting, clean off the head with some rubbing alcohol. Often you can get several more sheets printed that way.

Don't change ink as soon as you get the low ink message. Mine will keep printing another week or two before it actually runs dry.

When you buy a new printer, don't go only for the printer price. You also need to compare what the cost of the cartridges are as well.

Don't be afraid to try generic cartridges. Save your receipt. If they don't work, take them back where you bought them.

Check prices. For my printer, it is $2 cheaper at Radio Shack than it is at Walmart for a cartridge. But, if I have an empty one or two to take in , my best deal is at Office Depot.

To stretch your cartridge the longest, refill it a few times before you take it in for credit. Mine seem to be OK refilled twice, but I loose quality after the third refill-I think the print heads wear out.

Most homeschooling families are single income families, or run on 1 and 1/2 incomes. Simple tricks like this can add up to major savings when combined with other savings at year end.

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