It’s become a fun fact that’s often wheeled out at dinners and business meetings alike that printer ink is more expensive than gold by weight, but the reality of the fact is that it means printing can be a huge cost for businesses. Finding the cheapest printing techniques isn’t always easy and it’s not like you have money to print out, which is why we’ve put together this simple guide.
In this blog, we lay out how to print for cheap (or at least cheaper!), so whether you’re running a business from home or in a dedicated workspace, you can save some of that valuable capital. With around 20% of businesses failing in the first year, property prices on the rise, and economic uncertainty on the horizon, knowing the cheapest way to print could be a vital aspect of staying afloat.
Cheapest Printing Practices: Be Vigilant with Your Work
This might sound too obvious, or maybe even a little patronizing, but it’s still highly relevant. Just make sure to keep double and triple checking your work at every stage in the game, especially before sending it to print.
If you print off a document, or even worse copies of a document with grammatical or spelling errors on them, you’re not presenting your work as well as possible to whoever it may concern. In this case, you’ll more than likely want to make the edit and reprint, but if you’d simply checked for the mistakes more vigilantly, you wouldn’t have to waste all that time, printer ink, and of course, money.
Cheapest Printing Practices: Use Duplex (double-sided) Printing
While a lot of the cost of printing is reserved for ink and energy, it still costs a lot to keep a home or office full of proper printer paper. One way to save money on paper is to print with Duplex or double-sided formatting. By doing this, you can literally cut the cost of your paper spend in half, while also doing your bit to reduce paper consumption in an eco-friendly way.
This technique does of course have its drawbacks. Double-sided pages of prose and information aren’t generally seen as suitable documents to send to clients or to be used in more professional capacities, however, for office happenings, memos, and employee information, it’s a great way to get more out of your resources.
Cheapest Printing Practices: Finish Your Ink Cartridges
When figuring out how to save money on printer ink, one of the easiest, most effective things you can do is to simply use your ink until the last drop. This might sound a little diffuse, but often printers will display low ink warnings when there’s as much as 40% left in your cartridges. That means if you’re to take the warnings as gospel, you could be increasing your ink spend by almost double.
You can still use your warnings as a cue to fill up on new cartridges, but don’t feel the need to replace them at the first sign of the warning light. Use your cartridges until there’s nothing left to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
Cheapest Printing Practices: Use an Eco Font
Not many people are aware of this, but a surefire way to reduce your cost per page to print is to use a more economical font. There are a number of fonts that use a lot less ink than others when printed onto the page, and by using them you can get a lot more out of your ink cartridge spend.
Fonts that are particularly effective at saving ink and in turn money include:
- Times New Roman
- Century Gothic
Other practices that can work in this vein include reducing your use of larger headers, underlining, and bold lettering. Thinner fonts with holes dotted around the lettering are all the right choices for reducing your overall spend.
Cheapest Printing Practices: Avoid Using Color
Black ink is the cheapest on the market, meaning that printing in black and white when you can is a great way to save money on printing. Of course, in some cases, you might need to print images, but if you can get away with doing so without the use of color, you’ll do wonders for your printing budget.
Color printing costs around 10-15 cents per page, while black and white costs only around 5 cents, so reducing your use of color could cut your costs down by half or more. It’s also worth considering the distinction between grayscale vs monochrome printing for images, as grayscale uses color ink to create darker patches, while monochrome printing uses only black.
Cheapest Printing Practices: Final Thoughts
Whether you print at home or in the office, using these tips and doing more research into cheaper practices will help you to keep printing affordable, while also reducing the environmental impacts. Along with your own methodology, there are smart purchases you can make, such as more economical printers and remanufactured cartridges which will help you to keep costs down.
It’s also worth noting that the modern workplace is largely digital these days, which could call into question the necessity of printing as much as you might have done in the past. When you can, it makes more sense to stay online. Memos can be delivered via emails, as can employee information packages, and contracts, so try to stick to printing only when it’s truly necessary.
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