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It’s no secret – ink and toner cartridges are expensive, whether you use them for personal or business use. One of the most frustrating things is making the trek to Staples or Office Depot and dropping $40 on a magenta cartridge just so that you can get your report printed for tomorrow’s meeting. Unfortunately, many big printer manufacturers hook you into a sale with an affordable machine, but then knock you back with pricey ink and toner cartridges that only work for that specific machine. The fortunate thing is that there are some insider tricks that can save you big bucks on your ink and toner, and we’re going to share with you our top ways to keep costs down.

  1. Strip Down

Keep your clothes on, we don’t mean strip down in that way. Most websites offer printer-friendly versions of pages that strip everything to black and white, condensed formats so you can print the information that you need without wasting unnecessary ink on things such as ads. If you’re printing a document but you know you won’t need the notes page or two pages of disclaimers at the end, select only the pages or paragraphs you need to print before clicking ‘ok’.


  1. Draft Mode

Most modern printers offer what’s called ‘draft mode’ as a setting. This can be a button on your actual device or an option in the preferences page that pops up before your document is sent to the machine, but what it does is lighten up the font so that it’s still legible but not nearly as dark as if you were to print a ‘final’ copy. If you’re running off recipes or a paper that still needs to be edited, draft mode is a great option.


  1. Third-Party Ink

Yes, there is actually a third-party market for ink. Since costs run so high from big-name manufacturers, a whole market opened up for third-party companies to sell cartridges. It’s not a bad thing to be wary of this option, as common complaints range from a lower-grade output to frequent clogged waste cartridges, but doing your homework before purchasing will help weed out any shady ink dealers.


  1. Ignore Warning Signs

Surprise, surprise – manufacturers want you to purchase more ink. If your ink cartridge starts saying it’s low but you feel like you just replaced it, you might be right. Ink cartridges frequently set off the low ink warning bells prematurely to ‘remind’ you to purchase a new one. You’d be surprised at how much ink actually remains in a cartridge, so make sure to wait until it’s completely empty before heading to the store.


  1. Pay Attention To Font

This isn’t a joke. Font choices can actually affect how much ink is being used during printing. In a study that pitted the most common fonts against each other, it was found that Arial and Calibri actually used significantly more ink to print that Times New Roman. While this might seem a little extreme, paying attention to your font and how many times something has been bolded or highlighted can actually save you money in the long run.


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