If you’re in a pinch and pinching pennies, you may have taken a good, hard look at your budget and mapped out ways to cut your electricity, water and food bills.
But there’s another money drain sitting in your house that you may not have thought of: printer ink.
Yes, printer ink is definitely expensive. So what can you do to get the most bang for your buck? Check out some of the helpful tips we’ve compiled to help you make your ink last as long as possible.
Choose Your Fonts and Formats Wisely
Not all fonts are created equal. Some require much more ink when printing because the letters are naturally wider or bolder. Some of the best fonts for preserving ink, according to a study by Printer.com, include Century Gothic, Ecofont and Times New Roman, all of which resulted in about a 30 percent reduction in ink costs compared to Arial.
Another smart move is to reduce the overall font size whenever possible. Even switching from size 12 to size 11 can help reduce the amount of ink that is used without compromising on readability.
Finally, change the color of your font to a different color, such as grey. In order to find that “sweet spot” in color, experiment with how light you can make the font before it becomes difficult to read. However, even changing from black to the darkest grey will take away some of the pigment necessary for printing, thus saving you ink and money. Don’t forget to change the color scale on images, too.
Shake it Up!
What do you do when your ink pen stops working? Most people give it a vigorous shake to move the ink further down. The same concept applies to printer ink cartridges. If your computer is prompting you to replace the ink cartridge, give it a good shake and see if that placates your computer alert for just a little while longer.
Another way to make use of every last drop of ink is to use a hairdryer to soften up any ink that may have hardened in the cartridge’s pores. The dry, hard ink can form when a printer isn’t used very often, and the buildup can reduce the flow of ink and trick the computer into thinking that there’s not much ink left in the cartridge. But removing the cartridge and holding a hairdryer about a foot away for a couple of minutes can provide just enough heat to soften up the hardened ink and get things running again. An alternative is to simply wipe away the buildup, but if you are already running pretty much on empty, the hairdryer method will preserve that hardened ink and make it usable again.
Don’t Replace the Cartridge Right Away
Computers are quite sophisticated, so surely they know when the cartridge is truly empty, right? Wrong! You’ve probably been in the habit of trusting the little alert that pops up on your computer, warning you to replace the cartridge. Resist the urge to immediately yank out the old cartridge and plop in a new one. If you ignore the alert and carry on printing, you’ll find that you can get a good number of pages out of it yet.