Guest Post: Saving Money on Printer Ink!

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Guest Post by By Hollie from ShoppingWithCents:

Saving Money on Ink & Printing!
I get asked this question all the time. “How do you save money on ink?”

We are in the business of finding all the great deals for you, helping you cut the cost of your shopping bill & we are always telling you to go here and print this coupon, but how can we cut the costs on our ink usage? Here are a few ideas on things you can do to help cut your printing costs:

1) Refill your ink cartridges. In my town there is a local shop that fills them for ½ of what it would have cost to buy a new one. Check around your area, you can even find refill stations in your local mall. Walgreen’s refills your cartridges for $10-$15 typically. Also you can recycle your old ink cartridges at Staples & they will give you a $3 voucher which you can then use toward a new one!

2) Use recycled paper for your printing. This can include the kid’s leftover assignments from school, scrap papers, newsletters, etc. Any paper with a blank backside. I simply turn them over and print on the back. When using clean brand spanking new white paper I print coupons on both sides…You know how you print off a coupon and it has a whole bunch of writing below it….what a waste! I print another single coupon on the other side running the opposite direction. My printer even does a great thing: When I am printing a single coupon, right after it shows the coupon coming out of my printer I can hit cancel and it doesn’t print all that extra wording. Saves ink there!

3) Set your printer to “draft quality”. Simply go into your printer settings and select options and adjust accordingly. This uses half the ink and you still get the full coupon printout effect. I also print my coupons in black ink only. Color ink is so much more expensive to purchase, so not using color saves me a lot of money there. I haven’t had a coupon denied yet due to the fact that I print in black only.

Hip2Save here:
What are some ways you save on printer ink? I know we could all benefit from getting any additional tips on this topic!

Join The Discussion

Comments 50

  1. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I print at work. Ha, ha.

  2. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Okay, that made me laugh 🙂

  3. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Is it right to use your employers money to print your coupons?

  4. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    My DH is investing in a Laser printer for me. He says will last longer with all the printing I do.

  5. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I also wanted to add that you can look online for great places to buy ink inexpensively! I had a gal mention this place:

    I have not tried them out but she said they are a great price (depending on brand you need), fast service & free shipping!

  6. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Would you like to own a business and have your employees print their coupons off of your back?
    It’s not funny! It’s a character flaw.

  7. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Carla you are right! Thanks for sharing that with us! I laughed because my Father is my employer so he doesn’t care!!!

  8. Collin (Mrs. Hip)



  9. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Holly, 🙂
    It must be great to work for your dad!

  10. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Carla- Yes it has it’s perks!!! That’s for sure!

  11. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Hearing about Laser printers makes me want to look into getting one!!! I do print a lot of coupons so this may be a great investment. Can anyone recommend a good brand?

  12. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Yea, I print at work too. I had to remove my name; the girls up there read this blog HA! Is it right to print at work, absolutely not. I will have to confess my sins the next time I go to confession. I guess its just a character flaw; I also speed sometimes and look for the meters that still have a little time on them.

  13. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    print at you library toner and paper for free. plus you can print a set of coupons at each computer station…hehehehehe

    I should note that they are not actually free, We pay a ^&%^& load in property taxes to support the library. So if you divide it out each coupon probably costs around $300 dollars to print.

  14. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    My Library charges around 3 cents per print so not too bad if you want extra coupons for Free or close to free items when a sale hits!

  15. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I have the Brother laser printer. It has worked flawlessly!
    We purchased it at Office Max.

  16. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I have been thinking about getting a laser printer. Mine is almost on its last leg after the whole Velveeta printing marathon. My husband also says it is a great way to save on ink.
    I love the idea in the post of using the backs of other papers; like the numerous copies that my oldest one brings home from school.
    Thanks for such a timely post.

  17. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    My husband sells printer ink and toner for a National Printer Products. These ink cartridges are not just refilled like the cartridges at Walgreens but are actually re-manufactured.

    NPP offers a great price, better quality, FREE shipping, and come with a money back guarantee.

    If you’re interested in pricing for your individual printers, email him at

    Here’s a link to their website:


  18. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Ok you guys have talked me into getting a laser for my Couponing Habit!!!

  19. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    The laser printer is SO nice!! When you are printing piles of coupons, you just don’t have to feel bad about using up ink!
    I am a penny pincher big time! But don’t even have to think about using $$ when printing with laser.
    Holly, You won’t be disapointed! 🙂

  20. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I have to comment about the Walmart ink refills. I tried them, and they’re cheap for a reason. If you’re only using it for coupons, you would be fine. However, if you use your printer for other things, you may be unhappy with the quality of the ink they use. Fortunately, I asked BEFORE I got them filled, and they DO give refunds if you are unhappy with it – so, no loss there. I hated it, and got my money back.

    I also wanted to say that Office Max also gives a $3 credit for certain brands of cartridges. You can turn in 10 a week. I have done it twice, and have $60 in credit. [My DH was allowed to have a huge bag of HP cartridges from his previous employer.] I homeschool, and when I’m done turning in all the carts I have, I’ll have gotten myself a new whiteboard and markers, and tons of ink and paper for free.

  21. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Just a note … I actually have had my coupons rejected by Albertson’s because they were printed in black and white. Their manager said their new policy is to accept only coupons printed in color. So now I print everything in color, just to be safe. Ugh.

  22. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I think the first time I refilled my ink cartridge was my last. I did it at Walgreens last month. I don’t know if it caused it or if it was just a coincidence but my printer broke after using the the refilled ink cartridge for a week or so and we had to buy a new one. My printer said there was a ink jam and then the darn thing just broke. So beware.

  23. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I just google the type and number of ink I need (ex. HP 21). I usually find an electronic place that sells it for half of what I would pay at Wal-mart….

  24. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Quite often my internet printed coupons say right on them that they can be printed in either black and white or color. I have pointed that out to cashiers before, and they are ok with it. I do realize that b&w coupons may look photocopied, but I have never had any problem with using them that way. I don’t have an ‘Albertson’s’ in my area. I have successfully used my B&W coupons at Wal-mart, Walgreens, Meijer, K-Mart, CVS, and the Rite Aid’s in my area that accept IP coupons.

  25. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Thanks for the info about Office Max. I need to take in my old cartridges and hopefully build up enough credit to get my Laser printer for FREE! It is great getting all the facts and pros & cons from all you deal finders before I make the Laser printer purchase. Thanks so much you are the best!

  26. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    We have a new spiffy printer that we use to print all of the important things. For coupons I got to older printer that just prints black. Also, my husband re-fills the ink for me. He got an ink refill kit and enough black ink to to refill a billion times for super cheap!

  27. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Sorry – I said “Walmart” ink refills – I meant WALGREENS.

  28. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Staples also gives $3 in Staples Rewards for every used ink cartridge. They don’t seem to care what kind they are either. I know I have turned in remanufactured ones before.

    I tried the Walgreens refill twice. First one did not last long at all and second caused my nearly new color cartridge to quit working two. Won’t do that again.

  29. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I heard that you can use the registry kiosks at Target to print the Target coupons. Have not done this, but have heard of some who have.

  30. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I’ve found that using a black and white laser printer is a HUGE savings! I just got a new one when Staples ran their printer recycling deal, and I ended up paying $49.99 for it! I posted how to do this here: Then deal is over right now, but it’s worth watching for it the next time it’s offered.

  31. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Hi Ladies, I don’t know if this would be helpful to any of you, but Office Depot also does the $3.00 credit for ink cartridges that are recycled…I believe it’s a limit of 5 a day…you have to belong to their Worklife Rewards and you get your credit in the form of a gift card. They also give you 10% back on ink, toner, and paper. You can find info on
    A couple weeks ago, I purchased 2 combo packs and I got $10.00 off (it must be a promotion they have when you buy 2) and I also had a $10.00/$50.00 purchase. When you belong to My Worklife Rewards they periodically send you 2 of the $10 coupons above. I used the 2nd one at Staples last week.

    So a store will actually take a coupon with something on the back of it?

    To those printing in black ink only, and you have a problem with them not accepting them, show them the numbers that make each coupon unique. Last week at ShopRite, I had 3 coupons for free Macaroni Grill meals that I won. The cashier needed the key for the register when it’s over a certain amount. The girl that came over to the register looked at the coupon and said, “do we even take these?”. I told her they weren’t printed coupons. She said they’ve been having a lot of coupon fraud. I did show her how each coupon has a different code…and also, if you look at that real fine print around the coupon, if actually has the time you printed the coupon. HTH

  32. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    i have a laser printer and just ran out of ink. my cartridge was over a 100 but i get 5,000 pages. So the cartridges do last a long time but they are expensive.

  33. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I buy all our ink on ebay. They are SO cheap. I do find that they don’t last quite as long and I clean my printer heads frequently to head off clogs, but the rice is literally so much cheaper than stores that it still is worth it. Plus, I recycle them for $3 each, which is more than I pay for each cartridge when you break it down. 🙂

    My husband brings home paper fro work hat has been printed on. I print ALL my coupons on it – who cares if something else is on the back?!?

  34. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    We throw away tons of paper on a daily basis at my job. I use that paper and print coupons on the back side of the paper. I have even supplied my family with recycled paper – it’s good for coloring for the kids as well. I also print b&W, draft quality, and try and hit cancel after the coupon prints. I refill my cartridge at Walgreens. It doesn’t seem to last as long as a brand new one, but it does the trick. Made it through the Kraft printing bonanza without have to replace the cartridge although the ink was drying so I had to pause it every now and then.

  35. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I also use a laser printer. I can print up to 6000 pages for about $70.

  36. Collin (Mrs. Hip) offers cheap ink cartridges and free shipping.

  37. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I have an Epson 7450 printer and have been told that the cartridges cant be refilled because there is a chip in the cartridge that can tell when it’s taken out of the printer, and wont let you refill and put it back in. I usually print in black only (it still uses a little color from the other cartidges). I usually pay about $13 per black cartrige. I just figure its the cost of my “hobby” and try to just print the coupons I know I will actually use.

  38. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    By far the best place for printer ink is You can even go to and find a promo code to save even more. They have new genuine manufacturer inks (the refills have never worked for me). They ship super fast, and we are always very happy with them!!

  39. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    My husband works for a toner and copier sales company. We get a good deal. Check them out Tell them Bill’s wife sent you. He works on commision and can ship.

  40. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    When I set my computer to “draft” printing to save on the ink, it wouldn’t print most of the coupons I print. As soon as I changed it back to normal quality, they printed fine. Anyone else have that problem?

  41. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I had my hp black cartridge refilled at walgreens on the 19th of April and it ran out May 14. I didn’t print the kraft but I have been doing more ip coupons. Is this an acceptable about of time? I can’t tell because my printing habits have changed in last 2 months. Ha, Ha, I need to know before I go over and fill again. Thanks

  42. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    My ink usually lasts around 2-3 months and I print alot. I have a HP officejet.

  43. Collin (Mrs. Hip) has a brother laser printer on sale for $65 with free shipping. The deal is good until Monday. It got great reviews and the deal is a steal!

  44. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    my canon eats through ink quickly, when i set the printer to use less ink and only black and white i had several people give me a hard time about the coupons especially when they would not scan, now i just try to only print what i hope is likely to be used.

  45. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Yes isn’t that hard deciding what to print? I do that a lot lately! Cause I usually throw a lot out when because they expire before I can use them! I really only print the items my family uses on a daily basis or items I would like to get. That way I don’t have a gazillion IP coupons…and waste all that ink & paper!

  46. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    You can purchase expired ink on ebay. There is nothing wrong wiht the ink, they just can’t sell it at the stores because it’s expired.

  47. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I have an Epson 925 printer and it goes through alot of ink. Epson ink cartridges can’t be turned in for cash back but only at Staples and we don’t have one here. (I really want a new printer) I would buy the new ones but if you print one color more then the colors then the cartridge becomes pretty much useless. So I started to just get the cheap refilled ones like at Inkgrabber. I first went through MRREBATES to get 20% back on what I buy then I used the code BUNDLE and when you buy $55 worth of software you get free shipping and 6 free software. They have a ton of different codes. I got 5 colored and 4 black cartridges for $59 and through mrrebates I got almost $12 back. So for $47 I got 9 cartridges and 6 free software. (the list of software items are on the web site) The cartridges work pretty good, not as good as new ones but for the cost of 2 new ones I got 9 so over all it was a lot better deal. There are a ton of cheap ink companies online and if you use something like MYPOINTS, MRREBATES, UPROMISE, CASHBAQ or EBATES usually they give you alot back on INK companies like between 10% to 20% back. So just do a little research to find the best deal. Sorry so long. Hope this helps.

  48. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I had that same problem when I turned my printer prefrences to draft. It would just spit out a blank sheet of paper (I have a hp photosmart 7150). If I put it on normal settings, it prints fine.. I dunno what the reason for that is, but if I find out I’ll post it on here

  49. Miguelina Lura

    This really helps me a lot. Thanks!

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