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Ways to Save on Printer Ink (Plus, Share Your Tips!)

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If you’re looking for ways to save on printer ink (from printing all those awesome coupons 😉 ), here’s a few helpful tips for ya…

Inkjet Versus Laser Printer:

Many of you have stated that the longest lasting, most reliable, and most affordable (in the long run) printers are laser printers! Although laser printers may cost more initially, they tend to be faster, use less ink, and are much cheaper on a month to month basis (i.e. cost of inkjet cartridges versus laser toner cartridges).

Helping You Find the BEST Printer:

* Top 5 Printers
* Guide to Top 10 Printers in 2015

Continuous Flow System:

Already have an inkjet printer? Then you may want to consider a Continuous Flow System. This system will help you save big bucks on printer ink as it eliminates the need for replacement ink cartridges. For more information on this economical system, click here.

Best Places to Purchase Ink:


Readers Tips on How to Save Money on Ink and Paper:

I bought a Brother Laser when it was on sale at one of the office stores. I used the black tape trick (YouTube video shows you how) and have had printer for over 2 years and just now replaced the toner it came with. This is with my major coupon printing and my husband printing college work. I also do the Office Max rewards program and get the cases of paper for pennies after rewards every time it is offered.

I set it to “Toner Save Print Mode” right away. Also, I “tricked” my toner after I got a warning message to replace it and got additional months of life. I am unable to “tape” my toners as it doesn’t have a window to cover. Instead, it has a slow rotating gear on the side of the cartridge and this gear can be easily reset by turning it backwards manually. There are tons of videos on youtube, explaining it.

One tip that I have is that I enable a Print Preview for each document. It makes the printing process longer, but I can tell if a coupon is printing at the top, middle, or bottom of the page. That way I can use half sheets if a coupon is printing from the top.

For the one-page ads with a single coupon on the page, I cut my paper into 4’ sections. That way the coupon prints at the top and then stops. Of course, sometimes you get a coupon that prints at the bottom. I try to only use the cut paper on coupons that I know will print at the top. If I am printing a coupon and I see that there is an ad below it, once the coupon prints, I hit STOP on my printer.

The trick to making your ink last longer is to set your printer to print in grayscale, black ink only, and to print in Fast Draft mode. I have my cartridges refilled at Walgreens. Before I take a cartridge to the store, however, I use a little rubbing alcohol on the ports of the cartridge to prevent dry ink from clogging the ports (where the ink is inserted). Works like a charm.

For anyone out there who has toner cartridges, when the printer states that the toner is low, take the cartridge out and look for a little “window” on the side. Cover it with a piece of black electrical tape, and you’ll get MANY more pages of ink out of it. The window lets light in and tells the owner to buy a new cartridge but, in reality, there is still plenty of toner in the cartridge.

What are some ways you save on printer ink? Please Share!

[h2s_box]Keep in mind that if you want to easily access this post in the future, be sure to save it to your Hip List. You can also access it (and other reader tips) by clicking on the orange “Show All Categories” button on the right sidebar and then clicking on “Reader Tips.” [/h2s_box]

Join The Discussion

Comments 19

  1. Julie Hamilton

    This article was amazing! I have an HP because I heard it saves money…heck no it does! I have gone thru so much ink! I will really take this into consideration! Thanks love!

  2. candy

    I am still unable to comment on your facebook page, please help!

  3. Martha J Sanquenetti

    What a timely article!!! I was printing some coupons from here and my printer said I had to change a cartridge. Thought I had one but of course I didn’t. Had already set the printer to print with just the black cartridge but it wouldn’t work. And since the coupons were already in the printer que, they had to be deleted to even use the printer. Of course thinks I already printed my two copies even tho I didn’t. So consequently I lost out on a couple of great coupons!!!
    So frustrating!!!!
    All I could think of was the commercial where the little kid is on hold and number 55 inline and the hold message says your call is important to us and he forcefully throws the cell phone down!!! I would like to throw my printer!!!
    Any advice from your readers on what they use that works? Is Laser the way to go?

  4. lucky

    I put it on grayscale and draft setup and if i print one coupon on a page, i cut it out right after the coupon’s dotted line and reuse the page for other printouts. I save paper!

  5. Jacks

    House of Toners on eBay!! Have ordered from them 3 or 4 times now and highly recommend. My printer takes HP 920 ink. It comes in refilled cartridges, so be prepared for it to (possibly) be a little messy, but not bad once ya get the hang of it. Also they stand behind their product. I’ve had a cartridge or two come in the mail leaking (they are individually packaged) and all I had to do was send them an email and a pic of the faulty product and they sent out a replacement right away! I’ve been getting the 11 pack (9 color, 2 black XL) for a little over 20 bucks and it’s been lasting me almost an entire year each time! Oh, and that’s even with printing out a lot of coupons…thanks to Hip2Save 😉

  6. Sarah C

    As for paper to print Qs on…all those sheets the school sends home all year?? Yup I always use the backs of ones if not printed on…classwork sheets ect ect

    • Katie

      Yay! What a great idea!

      • Mandy

        That is a great idea!

  7. AJ

    Collin, can you please do a video or write an article about printing from the app?

    I would love to be able to print coupons from my ipod touch, but I’ve been reading that HP is the only printer that works on the app?

    I really don’t want to get another printer 🙁

    I emailed and asked the same question.
    Still waiting for a reply.

    If anybody has the same problem please post your advice and experience, thank you.

    • Sally

      I am able to use an Epson computer through the app. Maybe try again?

    • mel

      The printer has to be Wireless. If it’s not wireless, it won’t work. If you do have a wireless printer, make sure it’s set to your home WIFI. I have the app on my android (galaxy s3) linked with a wireless Brother printer. Some devices are just not compatible with though. I can’t print from my son’s galaxy tablet. Was pretty bummed about that! I believe GroceryIQ is similar to for apple users.

  8. Kim

    499 inks is great also!

  9. Mia

    Cosco reffils inks too… around $10 for XL ( they often have sale too) and no mess at all, works like new;-)

  10. Stacey

    Awesome about the Hip List. Is there a way to do on phone via the app I don’t see it? TIA

  11. Luna

    How can I save on toner?

  12. Sheila

    Invest $50-$60 in a Brother Monochrome Laser Printer. Best money we ever spent!!! Buy generic cartridges on Amazon super cheap once maybe twice a year. Such a money saver!!!

  13. Lyn T

    that’s what already i’ve been doing is to set it in gray scale for sure…. My printer is a canon brand and we use generic ink/toner from toner and will last for months!!! Having said that, generic inks wont work in Epson printer, i don’t know about other printer as well, but i know it works on the Canon one.

  14. Elizabeth

    I searched “generic ink cartridge” on amazon and they have them there for like $1 each and they seem to have lasted about as long as the hp ones I have bought in the past. Best deal of the year!

  15. Lori N.

    I just used Costco’s ink refill service. Filled XL HP cartridges at $10.49 each. Dropped them off when I first got there and they were ready in an hour (or less). Installed when I got home and they work fine, Ordering 2 new cartridges would have cost at least $75.

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