Thursday, July 23, 2009

Save Money Printing

Printing costs are a huge issue if you are a couponer or a small business owner. The cost of paper and ink will kill you if you aren't smart about it. And for small business people, all of the additional types of paper you need for advertising is pretty expensive too.

Probably the cheapest and easiest way to save on printing is to purchase a laser printer. I recommend a basic black and white one for printing coupons, shopping lists from The Grocery Game, personal notes, letters, etc. You can get A LOT more pages out of a laser printer than what you can with a laser jet. My favorite brand of printer is Brother. There are usually really good deals on Brother laser jets. And all it takes is replacing your color and black ink cartridges once to equal the cost of the new printer. I'm looking for one with wireless printing so that I can print to the same printer regardless of what computer I'm on. I would love to have a color laser printer too, but my budget doesn't allow for that right now. One of my favorite things with a laser printer is that you can use highlighters without the ink smearing. One very important thing to note, replacement toner is pricey. But it lasts so much longer that it pays for itself. The printer I'm looking at also has several different capacities for the toner cartridge. The first time I replace it I will probably buy the small one. After that I will be getting the big one. Based on the yields, I bet I could get the large one to last a whole year. And it's still less than a hundred bucks. Add that in with a good deal that includes $20 off a hundred dollar purchase, and that makes it a huge money saver over ink jet replacements.

If you're stuck with an ink jet for now there are still a couple things you can do to save. Set your computer to print in economy mode. Everything will print lighter, but it saves on the ink. One problem is that with coupons, the bar codes don't usually scan, but that's the cashier's problem. If you want your ink jet to last a long time, don't try to save money with refilled cartridges. They aren't good for the printer. But if you have a printer that you're ready to get rid of like I do, go ahead and use the cheap cartridges. I don't care if it breaks, and any additional use I get out of it in the meantime is great.

For small business owners, another huge way to save on printing costs is to use Vista Print. Not everything is cheaper, but a lot of things are. I will never print my own business cards ever again. Between buying the special paper, having half of it get jammed up in the printer, and using all of the ink to print, purchasing them online is truly a much better deal. Then you end up with a much nicer looking, professionally printed card too.

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