Thanks to the availability of online file-sharing and a greater sense of environmental awareness, printing isn’t as paramount as it used to be. Despite alternative options, some documents leave you no other option. Luckily, most of these jobs can be accomplished using your basic home printer. Stretch your dollar even further by trying these seven easy ways to save money on printing costs.
Choose Your Font Wisely
Everyone has their favorite, go-to font, but it might actually be costing you more money to print. The experts at Dell discovered Century Gothic is one of the most economical fonts, using 31% less toner than Arial. In addition to switching fonts, you can also use the Ecofont add-on for Microsoft Word. It inserts tiny holes into popular fonts like Arial and Times New Roman to reduce your ink use.
While it might sound like eighth-grade English class all over again, don’t forget to proofread. It’s a shame to have to print an entire document more than once just because a period was missing or a word wasn’t correctly capitalized. Eliminating do-overs will help you cut out a significant amount of cost.
Avoid the Extras
Every now and then you come across an article or list that’s much more useful to have printed. Unfortunately, many times these resources are buried between full-color ads and endless pages of comments. Before you know it, your printer has spit out 50 pages when you thought you were printing a paragraph. For more selective printing, use PrintWhatYouLike.com. The free service allows you to select only the elements of the page you want to print.
Use Scrap Paper
Still holding on to a pile of old papers from college? Instead of just dumping them in the trash, print documents you’re using for your own reference on the unused side of scrap paper to help reduce the cost of supplies. While this method won’t work for your resume, it’s perfect for things like shopping lists and driving directions.
Distribute Documents Digitally
In this digital age, the need to print isn’t what it used to be. Instead of printing copies of the entire employee handbook, distribute it digitally and let those who want a print version decide for themselves. Most Microsoft Office documents can be saved as a .PDF file and easily attached to an email. This will quickly cut down on printing volume in a large office.
Examine Cost Per Page
According to a study from Consumer Reports, Americans overwhelmingly say fuel economy is the most important factor in buying a car. Considering printer ink is more expensive per gallon than gasoline, it would make sense to apply the same principle to printers. When shopping for replacement ink and toner, be sure to check the per-page cost. This one little detail can end up saving you a few cents with every page you print.
Recycle Empty Cartridges
Empty ink cartridges are rarely a welcome sight. They mean an unpleasant expense in the near future. While a number of ink and toner manufacturers have free recycling programs for empty cartridges, stores such as Office Depot and Staples offer rewards for your empties. The standard seems to be $2 in store credit per cartridge, with a limit of 10 cartridges per month.
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