February 6, 2023

We all know the pain of buying cartridges. They’re expensive — outrageous — $16 to $227, depending on the brand. In some cases, replacement ink cartridges can seem as expensive as the actual printer.

Tim W. emailed me about how frustrated he was with the cost of the cartridges, he wrote:

“The next article I’d like to see on the printer is the lifespan of the ink cartridges. Like you mentioned, print a few times a year, maybe it’s just taxes. You spend $50 on an ink cartridge and use it once, next time you try It dries out. HP’s ink cartridges are the worst. We switched to a brother printer and it seems to last longer”

Tim, I hear you and want to share with you and others some ways you and others can save money on ink cartridges, as well as some tips on how to extend the life of your ink cartridges. First, here’s how to choose the cheapest printer ink cartridges for your budget and needs.

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How to Make Sure You’re Buying the Best Price on Ink Cartridges

The first step is to consider how often you print documents or photos. If you don’t print as much as Tim does, you’re better off buying standard-yield or non-XL printer ink, as it’s less expensive than high-yield ink. However, if you print frequently, you’ll want to buy the high-yield or XL and XXL versions, as they contain more ink than the standard yield. Plus, you can print more pages because it has more ink.

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Depending on how often you use the printer, a different ink cartridge might be better for you.
(Fox News)

what printer ink is the cheapest

To make sure you’re buying low-cost printer ink, you need to calculate your cost per page. Since higher page yields mean more pages can be printed per ink cartridge, this also lowers your cost per page, saving even more in the long run.

High-yield cartridges may cost more than standard cartridges. Still, they’re the most cost-effective, especially if you print frequently. You can also take advantage of combo or value packs as they cost much less than buying cartridges individually.

So how do you calculate the cost per page? You can divide the cost of the cartridge by the page yield. That’s how you know if you’re really getting ink for less. In short, the higher the cost per page, the greater your printing bill.

formula: Ink cartridge cost ÷ page yield = cost per page

The lower your cost per page, the better value you get. This is why high-yield cartridges tend to be more valuable in the long run, even though there is usually a higher upfront cost.

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Ways to save on cost per page

The easiest way to reduce printing costs is to purchase a printer that uses low CPP ink cartridges. Ultra-low cost per page for several printers, including:

Brother’s INKvestment printer series

Brother MFC-J4335DW INKvestment-Tank All-in-One

Brother printers are one of the best options for saving ink.

Brother printers are one of the best options for saving ink.

Best features:

  • Brother’s INKvestment printer uses only the four ink cartridges provided in the box, and lasts up to a year’s worth of ink you won’t want to replace
  • Redesigned INKvestment Tank eliminates manual refills
  • At launch, the product has over 1,000 global ratings of 66%, giving it five stars

Get the Brother MFC-J4335DW INKvestment-Tank All-in-One Printer

Epson® Ecotank Series

Epson® EcoTank ET-2850 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridgeless Supertank Printer

Save money on printing and offer cartridge-free ink with this Epson printer.

Save money on printing and offer cartridge-free ink with this Epson printer.

Best features:

  • Epson EcoTank ET-2850 Supertank Printer Enables Innovative Cartridge-Free Printing
  • Its high-capacity ink cartridges mean that small, expensive ink cartridges are no longer necessary.Epson’s exclusive EcoFit ink bottle, easy and worry-free filling
  • You’ll also see significant savings on replacement inks. In fact, replacing ink bottles can save up to 90% compared to replacing ink cartridges
  • At launch, the product has over 1,500 global ratings of 71%, giving it five stars

Get the Epson® EcoTank ET-2850 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridgeless Supertank Printer

Ways to Extend the Life of Ink Cartridges

  1. Check for clogged nozzles
  2. Avoid large fonts and bold text
  3. Proofreading before printing
  4. Change your printer settings
  5. Use print preview
  6. use small font
  7. Ignore the out-of-ink warning

Disappointment with ink cartridges has led some to switch to printers that use toner, but how much of a difference does that make?

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Depending on the type of printer you have, you may be using printer ink or toner.

Depending on the type of printer you have, you may be using printer ink or toner.
(Fox News)

What is the difference between ink and toner

Depending on the type of printer you have, you may have a product that uses toner instead of ink. Toner uses a powdered substance instead of ink. Toner is known to last longer and print more documents.

From a price point of view, the prices of printers using toner cartridges and ink cartridges vary slightly, depending on the brand and model. Meanwhile, the price range for replacement toner cartridges is about the same.

While toner cartridges tend to last longer, they do have an expiration date. Even if they still work after their expiration date, they can clog the printer and void your warranty.

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Some printers use cartridge-less ink tanks that can be refilled via bottles.

Some printers use cartridge-less ink tanks that can be refilled via bottles.
(Fox News)

Many consumers are opting for cartridge-free ink printers

Ink cartridge printers or continuous ink cartridge printers do not have a built-in printhead. Instead, ink is supplied directly to the printer through an integrated system. Instead of cartridges, ink is replenished directly into the tank via a refillable bottle.

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Are Ink Cartridge Printers Better than Ink Cartridge Printers?

1. Price

Most printers with ink cartridges tend to be much less expensive than ink cartridge printers.some, for example Canon PIXMA MG3620, less than $100.top-of-the-line ink cartridge printers such as Epson EcoTank ET-2850 On the other hand, prices tend to be much higher.

However, while cartridge printers can be a more expensive immediate investment, you may find that you can save money in the long run as replacement ink bottles for cartridges tend to cost less, averaging around $20.

2. Life and performance

Most printers that use cartridges can only print up to 1,000 pages before they run out of ink, while cartridge printers can print up to 7,000 pages. Also helpful is that these printers are usually able to store more paper than cartridge printers.

However, cartridge ink is still printer ink, designed to dry quickly. Ultimately, the ink in the cartridge doesn’t last much longer than the cartridge. So if you don’t use the cartridge printer often, it may dry out again and clog the machine.

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Is there an ideal solution?

Ultimately, finding the most cost-effective way to dispose of printer ink really depends on your printing needs.

If you rarely need items printed like a tim, buying a printer that uses cartridges is probably the best option, as is buying standard yield or non-XL printer ink since it’s cheaper.

However, if you print daily or weekly, a cartridge-based printer may be worth the investment because you’ll be able to print more pages than a cartridge-based model, and when you find it’s time to replace the ink in the cartridge, it’s much easier Replacement ink cartridges cost less.

Which printer ink do you use and why? We’d love to hear from you.

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