22 Ways to Print for Less

A recent article in Woman’s Day magazine stated that the average household goes through a ream of printer paper every three to four days and spends about $60 every three months for printer cartridges and paper. That’s $240 per year on printer supplies. Ouch. Our household spends far less than that – about $60 per year on paper and ink, yet we print a fair amount. How do we keep our costs so far below the “normal?” Here are our strategies.

Use the draft setting: This setting prints exactly what it says: A draft quality printout that isn’t as dark as a regular printout. You wouldn’t want to use it for things that need to be perfect, but it’s gre


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7 Responses to 22 Ways to Print for Less

  1. Holly says:

    I do NOT use nearly as much in supplies as stated here. This may be because I am not a student (lthough most students I know proof work on screen NOT hard copy)and am a single person household.

    I do print a number of coupon pages every week.

    I refill my cartidges.
    I take recycle paper from my office that has been printed on a single side (am careful about any identifying info) and print on the blank side.

  2. Annie Jones says:

    I already use almost every one of the tips you mentioned, and do not use nearly as much ink or paper as the Woman’s Day article suggests is average.

    A great source of paper for our household is all the one-sided handouts that come home from our child’s school. They are often on colored paper, but as long as there are no staples, crayon drawings or glue on them, I reuse them to print pages that don’t require a pristine presentation.

    Ideally, our school would stop using so much paper, but until they do, I’ll do my part to use, then recycle, it.

  3. Noel says:

    You forgot to mention http://www.printwhatyoulike.com, pretty much similar to Aardvark

  4. Joan says:

    A ream every 3-4 days? Woman’s Day just made that up without thinking. A ream is 480 or 500 pieces. Even if it were the slower use of 480 pieces in 4 days, that would be 120 pages printed out per day!
    Jennifer, do you know how to increase the readable font size on your monitor? Perhaps instead of buying a bigger monitor you could have just increased the size at which you view the text. And maybe you need glasses? (Don’t mean to sound sarcastic there.)

  5. kdice says:

    I also find the ream of paper every three to four days impossible to believe for home use. Either people didn’t know what a ream was or they somehow pulled a very biased sample. However your suggestions are all good.

  6. Good stuff, Jennifer. We do waste tons of paper, especially businesses. My job printed 4 sheets for every one that we needed, right into the garbage.

    John DeFlumeri Jr

  7. Gail says:

    I too find it hard to believe the Woman’s Day story unless they were basing the numbers on number of reams sold divided by households. We run an on-line business and only go through a ream of paper about every 2-3 months maybe and that is with printing packing slips and address labels. Misprinted paper gets used for scrap paper and grocery lists, etc. For years we never even had to buy paper as we were working our way through bunches of colored paper that had been given to us. I have also picked up paper at yard sales and wished later I had bought all he had for sale!

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