It’s a question that has puzzled many a mind since the rise of personal computers, and in turn, personal printers: why are ink cartridges so insanely expensive?
The question that inevitably follows is, “how can I make my ink cartridge last longer?” The answer is simpler than you might imagine.
Taking From One Hand to Give to The Other
The simple answer for why ink is so expensive is that it’s because printers are so cheap. Rather than require consumers to pay more upfront, manufacturers sell printers at cost with the knowledge that they’ll wind up making significantly more in ink cartridge profits long term.
So how can you side step the endless expense of buying new black ink? Well, you can’t completely, but you can make it a less frequent necessity.
Tricks of The Trade
Though there’s no way around using black ink completely, there are some handy ways to cut down on the amount that you go through:
Reduce print quality. When you preview a document, you should have the option to print it in draft quality. This will cut down on the amount of ink you use.
Change the font. Blocky or bulky fonts will obviously use more ink than thinner ones, so cut back on font size and choose a thin type whenever possible.
Pick an alternate color. For some documents, a dark blue may be acceptable in place of black; even a charcoal gray will require less ink.
Ignore low ink warnings. Printers generate these warnings when ink is low, not empty, so you can continue printing past the warnings. Even if your ink doesn’t appear to be working, check the nozzle before you spring for a new cartridge.
Printing is still a daily occurrence for most in this increasingly paperless world; don’t fall victim to painfully steep ink prices if you don’t have to.