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5 Free Ways to Control Printing Costs You Can Implement Today

Kurt Konicke

Do you wonder why are you spending so much on ink and toner? Or how many reams of paper you go through in a year? And why did your old printer die after just a few years?

Poorly managed printers can cost you money you don’t want to be spending. Here’s 5 things you can do right now that will save you money on printers. Go ahead, change these settings on your computer right now and see if it doesn’t make life a little better.


Just by changing your default printer settings to print documents on both sides of the paper, you instantly cut the volume of paper your office uses nearly in half.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average office worker prints 10,000 sheets of paper every year. By that estimate, an office of 30 workers will print 300,000 sheets of paper a year. If that office purchases boxes of paper in 10 reams — or 5,000 sheets of paper — and each of those boxes costs around $40, the total expense for 60 boxes is $2,400.

Cutting that amount in half with duplex printing saves the office $1,200 a year. It also saves 150,000 extra pieces of paper from the landfill or recycling facility. Making this simple change is a quick way to put money back in your pocket while reducing waste.


We all know that black ink is cheaper than color. If you don’t need presentation quality, you’re just printing a word document or a draft of a project you’re working on, black and white is the way to go.

By choosing black and white as your default, you can also cut costs significantly. The cost of ink can range from $20 to $100 for a replacement color ink cartridge, and $5 to $50 for a replacement black ink cartridge, depending on the brand and whether you are using an inkjet or laser printer. As for the cost per page, an average black-and-white copy could be around 5 cents, while an average color copy could be 10 to 15 cents.


Draft mode is another setting that means using less ink or toner when printing documents for everyday use. Unless your document requires extreme detail and the highest quality, like a client presentation or brochure, draft mode will typically suffice. Printing in draft mode reduces the resolution of the document and, in turn, reduces the amount of ink used while remaining legible. You can change this setting in your printer menu.


On your multi-function printing device, use your scan to email function. Instead of copying a document to share with someone, scan it and email it to them directly from the copier. Not only do you save paper and toner, you give that person accessibility to the document from anywhere they have email.


If you’re spending a lot of money on ink and your printing mostly text documents, it might just be your printer that’s costing you so much. Printers are designed to fulfill certain roles and perform specific tasks. Budget-friendly inkjets, designed for homes that don’t print much, become very expensive when you start printing a lot. If you are printing more black and white documents than color, consider getting a budget-friendly laser printer as it prints black and white documents more efficiently. Though the initial cost of a laser printer and toner may be higher than your standard inkjet, the cost per page is significantly lower (7 cents for toner vs. 20 cents for inkjet).

Another factor to consider is that older printer models become less efficient the older they get. Sometimes, spending on a new unit that will more efficiently accommodate your needs can cost much less in the long run than sticking with an operational printer that you’ve had for several years now.

Print doesn’t have to be expensive. These simple tactics, designed to get more out of your paper and ink, can drastically reduce the amount you’re spending. They also lessen the amount of resources you use, which makes your carbon footprint smaller and your print greener. If you’d like to find out more ways to get control of your printing costs, talk to the Managed Print Experts at the Gordon Flesch Company.

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