Perhaps the most unfortunate truth about working with printers is having to deal with the exorbitantly high cost of printer supplies on the market these days. Printing supplies have always been expensive, but in the last ten or fifteen years they have shot to extreme prices that would make Gillette razors jealous. Whereas many people have a printer in their home next to where the laptop sits, all too often those printers sit alone collecting dust after running out of their introductory ink cartridge.
However it is possible to find discounted or significantly less expensive printer supplies if you put a bit of effort into it. The easiest and most reliable way to save on your supplies is to purchase them online at a discount or wholesale vendor instead of in a big box store down the street. This can actually save you a lot of money if you don’t get hit with expensive shipping. Another common strategy is to try and buy less expensive versions of the same product, such as refurbished toner cartridges or even generic cartridges that were not manufactured without the consent of the original equipment manufacturer. This route will give you a decent quality cartridge for a fraction that buying a brand new OEM cartridge from the local big box store.
Lastly, one of the more clever strategies that is gaining traction in the recession is to simply refill your own cartridges or hack them to last longer. It is possible to take some of the lower tech cartridges, without chips in the back, and either bypass the ink and toner measuring systems of your printer or refill them on your own. This route will save you the most money, but it also involves some risk in the sense that you could easily damage your printer if you do not take the necessary precautions and follow the directions exactly. If you are careful you can extend the life of your ink cartridge by as much as 20% with a low cost fix, leaving you with a much higher page count for a lot less money.