Money Saving Tips

How to Save Money on Printing Costs in the Office

How to Save Money on Printing Costs in the Office
Written by Irina Vasilescu

It does not matter which industry it is that your business is in. Whether you are building customized motorbikes or selling baked goods, there will always be a need for you to print documents. This has something to do with the administrative tasks that your company needs to deal with on a regular basis.

Over the years, there are entrepreneurs who are trying to implement a paperless environment. But no matter how much advancement technology has made in communicating, there will always be papers or contracts that should be printed and signed; as well as documents presented to clients. This means that nobody can really operate a 100% paperless environment.

Top Ways to Save Money on Office Printing Costs

The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can actually save money on printing costs in the office. Whether you have three huge multifunctional laser printers or if you just have one printer for the entire office, these are the way that you can save money on paper and ink:

#1 Buy paper and ink that’s budget-friendly in the first place

If you are making a list of the supplies that you need for the office, you will be surprised at the costs involved in buying paper and ink for the printer. How do you reduce such operational costs, especially if you are a small scale entrepreneur working with a limited budget? The number one thing to do is to buy paper and ink that’s budget-friendly in the first place.

In the market, there are dozens of printer manufacturers and hundreds of printer models available. The first thing to do is make an assessment of your printing needs.

If you’re a law firm that churns out mountains of paperwork on a regular basis, you would ideally need a fast monochrome printer.

If you are an ad agency and there’s a need for you to print graphically-pleasing documents during client presentations, you need a full-color laser printer with an efficient enough speed.

After assessing your organization’s printing needs, make a comparison of the models available in the market. Compare the rates and features of different brands and models of printers which will perfectly suit your office printing needs.

Another thing to consider is whether the printer model is ink-friendly in the first place. There are plenty of products in the market today which have Eco or ink-friendly features, so you can easily choose one that’s perfect for your organization.

#2 Think twice before you print

Next, remember the primary rule of always thinking twice before you print. Did you know that almost half of the documents printed in a typical office actually get recycled at the end of the day? This means that almost half the time, hitting the Print command on the machine is unnecessary.

If you already sent a memo to the concerned individuals about a recent product development and you know that everyone has read it, there is no need for you to print the document anymore. If you are merely monitoring the status of a project, you can do so through e-mail without having to print documents unnecessarily.

#3 Refill instead of replace your toner ink cartridges

Depending on the printer model that you have, there are original manufacturer-issued ink cartridges that you can replace it with once all the ink has been used up. The problem is that these original ink cartridges cost a lot to buy. If you’re a small scale entrepreneur working on a limited budget, what is a more cost-friendly alternative?

There are many third party replacement ink cartridges that you can purchase. Another option is for you to have the ink cartridges refilled instead of replaced. This will help you save a lot on toner ink cartridge replacement costs. Not only that, but you can also do your share in helping save the environment.

On a yearly basis, tons of toner ink cartridges get thrown away in landfills. These take years and years to decompose, so the empty ink cartridges are simply adding to the waste that the world already has. To prevent even more waste from existing, what you can do is refill instead of replace the ink cartridges. You will also save a lot of money on printing costs in the long run.

#4 Use both sides of the paper

If you think that you can only save on printing-related costs in the office by saving on ink, think again. You also need to do the same thing on paper. Purchase thinner paper if you will not be using the documents for client presentations. However, make sure that it is still thick enough so that the ink will not seep through the other side of the page – and it can be used for back-to-back printing.

#5 Use a font which is ink-friendly

Which font are you using to print documents? There are actually fonts that can be considered as ink-hungry. Again, unless you are using the document for a client presentation, there is no need for you to waste ink on fonts like Arial Black. Arial or Times New Roman is a more ink friendly option.

#6 Use the Draft or Eco mode on your printer whenever possible

Yet another way for you to save money on printing costs in the office is to use the grey scale mode, draft or eco mode whenever possible.

Let’s say that you are working on a document and you simply want to look over any mistakes that you may have made. Use both sides of the paper and print only in eco mode, draft mode or grey scale. This will give you plenty of savings on ink. Only use the Fine mode when you are ready to file away the document, or use it for client presentations.

#7 If you are printing a web page, edit it first to remove the unnecessary elements

If you will print a web page from Wikipedia or any other website, there are certain elements like URLs or ads which will be printed in colored ink. This wastes ink unnecessarily, so edit the document first prior to printing.

If you want, you can make use of apps or websites which turn web pages into printer-friendly versions. The URLs and other unnecessary elements on the web page are deleted, so you can save a lot of ink in the process. If possible, you can also use the draft, eco or gray scale mode when printing web pages directly.

#8 When conducting meetings, implement a paperless rule

Isn’t it great to conduct a meeting where everyone is holding tablet computers or laptop computers? Implementing a paperless meeting environment will not just help you save costs, but also turn the atmosphere inside the room into a more productive one.

#9 Make sure that your copier or printer is maintained on a regular basis

If you have an old printer model, you will notice how it actually uses more ink as compared to the newer printers that you have. To prevent ink wastage, replace your old printer models with ones that allow you to save lots of money on ink replacement.

If you do have a new printer, make sure that they are maintained on a regular basis. Any debris that gets stuck on the print head will make it not work as efficiently as it can, wasting ink in the process.

#10 Do not print on color unnecessarily

Unless you are printing business cards or actual photos, there is no need for you to waste money on precious colored ink. Although there are cheap ink refills that you can use for color printers, there is still no need for you to print documents in color unnecessarily.

#11 Have your staff reuse and share ink and paper

As mentioned earlier, almost half of printed documents end up being recycled at the end of an office day, anyway. So why not encourage your employees to start a paper and ink recycling and sharing campaign? Have them share their own ideas when it comes to how the office can save even more money on printing-related costs.

#12 Buy paper in bulk

Aside from ink, printing-related costs include purchasing paper. To save money for this, it makes sense to buy your supplies in bulk. Look for a supplier in your area and determine the size and thickness of paper that you most frequently use in the office. The same thing holds true for other office supplies like paper clips, printer ink refills, staple wires, etc.

#13 Route memos and newsletters

If you must have employees look over printed documents, route one copy and have the people who read the document sign off on it. This will save you lots of money in the long run as compared to distributing individual copies to the concerned parties.

These money-saving tips will especially benefit small business owners. In your own way, you can do your share in cutting back the costs related to printing. More than just cutting back the printing-related expenses, you can also do your share in helping save the environment by not using paper and ink unnecessarily.

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.

3 Comments

  • Paper and ink for my printer at school (i’m a teacher) are just two things that I loathe purchasing. These tips were super helpful when it comes to making paper and ink last longer. I am all about getting more bang for my buck! So many ways of communication have gone the paperless route, which i am thankful for, and I have become a big fan of the grey-scale option when printing things from my own printer. Every little bit counts!

  • One way I save on ink is by adjusting the color of the font I am using so it isn’t quite so black. I also save a small fortune by having empty cartridges refilled. It is crazy really, these days the ink costs more than the actual printer!

  • This is something I’ve looked into over the years. I’ve got a fairly new printer, but the ink is very expensive, so I’ve been putting off buying refills. I’m going to check into having them refilled, as well as changing the font I print in. I’m also going to look into doing as @missbishi said, and adjusting the color of the font, to further save on ink.

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