If you run your own business or work freelance from home, every penny tends to count, because all of those consumable office supplies you get through come out of your own pocket. Printing can be one of the most costly things that you have to cover the cost of when you work from home, with neither paper nor toner being especially cheap. Also, the printer itself is something that manufacturers don’t really consider as a long term investment in hardware terms, so unless you want to replace yours every couple of years you have to be prepared to do a little maintenance. Here are some tips for cutting your printing expenses:
Image Source: Flickr (Glebkach)
Learn How to Take Care of Your Printer
Printers are not so expensive to buy these days, and even a versatile multi-function printer that can also scan, copy and fax (because that is apparently still a thing that exists) can be a fairly cheap addition to your hardware set up. That said, you don’t necessarily want to think of your printer as disposable and only good for a couple of years if it does everything you are likely to need to do with it for the foreseeable future. You should then learn about the parts of the printer most likely to fail or need replacement, and learn how to do things like replace a HP fuser if yours fails. A well maintained printer will not only last much longer before needing replacement but will also give the best performance in terms of not wasting ink or getting jammed and wasting paper.
Saving paper can save you money, and of course is also more environmentally friendly. The first thing to do is ensure you are only printing when you really need to. Some people print every receipt or even every email they get and file it away. In 2015 this really isn’t necessary – you can archive things more safely and effectively in digital form, and you can read stuff on your tablet or phone if you want to read it on the go without taking your computer. If you are already only printing when you have a genuine reason to want a paper copy, rather than out of habit, then the next thing to think about is printing two pages of text to every one page of A4 paper. For most people this is still comfortable to read, but it halves the amount of paper you need for each document. If your printer prints double sided, use this on both sides and now every one sheet replaces four!
Use the ‘draft’ quality setting as default when you print for readable copies that use far less ink, and also set your printer to print in black and white by default. When you need something in better quality or in colour, just change the settings for that job. This will save a lot of expensive ink in the long term!
Saving money on printing is easy if you change a few settings and learn to take care of your printer, and the money you save can really add up over the course of running your home office for a year!