The best tips for reducing printing costs

In the company or in the home office - a printer causes follow-up costs. What many people don't think about is that in addition to the costs for toner, ink and paper, they also have to pay a lot of money for energy. We tell you where there is potential for savings so that your operating costs for the printer remain within manageable limits.

How do I reduce ink and toner costs?

To reduce printing costs, it is advisable to look ahead at the subsequent expenditure when buying a new printer. There are ways to save money, especially on ink and toner. Inexpensive offers are tempting, but often the printer manufacturers' original cartridges are expensive. Higher-priced printers with inexpensive ink cartridges that offer high coverage are the better purchase in the long run. Devices with individually replaceable cartridges are recommended.

A good way to save printing costs on existing devices is to use compatible inks and toners. These replicas are inexpensive to buy. Optionally, rebuilt or refill cartridges from trustworthy third-party suppliers are recommended. XL and XXL cartridges reduce expenditure due to higher fill levels. The price per printed page gives you a good overview of the follow-up costs.

Only change toner and cartridges when they are empty. Use the inkjet printer regularly so that the ink does not dry out.

How do I reduce the printer's power consumption?

An easy way to reduce power consumption is to use it as needed. Turning on the printer every morning only to use it once at the end of the day consumes unnecessary power. Power-saving mode is a good option to reduce printing costs. Here the printer is in stand-by mode. A better option is sleep mode, which consumes even less.

If you have a model without an on-off button, unplug it if you are not going to use it for a long time. In the case of very old power guzzlers, it helps to replace them with a modern, energy-saving system. Devices with Blue Angel or Energy Star certificates are recommended.

What alternatives are there to printing?

  • One way to reduce printing costs in the private sector is to use digital filing. Only print important documents that you absolutely need. For most bills, contracts and documents, saving them on your computer is sufficient. To access them from anywhere or to share them with other users, cloud storage such as Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive are suitable.
  • Modern digital document management enables the database-supported administration of electronic documents in companies. The aim of the software is to archive documents while providing company-wide access.

Which printer paper is the cheapest?

Most manufacturers recommend standard paper weighing 80 g/m². Optionally, use 70 g/m² variants for private printouts or copies. Well-known suppliers such as Canon and HP sell their own multifunction paper. It is much more expensive than paper from no-name suppliers or Prindo's own brand.

If you print a lot, large packages of 5 × 500 sheets are worthwhile. You save on the purchase price because you buy more. Recycled paper is less white than normal standard paper, but is easier on your wallet and the environment. Blue Angel and FSC certify an environmentally friendly product.

A few good tips for saving paper

  • To reduce the amount of paper needed, it is a good idea to reduce the font size. This reduces the number of pages of documents that need to be printed.
  • Many printers have an automatic duplex function. By printing on both sides of the page, they save half the cost of paper.
  • Also helpful in reducing printing costs is printing two or more pages on one sheet. For less important documents, it is advisable to print via draft mode. In this mode, the machine uses less ink.
  • In general, printing in black and white is cheaper than printing in colour.
  • Refrain from printing in greyscale. To achieve the tones, the printer applies several layers of colour on top of each other. If you set the options "Black ink only" or "Monochrome printing" in the print settings, the machine uses only black ink.

Which printer has the lowest or highest printing costs?

Laser printers consume on average up to 80 per cent more electricity than inkjet printers. This is especially true for older models without an energy-saving function. With laser printers, you regularly replace the toner, image drum and fuser unit. Inkjet printers only need new ink. Depending on the model, replace the print heads as needed.

In principle, the amount of printing determines whether it is possible to reduce your printing costs. If you print very often, a laser printer is cheaper because the toners are designed for long ranges. If you use an inkjet printer for a lot of printing, it will cost you a lot of money because the cartridges only produce a few pages. For occasional use, they are the cheaper option.

If possible, use a powerful multifunctional system. It combines several devices in one and saves electricity for printer, copier, scanner and fax.

To see how much you are using, look at the manufacturer's specifications for wattage. Tips for buying devices with low printing costs are offered by consumer portals such as Stiftung Warentest.

What considerations are important to reduce printing costs in the long term?

  • If you have a very old printer that consumes a lot of electricity, it is advisable to consider buying a new one. The latest printers are more energy-efficient, offer energy-saving options and are less prone to failure.
  • Separate devices for printing, scanning, copying and faxing consume a lot of electricity. Choose a modern multifunctional system that combines all four functions. You save space, have less effort for device management and reduce energy consumption. This way, only one economical product is in stand-by mode instead of four.
  • Do you have a workstation printer and a department printer in the company? Save on printing costs by sending large print jobs to the more powerful printer with lower page print prices.
  • Special software helps you save printing costs by setting rules for colour printing in it.
  • Use Managed Print Services (MPS). These offer cost control and transparency. At the same time, they enable a high level of data security. They include all measures to reduce the costs of consumables such as toner, ink and paper as well as electricity.

Conclusion: There are many ways to reduce printing costs

If you have an old power guzzler in your office, it will be cheaper in the long run to buy a new device. Modern printers are energy- and cost-efficient. Thanks to their low power consumption, you save a lot of money on printing. You can reduce printing costs above all with inks and toners. To do this, use compatible cartridges or refill and rebuilt versions, which are cheaper than original accessories.

The same applies to paper. Here, it is advisable to use recycled materials or no-name products. If you print a lot, you will get your money's worth with multipacks.

In general, it helps to analyse your own printing behaviour. Do you really need every printout in excellent print quality or is a PDF sufficient? Optionally, clever browser extensions help you save ink and paper.