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Save Money, Print in Black

written by: Chris Hoffman•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 6/27/2011

Did you know that color ink usually costs more money than black ink? You can quickly and easily save money on printing by setting your system to only print in black instead.

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    Why Print in Black?

    If you just print occasional emails, webpages, and other documents, you probably don't need to print in color. If your print-outs come out with extraneous images and coloring, you're spending more money on printing than you need to.

    Color ink cartridges are generally more expensive than black ink cartridges, and, what's more, some printers refuse to even print in black and white if a color ink cartridge is empty. Printing in color when you don't need to results in needlessly spending more on ink.

    Obviously, if you print a lot of photos or other color documents, you will probably want to keep printing in color. Of course, when you need to print photos, you can selectively print these in color, so you can still save money on other documents.

    You don't need to remember these steps; just set your system up once and start saving money on every document you print.

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    How To Automatically Print in Black

    On Windows, when you go to print any document, a dialog will appear and ask you for your preferred settings. In this dialog, click the 'Properties' or 'Preferences' button next to your printer. Alternately, you can open the Windows Control Panel from the Start Menu, choose 'Printers', then right click your printer and choose 'Printing Preferences'.

    Different printers have different settings dialogs designed by different manufacturers, but you should see an option to print in 'Black & White' or 'Grayscale'.

    For example, on a Brother MFC-210C printer, the setting is located under the 'Paper/Quality' tab, under 'Color'.

    Printing in Black & White Once you change this setting, all your future documents should print in black ink only, and you should be saving money.
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    Saving More Money on Printing

    Did you know that printer ink is often more expensive than gasoline? Don't think that you have to only buy printer cartridges from the manufacturer of your printer at their marked up prices. You can save more money on printing by learning how to buy cheap printer ink cartridges.

    One tactic that printer manufacturers use to make more money is to sell printers are cheap, marked down prices. Then, once a customer buys the printer, printer ink cartridges for the cheap printer are comparatively expensive. In fact, sometimes it's cheaper to buy an entirely new printer that comes with ink cartridges of its own rather than buy an ink cartridge refill. When you buy a new printer, consider what the real total cost of owning your printer is, not just the price on the box.

    What if you didn't have to buy new printer cartridges at all and could just refill your current one? There are companies that will refill your used cartridge, or you can do it yourself. Be sure to look at reusing or recycling those printer cartridges when you're done with them.



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