How to save money on colour photo prints
Colour printing at home can get expensive, so here’s how to save pennies when printing.
Costing more than caviar or many champagnes printer ink isn’t cheap. It is however very, very good at printing, while caviar and champagne aren’t.
Despite the cost, a couple of myths do surround inkjet printing, such as laser printers being cheaper and faster.
The truth is that recent models of inkjet printers offer a cost per page (CPP) that’s far less than any laser printer, with similar if not better speeds.
So here are our tips on how you can save money when buying a new printer and inks, and generally when printing.
1. Check the costs
If you have an inkjet that’s a few years old your first move should be to consider replacing it. The cost of a new printer can actually be less than a set of new inks for some models, if that new model then offers far better print efficiency it’s well worth it in the long run.
Comparing costs per page does require a little work. The maths you need to do is as follows:
Total price of replacing colour cartridges ÷ Total number of prints you get = page yield
Manufacturers will quote a “page yield” that should adhere to the ISO standard, so we can all work from the same basis.
For photo printing you’ll also need to add in the cost of photo paper for a final value. The upshot of this is that the latest inkjets can offer costs as low as 5p a page. If this is less than your current printer, the next time your ink runs out consider upgrading it to a newer, more efficient model.
2. Buy “high yield” cartridges
Many manufacturers provide the option of larger cartridges – again this is a feature well worth looking for if you’re buying a new printer – these are like buying ink in bulk and reduce the overall costs.
While you pay more up front, they’ll save you money per print in the long run. To help you out, find your favourite inkjet refills at Tesco direct.
3. Stick to drafts
When actually producing prints, often things go wrong such as alignment or cropping, which means doing multiple prints. As much as possible stick to doing draft prints, ideally in black only.
Only switch to any “photo-quality” mode for the final print, when you’re sure everything is correctly set.
These options are usually available in the print dialogue, which is the window that appears just before printing begins.
4. Use a print service
Is the cost worth it? Even at a low 5p per page cost, adding on 5p per page for photo paper means that even a modest costing home print starts at around 10p.
Considering online print services such as Tesco Photo can offer labs prints for as littler as 5p per photograph, the most cost-efficient move could be to save up your holiday snaps and print them online in large batches. Tesco Photo enables you to buy print credits upfront, so you can print for less.
5. Recycle and save!
Don’t forget that you can recycle your inkjet cartridges and toners. You can potentially get Tesco Clubcard points or donate money to charity.
You might also like to read:
- How to take great sports photos
- How to take better photos
- Share your Facebook photos in high resolution
- How to calibrate your PC’s monitor
- Another leap forward for 3D printing