Friday, May 29, 2009

Frugal Tip Friday


I am frugal sometimes a little too frugal but hey what did your Mama tell you a penny saved is a penny earned - that's my motto! Here are the ways that I save money on printing supplies:


#1 - Refill your ink cartridges
There are several options to do this, first is Walgreens - I have done this at Walgreens but it didn't turn out really well for me. The toner got all over the inside of my printer and I had to take it apart to clean it out - it was a MESS! I know a lot of us couponers do this at Walgreen's and have really good luck with it but one mess was enough for me. Then there is buying a refill kit at your local office supply store and doing it yourself. My hub did this at his office and it worked great. Last there are companies that you can mail your empty cartridges to, they will refill them and mail them back. I have had my cartridges sent to JETT Mar, a local company in Weatherford, Texas (817-441-2420) - they did the best job out of all 3 options. Keep in mind that when you refill a cartridge you are only supposed to do it once and then get new one but you can still recycle your old one at Office Depot and they will give you a $3 gift card!

#2 - Buying new ink cartridges
First I will point out the obvious - look for sales, rebates, generic cartridges and combo deals. Next use your ECB at CVS - I "make" so much money at CVS I always have enough to buy cartridges and still have plenty left over to roll on to new deals. Last tip - shop the internet. There are so many companies selling every brand possible for rock bottom prices.

#3 - Buying paper
After you have recycled your ink cartridge use your $3 gift card to buy some paper and get the cheapest one - it's just paper and you are only going to be printing coupons on it, who cares! Also from time to time Office Depot & Staples have MIR where you get paper for FREE or almost FREE.

Here is what I do, I have 2 cartridges at all times, one in the printer and the other as a backup. When the screen comes up that I am low I don't change it!!! That's important. Don't switch that booger out until it stops printing or you can't see the bar codes anymore. Most of the time when you get that screen you still have anywhere from 10-30% left. When I am forced to change it I put the backup in and take the empty one to be refilled or I recycle it and buy a new one. If I recycle it and I need paper I use my gift card to pick up some paper if I don't need paper I save it in hopes that a sale or rebate offer will arise.


I reuse every single sheet of paper that I come across. I reuse the backs of letters from school, printed shopping lists, junk-mail letters, fliers & even my kids art work, you know the ones - not the special ones but the ones that are just doodling. I love everything they do but there is only so much space to store every scrap of paper they bring home. Also when I am mostly at Target I see people's registry papers and I put them in my bag to take them home and print on the back of them - like I said at the top I am sometimes too frugal. I do find this frugal but also green, I am reusing something that would have just had 1 life but I give it 2! When I print a coupon if the coupon is not in the middle of the page I flip it over and do the second print on the back side. Make sure you know your printer and how it feeds before you do this or you will wind up printing on top of your first coupon or on the back side of that coupon. If you do happen to do this and you double print on one side - still try to use it at the stores if it scans then you at least got one. If you print on the back side make a copy of one of the coupons and mark an X through that one on the other page so that when you redeem the coupons the store doesn't try to scan the same coupon twice and therefore not get reimbursed. Almost every single coupon that I use has something on the back and every once in awhile I will get a cashier that turns it over and just asks what I did but NEVER have they said they wouldn't take it nor could they for that matter.


I have found 2 ways to reduce my ink usage, first whenever possible I only print using the black cartridge. I also don't print in High Quality - I print in Fast Draft Quality. I changed my printer settings to do both of these options, to do the same follow the steps below,

Start – Control Panel – Printers & Faxes – Right Click on your Default Printer - Properties – Printing Preferences – Paper Quality – Fast Draft – Color – Print in Grayscale – Black Print Cartridge Only – Ok – Ok

By changing these settings it prints much faster than normal and the amount of ink used per page is much less than the normal setting. You will also notice a difference as the pages shoot out of your printer versus the leisurely way they came out before. Don't forget that ink cartridges are just that, ink - they will dry up. Make sure and print at least one color print job a week to avoid this.

The other way I reduce my ink usage is when I am printing a “bricks” coupon or one from manufacturer sites (not, or redplum) they have ads included on the page with the coupon. If the coupon is on the top of the page I “CANCEL” the print and avoid printing the ad therefore saving ink. Sometimes the manufacturers have wised up to what people like me are doing and put the coupon on the bottom so you have to print the ad, you win some & you lose some.

I hope you have found these tips helpful, did you?? Do you have a tip on how to save money when it comes to your printer? Let me know & YES I really do want to know.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Hollie! Thanks for your tips. I always hit the cancel button, like you said, when the ads are after the coupon. I'm going to use your instructions on printing with the black cartridge only. I knew it could be done, but I wasn't sure how, so thanks! I have been refilling my cartridges at Walgreens. They seem to go out SO fast. It makes me wonder if they would last longer if I bought new ones. Oh well. Thanks for all the hard work you do! My husband and I are living in Richardson this summer (internship), so it's nice to see the deals that someone is getting nearby. You have the best grocery deal pages!! Have a wonderful night. :o)