Save Money on Printer Ink

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Free printable coupons are more available than ever before. Chances are, if you are new to the world of couponing, your printer is getting a hefty workout!

I am often asked by readers how to save money on costly printer ink. This is a tough question, since there is no one right answer. Different types of printers require different types of ink and the cost can vary greatly.

The biggest question is usually about colored ink.

Can you print coupons in black and white? The short answer is yes, this does not affect the validity of your coupon. However, with coupon fraud being a major issue for retailers, careful cashiers are more likely to question a black and white coupon. Printing in color can eliminate some potential hassle at the register.

Can you print coupons in draft (quick print)? Absolutely. As long as the coupon is legible, it should scan just fine.

A popular option for saving money on ink is to refill your empty cartridges. However, I have heard horror stories about ruined printers with this method, so I do not personally recommend it.

You can take your empty cartridges into your local office supply store for recycling and earn rewards. Eventually those rewards could add up to some free ink.

The best option for saving money on printer ink in my opinion is to purchase refurbished cartridges. These typically must be ordered online, and will require shipping, so be sure to order before you run out of ink! is a reputable online retailer for refurbished ink and toner cartridges.

Another option I recommend is, with free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

Both companies have 100% satisfaction guarantees, so if there is any problem with your ink, you can return it hassle-free for one full year from the date of purchase. They also accept multiple forms of payment, including PayPal, which is a major plus in my book! There is no sales tax on any purchases unless you are in California (sorry, Mom).

And, to make this even sweeter, if you are a ShopAtHome member, you can earn a 20% rebate on your purchase from either company!  Keep in mind you must reach $20 in your account before you receive cash back, and new members get a $5 bonus with their first purchase.

Do you have other tips for saving money on printer ink?


  1. Amanda says

    I buy my ink on ebay.
    It is off brand but still works the same and so far my printer is working great (4+ years)
    It is like 80% cheaper even with shipping than the stores.

  2. Diana says

    I bought a Kodak printer. The colored ink is 14.99 and the b&w is 9.99. I take the used ones back to Stapes for the 3.00 back, so it is basically 11.99 for the color and 6.99 for the b&w after the initial returns. The ink is the same price at Staples that it is at Wal-mart. The printer itself is under 100.00. It has saved me a ton of money.

  3. Melissa S says

    We bought black and colored refill kit for 25ish dollars months ago. It came with instructions and the needles and gloves…everything you need to refill your own cartridges and as hard as it might sound it doesn’t take that long. We have only refilled ours twice and there is at least 10 more refills left for the color and probably 6 more for the black! So it works out to about $1.25 for each refill per cartridge!

  4. Stacy says

    My parents have refilled ink cartridges for quite some time and never had a problem.
    We order ours on Amazon- the 15% subscribe and save makes them an even better deal.

  5. Jessica says

    Walgreens refills ink cartridges for $14.99 and usually have coupons in the ad for $9.99 or less. They do it while you wait so averages about 10-15 min.

  6. sharon says

    I use and get free shipping at $25.00 and higher. They have name brand inks and remanufactured inks. I buy remanufactured inks for my Epson nx415 printer and have only had one ink cartridge that had leaked. They replaced it no cost. I pay no tax on my shipments.

  7. Andrea says

    Hi Alyssa:

    I subscribe to your feed and I was visiting your web site to read all the tips and ways to save on ink and ink purchases. Here’s a little known site that you may not have heard of that gives greats deals on good refurbished ink cartridges. Its call They are based in Denver, Co., and always offer free shipping with every purchase. I just bought an HP 21 replacement cartridge for $2.95 net cost and its working perfectly.

    HP sells their 21 genuine ink cartridge for upwards of $23.00 retail. This replacement cartridge works fine, so that a whopping saving of $20.00.

    Here’s how I did it. DiscountTonerOnline offers everyone who signs up for their email letter a $5.00 discount on any ink purchase. Their regular price for the HP 21 replacement is only $7.95 with free shipping. Once you sign-up to receive their emails they will issue an email with a coupon code for $5.00 off your first purchase to enter at the time of checkout. $7.95 less $5.00 discount with always free shipping = $2.95. The ink arrives professionally packaged and sealed in the same like cartridge of my empty. When I trade it in to one of the office supply stores this ink actually become free and my even net a profit on double rewards for ink cartridges days.

  8. says

    I was told, at our ink refill store – Cartridge World, that a laser printer is the way to go, many more copies for less. I have yet to purchase one, though. But, when I do, I will probably buy an older model to save on the cost and try out the theory all in one.
    .-= Dian´s last blog ..FREE Potty Training Kit From Huggies =-.

    • Mary Beth says

      @Dian, I can tell you that a laser is the best for saving money. I have a HP laser and with one cartridge I can print thousands of pages, like 10000. It is amazing!

  9. Sherry says

    I’ve used Cartridge World for about a year and a half, but their prices havegone up, so I’m going to be checking out these other ideas. Thank you so much! :D
    .-= Sherry´s last blog ..Friday Funnies – Liposuction =-.

  10. Alexia says

    omgosh! that is how my printer got messed up. :-) ah, well. live and learn!
    .-= Alexia´s last blog ..Today is my 30th b-day! =-.

  11. K says

    Unfortunately I have an HP printer and the warranty gets voided if you use ink other than HP ink refills. And when ink goes on sale with coupons at various stores at the bottom in fine print it always says “not including HP refills”.

    Besides using black and white and printing in draft I have the printer options set to “show preview”. Before the coupon prints it shows you the coupon. You can zoom in and actually read all the fine print. Sometimes a blog will list a coupon as 1.oo off when in actuality it is 1.00 off two which isn’t a good deal for me so I can decide to cancel the print etc and save some ink. Sometimes if I am on the fence if I want to print the coupon I check the preview and if it has a huge ad on the same page (like many of the ‘brick’ coupons) I can decide whether I want to waste the ink or not.

    The print preview is also good for showing where on the page the coupon is located. This has helped me save paper as I can then print on smaller scraps of paper I save.

    • Alyssa Francis says

      I was not aware of the HP warranty clause, so thank you for pointing that out. And I LOVE your tip for previewing the coupon first. That will save me loads of ink! Those full page bricks ads are certainly annoying.

      • Freebies says

        @Alyssa Francis,

        I have another little trick to avoid the “full page print”

        If you know your coupon is going to print at the top of the page just cut your paper in 1/3rds. Put the 1/3 piece in your printer and print. The coupon will print but the printer senses when there is no more paper and will stop printing the page- and no ad at the bottom.

        Freebies´s last blog post ..New March Coupons from Couponscom

  12. Brenda says

    I have the kodak esp-5 printer and have come up with a way to get 2 double packs of ink pretty cheap. After I’ve collected 10 empty ink cartridges, I take them to Staples. After awhile, I got $30 staples rewards. This last time I got a $10 off $50 purchase coupon from Office Max so I took my rewards and that coupon to Staples and bought 2 combo packs of ink and only paid $10.58.

  13. Steve says

    Lexmark is a “sneaky” manufacturer with their black ink cartridges. They stock and supply cartridge #70 black for the printer model that I have (X83). But what a lot of people don’t know is that they also have, for the same price, a cartridge #75 black that contains 25% more ink! Yet they don’t sell it in the stores.

  14. Metal Guitar Picks says

    I dont really know what you talking about here. This cant be the only way to think about this can it? It seems like you understand a great deal, so why not explore it more? Make it a lot more accessible to everyone else who may not concur with you? Youd get a lot a lot more people behind this should you just stopped making common statements.

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