Printer ink is one of the most expensive fluids that you will ever use!  If you were to try to purchase a gallon of it, it would cost thousands of dollars at retail prices.

A few months ago, I badly needed to print something out and my last ink cartridge ran dry. I rushed over to Staples to pick one up. I was expecting high prices, but the prices were ridiculous (over $50 for a single cartridge!) I needed it, so I just sucked it up and paid. After I got home, I was determined to find cheaper ink.  I did a quick search on and was amazed at how low the prices were.  I mean, insanely lower!!!  Here is a chart comparing the current prices (as of June 2014) of printer ink for my Epson Stylus 820 inkjet printer:

Cost of Epson Stylus 820 Printer Ink
Type Staples Online Amazon
Combo Color/Black $17.14 ($54.29 for two-pack) plus shipping $12.99 including shipping
Black $30.79 plus shipping $6.94 including shipping
Color $25.89 plus shipping $4.96 including shipping

Note that the prices at a retail store are even higher, up to twice as high as the Staples online price!!!

By simply buying online from Amazon, a reputable company, the savings was huge!!!  But, you might ask, is the ink genuine?  Is it the same as the expensive ink from Staples?  Well, the ink arrived without the cardboard box, only shrink-wrapped: Cheaper inkjet ink I popped it in, and haven’t had any problems with this ink.  I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference! There may be other cheaper options online, but I like buying through a reputable company like Amazon. And, with prices this low, why not? So, stop paying retail prices for printer ink!  Do a quick check on Amazon to see if it’s cheaper there.  You might save A LOT of money!!

Note: This is a professional review site that receives compensation from the retailer or manufacturer when you purchase through the affiliate links. I test and/or research each product or service thoroughly before endorsing it. This site is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are my own. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

I’ve also purchased ink from Beta Ink, a supplier of compatible inkjet and toner cartridges. Like Amazon, their prices were insanely low compared to retail, and they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  I haven’t had a problem with their inkjet cartridges.

Other Tips to Save

Here are some more tips on how to save money on printer ink:

  1. Turn off your inkjet printer after you’re done using it. This will park the head and help prevent it from drying out, reducing the need for ink-gobbling head cleanings.
  2. Print only the pages you need.  When I print a multi-page document, I often exclude unnecessary pages like the cover page, table of contents, etc.  I just print the pages I need.
  3. Return your spent ink cartridges to Staples for store credit.  It’s only a few bucks, but hey, it’s something.
  4. Use the inkjet cartridge until it stops working.  Don’t replace it when the printer software warns you that the ink is low.  There is still a lot of capacity left.
  5. Print multiple pages per sheet, if possible.
  6. Print in draft mode rather than high quality mode, when possible.

What other tips do you have for saving on the high cost of inkjet printer ink? Please leave a comment below! – Brian

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