Cheap(or cheaper) printer ink?

Azarae_DuskeMay 19, 2003

Ack! I just started college(had to pay out of pocket, ouch!) & so I'm a bit low on $$ this month. Then my printer ran out of ink & of course I'm in College writing which requires printed papers :(

Anyone know of a cheap(or cheaper) place or site to get ink cartridges?? I wish I had gotten the printer with seperate black & color one's because the 2 in 1 just eats the ink.


Azarae D.

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I've been refilling cartridges now for quite a while with great success. Otherwise, Target had remanufactured cartridges for my printer (Lexmark) and some others. There's some online places that people have reported on. I can't remember the names offhand - have to check my bookmarks.

There's also some stores around here who will refill them for about $5. Check around. You might have a place nearby.

But the cheapest is to refill. You need one precaution, refill it immediately - don't let the cartridge dry out or you'll have trouble.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2003 at 12:48PM
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I've been wondering if refilling works. The printer cartridge has a warning against refilling, so I've been afraid to try. My little cousin's school gets $2 for each empty cartridge donated. I don't know who pays the $2, but I guess they use them for those "remanufactured" cartridges mentioned above. I'd never heard of them before.

Here's what I did when I was in college and my dot matrix dried out over the summer: I wrote my papers on my computer, saved them to disk, and then went to one of the computer labs to print them on the laser jet for free. This only works if you have the same word processing program as the college and you have time before class to do it. For other tasks, like creating graphs, if you don't have the same program as the college, you can just do the work in the computer lab (if your schedule permits) as these tasks usually go pretty quickly once you know what data to enter.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2003 at 8:38PM
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It's always best to find out how much the "consumeables" will cost before buying a printer. Epson seems to be the least expensive and they have some high quality printers. I have successfully purchased generic cartridges off EBAY and I generally buy my supplies from American Ribbon and Toner co. Cheaper generics do have a problem of clogging though (EBAY ones)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2003 at 5:32PM
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Although I agree with checking the cost for the supplies, in this case, ink cartridges, don't be fooled. Look at how much ink is in the cartridge. For instance, Epson and Canon generally have much less ink in them than Lexmark so you're thinking you're getting a better deal, but have to buy more. I had a Canon that used $8 cartridges which had about 1/4 the ink as the Lexmark that cost from $25-$35/cartridge so I soon found that there wasn't a savings. Plus Canon came out with a "high capacity" black cartridge which cost of course, much more, which proved my point.

The same thing goes with laser printers. A friend got fooled thinking he'd check the cost of supplies and since the Brother printer's toner cartridge only cost $35 while the HP cost $90, he felt he'd have a substantial savings over the life of the unit. However he soon found out that not only did it have MUCH less toner in it but it wasn't as readily available and to top it off, they quit making the printer and there went the chance of getting the supplies! Expensive lesson learned.

There's places to get better deals, but just be a savvy consumer and don't be fooled. Sometimes, cheaper is not better.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2003 at 1:11PM
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The printer manufacturers don't make much on the printers - they make it on the cartridges.

You haven't been getting dozens of offers to sell you low-priced cartridges? Lucky you!


    Bookmark   June 9, 2003 at 9:52PM
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Hi again Azarae Duske,

Ask around among some of the other students - some may know of a local place where they'll sell you a refill/refill yours with short turnaround time, at low price.

I can look up some sources that come in as spam on my email - but I have no idea how legit their service or prices.

If you'd like me to check some of them, let me know.

ole Ed

    Bookmark   June 13, 2003 at 1:17AM
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That'd be great if you have the time Ed!! I'm currently swamped with rehabbing 3 injured/found baby birds, nursing school, work & my other 10

Thanks so much!

Azarae D.

Here is a link that might be useful: My home page.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2003 at 10:21PM
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Please, NEVER respond to spam! Don't feed those animals! A search on Google looking for cheap ink cartridges will net you hundreds of sites! And I'd venture to say virtually every one of them will be more reputable than any spammer.

Here's a few links to sites that various people in the computer forum have suggested in the past. I've never dealt with them so I can't endorse them.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2003 at 12:11PM
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Some time ago, when I was security guard at a commercial enterprise, they threw out photocopier cartridges and I retrieved several of them.

I've asked a couple of entities who were advertising refilling cartridges. First wasn't too interested.

The one I visited today asked if it was computer printer using laser technology - not too interested when I said it was just a plain old Xerox photocopier.

But has a friend who may be able to use it.

I pulled a pair of high top shoes/boots (sort of partial cowboy style) out of a large consignment of garbage the other day (see my post "Bonanza" - I think on Household Finance forum), to take to my shoe repair guy. He said he could offer them on his "available" wall - but he thought they would stay there for quite a while.

Anybody need a pair of medium brown, about size 8, rather narrow, I think, with top reaching to just below the knee (depending on the length of your leg)?

(Maybe I should advertise them on eBay??)

joyful guy

    Bookmark   June 19, 2003 at 7:40PM
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Just wanted to note that you can also save ink by using the "draft" setting in the printer property box. Leave it on Draft for all printing and only change it to "best" when you are printing papers to turn in.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2003 at 9:12PM
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I have an Epson printer and have been using remanufactured cart. from PrintPal for scveral months. The price difference is $7 as opposed to around $30 for Epson brand, and the quality is very good. I have had no trouble with it, and the company ships promptly. Ruth Ann

    Bookmark   July 24, 2003 at 1:13AM
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I think cheap things are always with poor quality, and you may consider some retailers with goodwill. dont't keen on gaining petty advantages, good luck!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 9:22PM
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You can convert your document to Adobe Acrobat for free by downloading a free converter. I use PDF Redirect. It's recommended by PC World and I have had mine for probably a couple of years now with no problems. After you install, to convert your document, just open the document, activate your "print" function, and choose PDF Redirect instead of your printer. This creates a PDF document that you can then save to a memory stick or burn it to a CD. The file would probably be too large to store on a disk. Then you can print it nearly anywhere, as most computers recognize Adobe Acrobat. Of course, once converted, you can't change it, but you still have your original document on your computer at home.

Here is a link that might be useful: PDF Redirect link from

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 1:55PM
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Anyone use the inexpensive replacement inkjet cartridges from companies like LDproducts? For my Canon printer, they have 15 cartridges for $40. Probably made to a low quality standard in China, but the price is so attractive compared to the Canon OE cartriges at $10-12 apiece.

Ilene, good suggestion about the .pdf file "print" software that is free for download. The one I use is primo.pdf. I don't think everyone knows about this useful option.

I get a very long life out of Canon S600 cartridges by using the custom print setting with fast print quality and auto (fast) halftoning. This results in less ink use than with the draft setting. They both say 600 dpi, but this custom setting is faster and the text is grey black instead of jet balck with the draft setting. It also works fine with color maps I print. Text is still highly legible and makes two sided printing not show through the page. Cost per page is very low, even with the Canon cartridges. You can save custom settings with most printers.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 2:19PM
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Both of my kids went to college, and both had a printing allowance built into the tuition payment.

They were allowed XXX B&W copies and XX color copies per semester.

Perhaps your school also does that, and you don't know about it??

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 4:10PM
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take old catridge and thump on it / shake it up. It might suprise you.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 8:43PM
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i would try to find a shop that refills them. thats what i do, and it is a lot cheaper and it saves the environment

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 10:21PM
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I didn't read all the posts here, but I wanted to just chime in and post something that I found out last night. If you have an Office Depot nearby (or if pass by one from time to time), you can get one of their cards, and every time you take your empty cartridge to them, you get 2 bucks on your card. I think the way they do it is add that up and when you get 20 bucks, they send you a $20 gift card. And of course they are recycled.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Costco is now doing refills in many locations.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 8:42PM
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A few months ago, I was printing quite a few coupons. My inkjet, was running out quickly, and prices going up, even from discount places. So I purchased a used printer that requires toner online, and found a place I could get toner for around $20. This is supposed to print approx 5000 pages, much more than the approx 800 inkjet. You might check that route. I think my used HP 2200 dn was about $40.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:01AM
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I set my printer to black only. It is easy to reset it if you want to do a photo. I checked at Office Max for their generic cartridges and they were only $10 cheaper. That is not enough difference for me. It didn't help that another customer was looking for cartridges and said he had tried the generic 2 times and had to return them.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Check out CISS, continuous ink supply system at Super Premium Electronics. We have this and its much cheaper, works great. We printed stuff for about 2 years for our $35 investment and just spent $17 for enough ink for two refills.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:46PM
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