My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Things I Love Thursday: Ink Refills

Printers are relatively cheap. You can get a decent printer-scanner combo for under $50. It's the ink that gets you. A single ink cartridge can run you anywhere upwards of $30. Many places like Staples, Office Max, and even Walgreens offer ink refills, but they charge something around $10 for each refill. And even then there are cartridges that they can't refill. Generally, it all gets expensive QUICKLY.

So last year when our printer died, I wanted to find a good investment of my money. I'm not out to print works of art, so quality wasn't a main concern. I just wanted something that will print my day-to-day black and white coupons stuff, and the occasional color document. I wanted a printer that used refillable cartridges, and I wanted to be able to refill them at home with a home-refill kit. I ended up buying a Lenmark scanner/printer combo, and a Nukote refill kit.

We bought the printer last April, and we have NEVER had to buy an actual ink cartridge replacement. The printer was under $50, and the Nukote refill kit cost around $20. I'm still using the same Nukote kit that we bought last year with the printer, and I print a lot of crap. Aside from the black-and-white coupons, I like pretty things, so I end up printing my own note-cards, address labels, color menu plans...etc. It's true that I don't NEED any of these things in color, but it makes me happy and I can print away knowing that I can just refill the cartridge if it runs out.

Now, I won't lie to you. It took me an hour the first time I went to refill a cartridge. They include some very detailed instructions, but it still took me a while to figure out what to do. But once I got the hang of it and drilled the necessary hole in the necessary place, and snapped off the cover, it's a piece of cake to refill the cartridge. Last week, it took me a grand 5 minutes to refill both cartridges. It takes a bit to figure out how hard to squeeze the bottle, so the first few times you're bound to make a mess, but now I've got it down to an art and there's pretty much no spillage at all.

And don't listen to all that techno-babble crap about how refilling your own cartridges will cause your printer to start degrading or result in poor quality printouts. I've been doing this for a year and my printer is as healthy as ever. I've also never had problems with quality - I printed off about 20 Halloween card covers just last month, and they turned out perfectly fine. And earlier this year, I printed my daughter's baby announcement card using refilled cartridges, and everyone seriously thought I had them professionally done.

It took a while to get the hang of it, but it's so easy now I would NEVER think of actually buying a cartridge or having it "professionally" refilled. I love my ink refills!


ames said...

A very wise decision! My printer's been without ink for over a year because I just can't afford the darn cartridges, combined they cost more than the actual printer did.

thediaperdiaries said...

I hate our printer so much and am thinking of buying a new one. I LOVED this post. It has given me a lot to think about and talk over with the hubby. Invaluable advice :)

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