5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Printer Toner

Last Updated May 5, 2010 8:44 AM EDT

Printers are like coal-burning power plants in the office -- they're unavoidable examples of old-school tech in a world that is increasingly modern and virtual. Regrettably, printer ink and toner is both expensive and dirty.

So how can we use less of it? You don't have to do anything drastic -- there are many small, easy things you can do to extend the life of your printer ink. That'll save the planet and your wallet at the same time.

Recently, Wisebread discussed 11 easy things you can do to get more mileage out of your printer's ink and toner. Here are five of the best (read the article for the rest):

Switch to an ink-saving font. Not all fonts use the same amount of ink. A lighter font, like Century Gothic, uses less ink than Times New Roman and Arial. Or try Ecofont, which is drilled with holes to use a lot less ink.

Make the font smaller. You can drop the font size from 12 to 10 and it's probably still quite readable -- but it'll take less ink to print.

Use a copy service. If your printer is expensive (such as if you have an inkjet in the home office), you can save a lot of money by taking large print jobs to the local copy center.

Refill ink cartridges. Refills are lot less expensive than buying new ones. Check your local office supply store to see if they have an ink cartridge refill service.

Use it to the last drop. Don't change your ink or toner when the printer warns you the level is getting low -- you can often get a lot more mileage out of your ink. If yo have a toner cartridge, remove it from the printer and give it a shake. That'll redistribute the toner and give you better results for another few hundred sheets.