You’re in college and need to make every penny count, which means you need to keep an eye out for the best value possible. Sometimes it seems like no matter how you try, there are always certain products that you can’t get for a reasonable price. According to Billshrink.com, the 12 biggest ripoffs in America include things like movie theater popcorn, text messages, college textbooks, and ink cartridges.
You’ve already discovered that you can rent textbooks for a better deal, but did you know there are also easy ways to save money on printer ink? As one Billshrink commenter points out, new ink can be more expensive than the printer itself:
Buying a whole new printer isn’t a very cheap or green alternative, but what you can do to be green and save money is take your empty ink cartridge to a Walgreens or Costco for them to be refilled. Both of these stores are cheaper than buying a new cartridge: Walgreens advertises refills for $12.99, for black or color, and Costco charges no more than $9.99.
If you don’t have an older cartridge to refill, it’s still possible to get a better deal. Stores like 123inkjets.com and Cartridge World sell “remanufactured” cartridges, which are cartridges that have been previously used, but are refilled with new ink and then resold. A standard HP #74 black ink cartridge at these stores cost $12.99 and $10, respectively, as compared to $14.99 at Staples.com and $19.99 at CVS.
Another benefit of the above options is that they’re also green. Buying or reusing an existing ink cartridge reduces waste and even saves oil. The environmental impacts from making ink cartridges are fairly boggling (In one year, if the world’s discarded cartridges were stacked end-to-end, they would circle the earth over three times!), making it an even more compelling reason to go for a earth-friendly option.
So the next time your printer’s out of ink, don’t let it result in a rip off; Instead, opt for a green and cheaper choice by buying remanufactured cartridges or refilling existing ones. And until then, don’t forget, print on scrap paper ; )