Aug 11, 2010

Small Savings: Printer Ink Revisited (Janssen)

I don't know what it is about me that makes the cost of printing from home so distasteful to me, but for some reason it is one of the things I most dislike spending money on.

The other thing is that you're not supposed to throw your ink cartridges away because it's bad for the environment, so not only do I get to be bothered about spending MONEY to get new ink, I have to feel guilty about what to DO with that stupid empty cartridge.

At a job I had a few years ago, the supply room was filled with used cartridges (probably a dozen or more) that no one knew what to do with, and I finally discovered that you could print of free shipping labels from HP and send them in to be recycled. I felt happy about that.

Until I realized I could actually be coming out slightly ahead, rather than just breaking even with my empty printer cartridges.

Thanks to some hasty Googling at work a few months ago, I discovered that Staples (the office supply store) has an ink recycling program where not only do they take your ink cartridges off your hands, but they give you $2 in rewards back for each one you turn in (up to 10 per month).

You also get either a percentage (usually 10-20%) or a dollar amount of new ink cartridge purchases back in reward dollars, which means the overall amount you're paying for your cartridges drops a lot.

And then you get to spend free money at an office supply store which, nerdily, is my idea of heaven on earth.

8 comments:

Emily said...

I, too, hate spending money to print things at home. I don't know why but buying those printer cartridges is SO painful to me. We've been out of ink since oh? March? If I'm desperate I make Jacob print stuff for me at his school, which is much harder now that he's in hospitals and not actually AT school everyday. I do have some old cartridges somewhere so maybe I ought to go turn them in and bite the bullet. I do like office supply stores, after all!

Gingerella said...

We take our cartridges to our local Walgreens and have them refilled there for about $10.00. We've yet to notice any quality difference. Definitely cheaper than buying new.

Rhiannon said...

And, this is why I've had two empty ink cartridges on my desk for months now.

(also, if you use refilled ink cartridges and your printer breaks, it nullifies your warranty)

Packrat said...

Our local Catholic school accepts all empty cartridges. There is some program where the school earns money for them.

I print at home. Have to between work and genealogy, I go through the ink fast even using the black cartridge only on the draft setting.

Packrat said...

Oops. Please pardon the improper punctuation in previous post.

Jenny said...

I'd also love to know how to RE-FILL ink cartridges. Ever tried that?

Katie Rich said...

Nice to know! I will have to take advantage of this deal.

Gingerella said...

It might nullify the warranty in a new printer that still has a valid warranty....mine, however, is old enough that the point is moot. We've been refilling ink cartridges for years and never had a problem.