How to Print On A BUDGET

How to Print On A BUDGET in 2020 (6 Money-Saving Ideas)

In this post, I’m going to suggest top tips on how to print on a budget in 2020.

Amongst other things 6 Money-Saving Ideas:

So if you want recommendations on how to print on a budget, you’ll love this new post. 

January feels like the longest month in the calendar.

The 22nd being highlighted as the date most people are likely to go into their overdraft as they pay the price of Christmas and an early December payday.

Attributed to John Ruskin (however, it has never been proven!) it has been said:

“There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all.

When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better”

Is this true? Can you buy and print on a budget?

Buy Cheap or Buy Twice?

Buy Cheap

First, you have to look at why it might not be a good idea to buy ‘cheap’ and buy directly from the high street.

Cost-effective printers look like a good buy, but the rule of thumb is that the less expensive the printer the more expensive the ink.

They also become de featured, for example, only being a printer so it does not include a scanner or copier feature.

It also loses the ability to duplex print (double-sided).

They can start in the high street for as little as £25 and they print using ink cartridges.

At the moment, ink is the 8th most expensive liquid per gallon behind mercury, insulin and CHANEL No 5! 

It is measured using an ISO evaluation ISO/IEC 24711. Part of this ISO looks at how many pages are in a cartridge.

In fact, to arrive at that figure it is tested using 5% coverage.

Genuine ink would, for example, allow you to print 300 pages in colour priced at 7.3p per page and 400 pages in mono at 5.5p per page.

You do not have to use genuine ink. However, the quality can be poorer and there are risks with printing. It may clog the inkjets – you also waste ink while it is cleaning the heads which are not taken into account in the costs.

5% Toner Coverage

To illustrate what 5% looks like (see below), the reality is you are more likely to print at 10% and above.

This then is only giving you 150 pages colour at 14.6p and 200 pages mono at 11p, not a lot and very expensive

This is the reason that this is a very lucrative industry!

As a business, giving staff the ability to buy their own printers might seem like a good idea, it could be part of a supplies budget.

They might be replacing the equipment because it’s become obsolete, broken, or it’s out of warranty, all of this means parts and call outs are expensive.

It may be in warranty but you might have to send the printer away or wait days for a service engineer and even then there is no guarantee that the parts are not chargeable!

Buy Twice

Buying high street can get you initially that low price but is there then anyway to track the amount you spend on it and print? Hight street printers do not tend to have a meter reading allowing you to track how many prints you are producing.

Ask yourself– if there are 500 pages in a ream of paper – how many times do you fill the machine?

1 ream is £55.00 pounds worth of mono print based on 10% cover and £73 of colour print. In a year that could be as much as £876.

I have not even factored in the cost of the paper, delivery charges and fuel.

You might even nip out to get a cartridge from a local shop and spend time doing it.

If that wasn’t enough to put you off? When the warranty and its use has ended you are more likely to throw it away.

It becomes almost expendable which is not good for the planet or any green credentials you may be striving for.

Can you buy a more ‘expensive device’ and still print on a budget?

I’m going to reveal to you the 6 money-saving ideas that can be used together or separately.

These can help you cut back the expense of printing.

Let’s see them.

1. Buy or lease with a CPC (cost per copy)

You will get the right device for the volume and amount of people printing.

When you use a CPC you get all your toners and parts for a fraction of what it would have cost printing with ink.

If it fails you have an engineer to site and fix the device within 4hours as part of your service level agreement.

Parts are included in the CPC and when it has come to the end of life it will be disposed of according to the waste electrical and electronic equipment recycling (WEEE).

2. Turn everything to mono, duplex print and copy

By printing in mono it can be about 1/10th of the cost of colour and colour is not always needed.

And by introducing duplex (2 sided printing) as standard you can save paper and its associated costs.

3. Count all the prints and copies

This means for free (with limitations) you will be able to set a precedent.

The output is counted and allocated to a person and the high usage is flagged and can be highlighted.

With some devices, print can also be held internally. Meaning that it can help to meet GDPR requirements.

By using your pin code to retrieve your print job nothing is left on the device.

This method also cuts waste print, as you are at the device before it prints you can delete anything sent by accident or has now become irrelevant.

If you invest in a print management system which can save up to 30% extra on the printing costs, you can achieve more savings through extra reports and rules.

We supply Papercut which can give a more detailed account of people are printing.

For example, if it’s outside of office hours or what type of document it is. With many more rules and reports available.

4. Chargeback some of your print

If you are in a building that house’s more than 1 business, education or teaching. Or work in a hotel, café or shop you could chargeback to your customers the prints they do.

This could still be less than it would cost for them to print on a home device.

Working this way could cover the total running costs of the whole unit and allow the office staff to print for ‘free’.

5. Go paperless

As more and more people are trying to reduce paper, the need to print should reduce.

As digital documents are being archived without the need to print them and then store them as a paper file.

This will reduce other costs like overheads for paper storage and shredding.

People are reading information from tablets more and more and emails no longer need to be printed off to be ‘read.’

Digital workflows create a paperless trail through a company allowing authorisation of documents in half the time they might have done sitting on someone’s desk or getting damaged.

Time and money gained by making people more productive has a knock-on effect on the bottom line.

6. Use 60 gsm paper and draft mode for internal prints

By using recycled 60 gsm paper, it could cut your costs.

And by using draft mode within the driver (reduces the amount of ink or toner on the page so the cartridge goes further), this means that for any single-use or internal print you could make some extra savings.

Printing this way will reduce the quality of internal information, by only using the better quality for external documents.


Sometimes buying the cheapest device does not always work out to be the best and most effective way to save money.

So I hope this post on how to print on a budget was helpful to you. If you would like to know more please contact us here.

Now I’d like to turn it over to you: Which money-saving idea from today’s post do you like or do you have any of your own we can share?

Either way, let me know by leaving your thoughts/comment below.

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