How To

How to cut the cost of printing in your office

When looking for ways to cut the running costs of your business, you’ll probably focus on all the usual suspects: Heating, lighting, fuel, staff costs, equipment and expenses. But there are other unexpected ways that you may be able to save money by applying a little common sense. If you have one eye on cost-cutting measures to make your office or business run more efficiently then cutting the price of your printing is something you should take a look at.

Printing is an important and necessary part of almost every business, and if the use of equipment and materials is properly managed, it doesn’t have to eat up your profits.

We’ve put together a series of helpful tips which will enable your office to save money on printing whilst still producing professional prints.

Duplex printing

Duplex printing means ‘double-sided’ printing. And switching to this option will immediately almost halve the amount of paper you use. How easy is that? Duplex printing doesn’t reduce the quality of the printed output, it just utilises the space available, so this will instantly save you money for little effort.

Invest in quality ink

When it comes to replacing ink, it can be very tempting to cut costs and buy a non-brand alternative. In the majority of cases, these cheaper ink replacements offer false economy because they provide inferior print quality and a shorter life length. We’ve probably all scrimped at some time when it comes to ink, and many of us have regretted doing so! The good news is that in the last few years, the price of genuine inks has come down, and there are now manufacturers such as HP who have introduced different options to prevent you running out of ink and simultaneously saving money. Take a look at HP’s Instant Ink program (which we talk about towards the end of this feature).

Standardised fonts

Are we being a bit picky talking about controlling the use of fonts? Well, some might say yes, but remember – all these little things equal savings! Simply put, some fonts use more ink than others. Century Gothic uses less ink that a font such as Arial. You can change the default font, so your printer remembers it and prints in that font automatically, so there’s no hassle for staff members.

Proof… and proof again!

Here’s a bit of common sense. If you encourage all the members of the team to perform careful sub-editing checks and use Print Preview tools, it is easy to reduce the risk of mistakes, which ultimately mean re-printing, being made.

Eco-friendly printing

Lots of printers on the market come with eco-friendly options, and it’s not just about saving the planet (Sorry Greta!). These options can include reducing the amount of power your printer uses, which in turn reduces the cost-per-page of printing. All you have to do to save money is turn on any eco-friendly options and you’re done!

Buy another printer. And here’s why!

At first glance, this sounds like a duff piece of advice – but wait! Buying another printer can save you money in the long run. Let’s say you have a high-quality printer capable of producing photo-realistic prints completing all your office printing tasks. Well that’s a waste of money – get yourself a machine which is great at producing text documents, such as an inkjet printer. If you require more high-volume printing, then a laser printer is generally a better bet.

Pay attention to the ‘monthly duty cycle’

One of the most commonly overlooked stats on a printers’ profile page is the Monthly Duty Cycle. This refers to the number of prints that the machine can reliably produce on a monthly basis. This is something the vast majority of people don’t look at. Think about how many prints you usually produce before buying your printer, as this can affect the performance of your printer.


Some colour printers are CMYK printers and others are classed as ‘tri-colour’ printers. What does this mean? Well, tri-colour printers use just two cartridges (one black/one colour), while CMYK creates all colours from four different tones (Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Key – Black). Fewer cartridges doesn’t necessarily mean lower printing costs. If you have a tri-colour cartridge and one colour runs out, you will need to replace the complete cartridge whereas CMYK cartridges will use every drop of ink before you need to buy a replacement.

Web printing issues

If you’ve ever printed out a web page, alongside the information you wanted you will probably have printed out all the images, additional text, links and footers – all of which is a real waste of ink. You can easily re-format the page you want using a word processing tool, and this removes any unwanted information and therefore saves you money.

Buy toner in bulk

As a general rule, buying in bulk means bigger discounts and can also save you on any delivery costs.

Toner from high quality manufacturers and brands often has an incredibly long shelf-life, meaning it is possible to stock up on the consumables without fear of them perishing. By ordering in bulk, you may be able to receive great discounts and cut down on delivery costs great for the economical office.


Most companies are committed to recycling, but the word recycling conjures up putting plastic bottles into a specific bin – or in the case of printing, putting unwanted paper into the recycling basket. Well, recycling also means using recycled products too, so use recycled paper wherever possible. If you save 10 pages per week from each person in your business or organisation, that can add up to a pretty penny over a whole year. You’ll save on inks, toner, paper and electric bills.

Get scanning!

Why not start scanning documents and sharing them digitally rather printing them out all the time? Scanned documents means that they’re never lost. Multifunctional printers can easily scan documents and digital files don’t take up storage space in filing cabinets.

Full colour AND black and white?

We touched on this subject earlier, but why not have two printers in your office? One which is used for colour printing and the other for black and white. If you do this, you’ll know that the colour printer is only being used when really necessary. You can also restrict access to the colour printer to certain members of staff who genuinely need it. Colour prints use a lot of ink, so it makes sense to keep tabs on it.

Know your printer settings

Using the printer at work is not always as simple as it seems, and mistakes are easily made. Prevent the chances of printing errors happening by making sure staff members have instructions on how to use it. Minimising mistakes saves money. You could give someone the task of ensuring the printer is turned off at the end of the working day. It doesn’t take long to set up a few useful guidelines and this will help you keep track of costs and prevent and unnecessary use of your supplies.

HP’s Instant Ink

We briefly mentioned Instant Ink earlier in this feature. But what is it? Well, Instant Ink is a monthly subscription service. Once you sign up you can forget about going to the shops again to buy cartridges! Your printer will tell HP when you’re about to run out of ink and they’ll automatically send you new cartridges – so that you have them before you need them.

Your monthly fee includes ink or toner usage, delivery and recycling. And don’t worry if your printing needs a change, you can easily alter your plan anytime or cancel the service without penalties.

You’ll be sent HP Instant Ink subscription cartridges when you first sign up, and replacement cartridges are sent when your printer tells HP you need more ink or toner, not by the month. It’s a system which works perfectly and you can just get on with your work, hassle-free.

Instant Ink = savings

Instant Ink is a simple plan which not only means that you’ll never run out of ink, you’ll also save up to 70% on ink or 50% on toner. HP’s simple-to-use printing service includes: Original HP ink or toner, hassle-free delivery and recycling and flexible plan options, starting at just £0.99 per month.

HP Instant Ink is based on the number of pages you use, not cartridges. So, you choose a plan based on the number of pages you print monthly. HP know that you can’t put a definite figure on this, so you just estimate how many pages you think you need each month. If it turns out you don’t need to print much, the unused pages will rollover to the following month. It doesn’t get much easier to make savings!


So there we have it. We’ve hopefully given you a few ideas that will help your office become a little more productive while also helping to save money. If you just implement half of the ideas above, you’ll be well on your way to making substantial savings.

Ebuyer sells a huge range of printers for the office at fantastic prices. Take a look here, and save even more money.

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