Small Business Ideas – 16 Ways to Save Money on Paper and Printing

Printing has become so expensive that it deserves a category all of its own. Printer ink costs are astronomical, paper is getting my expensive and good quality printers will set you back a bit as well. Well don’t worry. We know that printing is an integral part of most businesses and that you can’t do without it. Our tips therefore, are aimed at minimizing ink and paper costs, and getting the most out of your printers while still being effective and efficient.

Tip 1: Don’t print outlines of presentations: You are showing the presentation, other people can take notes. A better way is to make the presentation available electronically after the presentation has been given on a common drive.

Tip 2: Edit your work online before printing: How many times have you quickly printed out a document, only to find that it still has errors in it? Get into the habit of editing your work online before you print, and you will reduce your paper and ink costs.

Tip 3: Combine small printing tasks into a single document: If you have a number of small printing tasks to complete, combine them into a one or two page document rather than print a few links of text on individual pages:

Tip 4: Make one copy of a memo and circulate it: Rather than printing out memo’s to each staff member, make one copy and circulate it. It often helps if you have a time limit attached to it as well. Still better circulate it electronically.

Tip 5: Consider best before dates for your printer cartridges: Printer cartridges don’t have a long life-span, and thus buying them in bulk is not always a cost effective solution. This is one item where buying just enough, before they expire, is a good idea.

Tip 6: Go with a laser printer if you print a lot: Laser printers are more cost effective in terms of ink and maintenance than bubble jets. If you do a lot of printing they will save you money.

Tip 7: Consider solid ink printers: These are a good option when you need a lot of high quality printing. The solid ink is generally vegetable oil so has a longer life span than normal ink. This is really a personal choice and there are definitely pros and cons for their use. Check out Wikipedia from some more details.

Tip 8: Buy both high and low quality copy and printing paper: Again a simple tip. Use the low quality paper for your normal printing needs, and the high quality paper for your important stuff, like your CV for your next job interview!

Tip 9: Don’t waste paper: Always try and print double sided, as well as two to a page (eg the text is half the size). This should quarter the amount of paper that you use.

Tip 10: Use recycled printer cartridges: Help out the environment and your bottom line by using recycled printer cartridges. They produce printing of the same quality and are generally around thirty percent cheaper. These savings are quite significant given how expensive printer ink is.

Tip 11: Share printers: Setting up printer networks is relatively inexpensive and easy to do. The bonus is that you need fewer printers as everyone is sharing. You will also have a more secure and productive printing environment.

Tip 12: Faxing, use an Internet provider: An Internet provider such as is a good way to send faxes. No tying up of phone lines and everything is electronic so there is less paper wasted. What are you doing still using faxes anyway? PDF is a much better way to go, quicker, and more secure.

Tip 13: Use This service helps you to eliminate unwanted pages when printing, which helps to reduce your paper usage.

Tip 14: Compatible Printer Cartridges: Compatible printer cartridges (as long as they are right for your machines) can save you up to 50 percent on OEM brands. A good investment. There are a few good online resellers, such as professor ink which offer good deals.

Tip 15: Use digital solutions to save on paper: Consult an expert and work out how you can “safely” store all of your files digitally. This will save you a lot paper and also a lot of space.

Tip 16: PDF is your friend: Print many of your documents to PDF instead of the printer and email them. PDF is generally a safe form to send information and the receiver of the email is unlikely to be able to make any changes to the document.