Printer guzzling ink? Here’s how to save money

Refillable tank printers can save you hundreds of dollars in a few years

Printer guzzling ink? Here’s how to save money
Printer guzzling ink? Here’s how to save money

SAN ANTONIO – If working from home has your printer drinking the ink and draining your wallet, it may be time for a new printer and even a different type.

Having to frequently replace printer ink cartridges is a big gripe. That could change with the rising popularity of inkjet printers with refillable tanks.

“Refillable tank printers came out about six or seven years ago. Since then, their prices have come down and their performance has improved,” said Octavio Blanco of Consumer Reports.

Tank printers use refillable ink reservoirs instead of pricey cartridges, cutting ink costs for consumers. With tank printers, you pay more for the printer itself but the ink is fairly inexpensive and you save money over time.

To show you just how much money, Consumer Reports compared the long-term cost of a few all-in-one tank and cartridge models. This is based on typical inkjet use, which is 30 pages a month of mostly text with a few graphics and photos.

The price of the top-rated Brother MFC-J895DW all-in-one inkjet is $130. But factoring in replacement ink, Consumer Reports estimates that the cost after just three years is $434, and after five years it’s a whopping $637.

Compare that with the top-rated Canon MegaTank Pixma G4210 all-in-one tank printer for $300. Factoring in the ink, Consumer Reports estimates that after three years of use the cost is only $18, and after five years, it’s only $30. That’s more than $300 cheaper than an inkjet that uses cartridges.

An even less expensive option is the Canon MegaTank Pixma G3202 tank printer for $180. The cost after three years is only $194 and after five years is only $204.

And Consumer Reports says the ink bottles for both Canon tank printers should last you more than five years.

Another option for people who print a lot of text is a laser printer, which uses toner instead of ink and will save you money over the long run.

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