Fill your printer up (on the cheap)

When I was a nipper most of my school homework involved painfully drawing things in lined books. I may at one stage even have got my mum to do my art homework for me. It’s different now of course though. Our 8 year old regularly has homework that involves using the computer; whether it’s researching something or looking for pictures of stuff.

Often involves printing stuff out, and if it’s a picture that’s in colour. All the school correspondence is sent electronically now, with the impetus on parents to print out forms and fill them in. I suppose it means the school saves a fortune in printing costs but it makes our costs in printer cartridges.

Printers are dirt cheap nowadays; you can pick up an inject printer for about 50 quid. Even though they come with cartridges, these are often only half filled, which means they don’t last as long. Printer ink is more expensive per cc than vintage champagne, and it’s often the case you can spend more on a set of cartridges than you paid for the printer in the first place!

Think I’m mad? We got a HP Envy 4500 all in one printer and scanner last Autumn for £45. If I want to get official HP ink cartridges a black and white will cost £14 and a tri-colour £18. That’s 32 quid for replacement ink for a printer that only cost £13 more in the first place.


Fortunately, despite the best efforts of printer manufacturers, you can often get third party replacements for a lot less. In fact, having a look around you can get a set of replacement  HP ink cartridges for our printer for the same price as just the tri-colour one. And lets face it, even if the quality was different (I haven’t noticed to be honest), for using for homework and stuff, would be perfectly acceptable!