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The Secret to Printing at Home On the Cheap

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So obviously, since I create a lot of printables, you know I love them! And, if you are are a regular here at the blog, you are most likely printing a lot of printables as well. My biggest struggle over the years has been how much money I spend on ink. I have always tried to buy ink when it’s on sale, but even the sale price is ridiculous. At one point, I tried getting my cartridges refilled, but that turned out to be a hot mess and my printer was not happy!

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Not so long ago, I ran across the HP Instant Ink program. The program allows you to print for as low at $.03/ full color page! WHAT?!?!

Here’s how it works. You need to have an HP printer that is compatible with the HP Instant Ink program. To be honest, I had an old HP printer that wasn’t compatible. I figured out what I was spending yearly, and it was ridiculous. The printers themselves are relatively inexpensive. After working with the numbers a bit, I realized it was smarter for me to get a new printer in order to use the HP Instant Ink program, all leading to more savings in the long run!

I ended up with the HP OfficeJet Pro 6975, partially swayed by the sale price at Sam’s Club ($79.99!). If they weren’t having a sale, I definitely would have gotten the HP Envy. It’s a great little workhorse printer and perfect for home printing.

Once I had my printer, I simply went online and picked the best plan for me. I also found I got my first 3 months for free! WHAT? (Here’s a little tip-you can change your plan at anytime, so for your first 3 months, choose the $9.99 plan and print up to 900 pages. When your free time is done, switch to one of the lower priced plans.)

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There were ink cartridges that came with my printer, so I used those until my cartridges from HP came in the mail. Once I installed the cartridges, the program started to monitor my usage.

What I love:

  • CONSISTENT: I know what to expect every month and the plans allows me to roll over the unused print pages. I can even change plans easily!
  • CONVENIENT: The ink shows up at my doorstep before I run out–no more running to Staples or even having to place an online order!
  • COST SAVING: The price is amazing–much cheaper than buying ink cartridges and there is an affordable plan for everyone

I’ve ditched every way I have tried to be conservative on printing: no more printing in draft mode, no more refilling ink cartridges, no more uploading planner printables to Staples.com to have them print at the copy center for me. Instead, I print without worry! If I want super high-quality color copies, I am sure to use my absolute favorite Hammermill 32lb. Laser Paper (yes, it works great in an inkjet!). I save this for the “special” stuff! If you touch it, you’ll know what I mean!

It’s just that easy! It’s a print-party in my office!


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  1. I discovered HP’s Instant Ink program a few months ago and have been thrilled with it so far. I know just what you mean–it’s such a relief not to have to tell my kids no every time they want to print something or print in draft mode to conserve that ridiculously expensive ink. I also tried refilling, but what a mess (I had black fingers for days)! Instant Ink is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever come across. It took me a little while to get used to the idea that it’s how many pages I’m printing, not how much ink I’m using, but now I’m printing up a storm. It’s so liberating to print things at the highest quality without a care in the world, isn’t it?! I have the Envy, which works beautifully, and I’ll definitely never go back to buying cartridges again. Now let’s just hope they never discontinue the program!

      1. Me, too. I’d love to see everyone give it a try. I was discouraged to see bad reviews on Amazon about my wonderful printer, not because of its performance, but because people don’t understand the Instant Ink program and have this idea that somehow HP is spying on them. And you don’t even have to use the ink program if you buy the printer, but there’s no reason not to! I want to tell them and everyone I know that it’s a fantastic program. This is the least I’ve ever spent on ink and I’m printing as often as I want at the highest quality, neither of which I never was able to before. I do keep a list of how many pages I print, just to make sure HP and I are in agreement (so far, so good). Btw, I love your blog!

  2. Btw, I can’t wait to print out some of your gorgeous printables! Before, I could never take advantage of all things like that for fear of using all of my ink!

  3. Great! I have hp envy, I love it but i’m struglling on how to print double sided. It always has to shift the other side. any thoughts?

  4. Is the same type of plan available for any other printers? I have a cannon and it drinks the ink like water. I’m ordering both color and black both xl on a weekly basis. I’d love to know how to save some serious money.

    1. Tina- As far as I know, this is only available through HP…in the long run it was cheaper for me to purchase a new printer (they have lots of inexpensive options as mentioned in the post) to get on the Instant Ink program.

  5. I saw this post several years ago & saved it. I finally joined about 2 years ago. It was a life saver when COVID hit and my daughter was printing from home. I love it and have recommended to several faculty members I work with.

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