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Topic: Looking for a money saving tip - ink cartridges

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Subject: Looking for a money saving tip - ink cartridges
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 1,362
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I'm a teacher and I print out a lot of materials at home.  Can anyone recommend a brand of printer which allows you to refill your empty ink cartridges at home easily?  I'm looking for a color printer, I already have a black laser printer, which I love, but I need to print some things off in color.  I have Lexmark right now, but apparently they have a computer chip in their cartridges which tells the printer when it's low (I havn't found a way to override this after 4 hours of looking), so I'm going to break down and get a different brand of printer.  Any suggestions? 

Last Edited on: 10/29/09 9:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/30/2009 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2007
Posts: 131
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I've had good luck with refilling cartridges on HP printers. I have a DeskJet 932C and just refilled my black with a refill kit ($9.95 for 2 refills) that I got from the site below +10% off. The color is only $14.95 for a refilled and refurbished cartridge, so I don't bother filling them any more. I used to fill from some large bottles that I bought, but it was messy and the colors didn't come out quite right after a while.


I've also hear that Epson is pretty good for this.


Date Posted: 10/30/2009 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,631
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I just bought a Kodak printer/scanner/copier.  Got an awesome deal on clearance at Target.  It was only $65.  Black refills are $9.99 and the color refill is $14.99.  Much better than my old HP printer where even refurbished ink cartridges are $20.

Date Posted: 11/1/2009 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 78
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About four months ago I convinced my husband to buy a Kodak printer/scanner.  He was using a lot of ink on his Epson and the cartridges were very expensive. The Kodak ink was much cheaper but it recently broke down. Both the scanner part and the printer. He is quite disgusted as he thought it should have lasted much longer. He is going to try an HP next. He saw and ad that said they have 64% more production from their cartridges vs an generic cartridge.

mistie -
Date Posted: 11/2/2009 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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I have realized that printers can be bought very cheaply - it's the ink cartridges that the companies make their money on. My current printer is a HP - I bought generic ink cartridges online for $2.95 each, both Black, and color. I know that, supposedly, the cartridges aren't as "good quality", and it is "lower quality" ink - well, for what I need to print, I can't tell the difference. And, maybe it will shorten the life of my printer - well, the printer cost $30 - less than the cost of two genuine ink cartridges. I will continue to use these cheapie cartridges, and, when my printer fails - send it off to teh e-waste recycling, and go and buy another.

Date Posted: 11/5/2009 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2007
Posts: 5,242
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I've had an HP printer, copier, scanner for at least 5 years & I refill my cartridges all the time. I don't use it for printing photos so I don't have to worry if the color is HP perfect... I mean if I want blue I get blue, etc. The ink quality might be noticable on photos but on the stuff I print off the internet or when I print invitations it's always been fine. It's a bit messy til you learn to do it but I can now refill my cartridges quickly & with little mess if any.

Subject: High-end HPs / monoprice.com
Date Posted: 11/16/2009 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2008
Posts: 485
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The higher-end HPs like the 8500 multi-function and the 8000 printer use different and much cheaper ink to the lower-end ones - I have a 7680 (discontinued now, I think) and a wife who's a teacher.

I buy the ink from newegg.com (usually about 50% MSRP) so I get genuine HP carts for 2500 rated black pages for $35 delivered (it's about 1800 color pages for $70 delivered, but you use less color than you'd think) . Also, while the printer will warn you when ink is low, you can keep printing a lot longer than that.

Stay away from Canon - had very bad experiences with generic ink.

You can try www.monoprice.com for generic cartriges, as well.


Date Posted: 11/19/2009 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 5,201
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While it's great to save money, sometimes you are better off going for quality.  (My dear departed dad used to say, you get what you pay for.)  I have tried refiing ink cartridges and it was just a big mess.  Some of them would not accept the needle you use to inject the refill ink, and even if they did, they didn't print and leaked.  I've also had bad luck with store brand ink cartridges, and was told by the man to whom I paid a lot of money to repair my former printer, that I should only buy the cartridges made by and for my brand of printer.  So I spend the extra and buy Epson cartridges for my Epson printer, and so far have had no issues.

Date Posted: 2/16/2010 8:05 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,262
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I've never tried refilling my ink cartridges because I was afraid of the possible mess - I always just purchased new cartridges - but I just noticed that my local Costco is refilling them for $7.99 to $9.99 in one hour (HP, Lexmark and Dell). Their literature says they use cartridge specific ink to match OEM colors, not Universal ink and you get your own cartridge back. If you're not happy with the results you can get your money back. Go to www.costcoinkjetrefill.com to find a location near you that refills.

Also, if you are considering purchasing a printer, look in your local Goodwill or thrift store. My Canon 3 in 1 died and it couldn't be fixed. I went to the thrift store where I purchase many of the books I list here and found a Lexmark 3 in 1 for $2.00! - It was half price day. :-) It didn't come with the software disc so I went online and downloaded it from the Lexmark site and it has been working like a charm for the last 5 months.

Subject: Care what you buy.....
Date Posted: 2/16/2010 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2007
Posts: 4
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I have a lexmark (scanner/printer/copier), my dad has a HP (all in one muti-function) printer. In the past, I've had canon mp pixma and an epson. My aunt had a brother. One of the things that you should know, it may be cheap to purchase the printer, but always be on the lookout for HOW MUCH the actually ink cartridges cost. I learned that the hard way. Some printers even take more than just a standard 2 cartridges(beyond a regular color/black).

LEXMARK: I had two lexmarks in my lifetime and they are reliable printers. In fact, I sold my older lexmark so that I could upgrade to a scanner, but they do last a long time.

One thing I've noticed with lexmark, you can't override the low in ink however, you don't have to... Just keep printing until you can physically see the ink run out on the paper. Thats pretty much what I do. The warning on lexmark is just to let you know you are about to run out, and yes, its frustrating especially when you know the ink cartridge was refilled. But, just keep printing until you can physically see on paper that the black or color ink cannot print out anymore pages.

HP: Yes, they are good printers, I'm not denying that from HP. But, I have to say, HP is one of the most expensive ink cartridges I have ever seen on the market. My dad has an older HP(it faxes, scans, copies, etc..), but one of the bad parts about HP is it does cost a pretty penny to purchase one of these cartridges. Its ranges anywhere in a retail store from $40-$100(depending if you want a combo pack, which is usually slightly a money saver than a single cartridge --but not much cheaper!). I usually shop costco and sams club. ONE FUNNY THING about getting HP cartridges refilled, not everyone will refill an HP cartridge. And even if someone, refilled the cartridge the ink will tend to smear on the paper, so it will not print cleanly. So, I even purchased remanufactured ink cartridges for my dad's HP, and ANOTHER FUNNY THING about remanufactured HP's sometimes it will accept the cartridge and sometimes it will not. Like right now, my dad is able to print a remanufactured print cartridge which was about $20 from walgreens in black. So, we have tried to purchase the remanufactured ink cartridge in color which was $25 in color from walgreens and now he is having trouble with his printer recognizing the cartridge. Its really wierd, as we have purchased same color ink cartridges before, and sometimes it just doesn't recognize the remanufactured cartridge. So, in the end my dad is forced to spend $$$$ on a HP brand. Its almost as if HP has something built in their printers to reject remanufactured or refill cartridges.... But, thats just my experience....

CANON: I had a canon MP pixma printer awhile back. WOW, noone around me wanted to refill any of my ink cartridges. And the remanufactured cartridges are almost as expensive as the original brand. Its a good printer, but if I'm just printing out mostly B&W pages, it definitely will cost you alot of money in the end to keep up.

BROTHER: My aunt had one of these... She just couldn't keep up. I've noticed over the years brother has a bad habit of coming out with new printers and they end up stop making cartridges for their older models. I've never seen anyoone around me that wanted to refill or sold remanufactured cartriges for a brother. She finally gave up and purchased an HP printer for herself. I've seen her print from a brother and the quality of printing in a simple black and white took way too long, and it just seemed slower in speed than the rest of the printers I've used.

EPSON: Well, its an o.k. printer. But, one of the bad parts is you have to purchase 4 cartridges(black,magenta,yellow,red), instead of a normal 2 combo. It got to be too expensive for me, but in the end it didn't matter. For some reason, EPSON is another company that tends to stop making cartridges for its older models, once they newer models come out.

KODAK: I personally wanted to get a kodak, as it really cheap and affordable. I've seen first hand in best buy's that the printing comes out very crisp and clean. The cartridges are extremely affordable being only $10 and $15. Thats even cheaper than a normal refill cartridge in some cases. However, the only thing that is holding me back....As I was doing research on the internet, KODAK is one of the companies that is doing really bad in the economy this year. So, its possible they might declare bankruptcy.... They possible could pull up their sales or be bought out by a competing company, but I would personally wait on buying a kodak for now...

SO, the end result... I would personally choose between a LEXMARK or an HP. Yes, HP can be expensive but its reliable so is LEXMARK. Hope that helps.

Date Posted: 2/17/2010 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 4,505
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We have a kodak 3 in 1. We were due for a cartridge replacement on our HP and rather than spend the money on the cartridge, we decided to put it into a new printer. I really needed the scanner for homeschooling, so it's been wonderful for us! The cartridges are very inexpensive, but they don't last as long. But it's ok, because I can afford to replace ink for less money, more often, rather than shelling out $60 at a pop less often if that makes sense. We've been using the heck out of it for about 6 months and we like it a lot!


Date Posted: 3/13/2010 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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I've had my Kodak AIO for 1 1/2 years. I love it! When I pay full price for my cartriges, I pay $10 for black and $15 for color. However, I take my empty cartriges to Stapes and recycle them, and get $3 in rewards for each one. I just bought a cartrige today for $7with my rewards certificate. Sam's club carries the cartriges cheaper ($8.98 for black) as well.

I had an HP before my Kodak and I was able to refill my cartriges, but only got about 9 months out of the printer.

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Thank you to everyone who posted information. I have a Lexmark 3 in 1 and I've noticed it's getting harder too get the ink cartridges. I'm thinking they will quit making them before long. I've also noticed that they estimate that only 200 sheets are what the ink will do in one cartridge. So to see someone getting 2000 is an eye opener! I rarely find a double pack for less than $40 (black). So I will be factoring that in my search for our next printer.


Date Posted: 7/3/2010 4:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,359
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*hides* Maybe the refillable kits have gotten better, but if you have EVER had to clean up a printer after a refilled cartridge blew ink all over you'd hide too. Then again, with printers being $30, maybe folks just throw them out now if that happens.

I admit, my way of getting around this was to spend the money on a decent color laser. It was a large upfront cost, and it doesn't have a scanner with it (so sad), but it's rock solid (6+ years and still going fine), prints wonderfully, and is a lot cheaper per page to print. I wince on the rare occassions I have to buy toner, but at least I'm only buying the color I ran out of, rather than replacing all of them. I also know it will be a long time until I have to buy more cartridges. It

I do wish it did double sided like modern color printers do, but I don't print enough to justify replacing it, so I just feed them back through again. Modern lasers tend to do double sided unless they are really bottom end which I don't recommend.

Date Posted: 7/13/2010 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/12/2010
Posts: 45
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Talk about expensive ink. I have an Epson Photo Stylus that came free with my camera but the cartridges cost around $70 for all of the colored ones and $20 for the black. I got fed up and bought the generic cartridges from envrioinks.com. It is a lower quality ink but it's not like I'm printing pictures or anything. After all the color cartridges and the black it cost $30 with free shipping and they have a rewards program.

Date Posted: 7/15/2010 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,359
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Oh! We haven't ordered from them in a while (since they don't have our current printer and we got rid of the rest of them) but we were pleased with the Laser Monks.


It's a group of monks that sells cartridges for printers.