The Skint Student’s Guide To Printing

Written by on February 19, 2013 in Technology - No comments | Print this page

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Image by Listener42

Image by Listener42

A student’s budget is hard to stick to. We’ve all been there. When the money situation is getting tight, students have to be frugal sometimes. You might walk instead of paying for a bus ticket. Finally write that essay instead of going for a pint. Or even nab the odd bog roll from the campus toilets (kidding).

But often there is one thing that catches you out. One costly element, one dreaded sentence that can strike you down just when you’re feeling smug after hitting the print button for another assignment. And that line is: “out of ink!”

Printing cartridges are not cheap. And many universities actually charge by the sheet for every page you print out. So how can you ensure you use every drop of ink and save some money with so many assignments looming? Here are just a few tips from the practical to the downright ridiculous:

  • Just ignore out of ink messages – they are for the faint hearted! Often printers are still able to print quite well. When colours start looking funky – then start to worry.
  • Small fonts, skinny letters (ditch bold formats). This saves ink and will test any marker’s eyesight, which I’m sure they’ll appreciate…
  • Repeatedly proof read until you lose the will to live. Then proof read again. No one likes to reprint because of one tiny error.

  • Experiment with colours! If you’re printing off anything that doesn’t need to be submitted such as notes, you can save so much precious essay-black ink. Use up those colours you hardly use.
  • Sometimes it’s cheaper to refill cartridges rather than buy a new one – and better for the environment. Check around local shops.
  • Only print if you absolutely need to. Why not take a few notes instead or save a digital copy if able?
  • If you have housemates who are on a similar course, you could share the costs with a communal printer. And try not to fall out over it. You can do it.
  • Other suggestions: Why not ‘borrow’ a friend’s printer? Try your local library. Attack the ink cartridge with a hairdryer (some swear by this technique of getting every last drop out!). Make your own ink from food or drink. Buy a squid etc…

So do you have any ideas of how to battle the expense of printing? Let us know in the comments bellow. And I wouldn’t fully recommend every technique list above either!

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Laura Stone is a graduate with a BA Honours degree in English and Journalism. She has a slight addiction to blogging and specialises in writing literary reviews. She currently writes for Cartridge Shop

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