Raise your hand if you spend a small fortune on printer ink? You can’t see me, but you’ve got to know both of my hands are raised. High.
As a teacher I’ve spent more of my own money than I choose to count on printing things for school. While I’m one of the lucky ones that does have access to a color laser printer at my school, there are limits of its use (as well as being courteous to my colleagues!) and time sensitivity for me needing to print things.
Many of you may already be aware of Staples Ink Rewards and, like me, have been using it for quite some time to purchase necessities (including ink!) with your rewards check.
You simply collect your used ink cartridges and turn in up to 10 cartridges per month using your Staples Rewards card. Next month you receive $2 per cartridge you turn in — up to $20 — in the form of a rewards check, which can then be spent on ink or other items you need at Staples. (Fine print: You do have to have spent $30 on ink in the past 6 months to earn your rewards, but you’ll see why this isn’t a problem in a minute.)
How many of you are still purchasing name brand ink? I was too, up until a few weeks ago when I decided to price my cartridges on Amazon. While I was searching for my cartridges using Amazon’s handy tool (I have a Canon MG5320, in case you’re wondering), I found several generic ink combo packs that had great reviews and were *drumroll, please* less than the cost of ONE black ink cartridge.
Can I get an amen? AMEN. For under $7, I was able to purchase ALL of the ink cartridges for my printer. That’s right. Three color cartridges, photo black, and regular black. For $7!
If that’s not amazing enough, let’s remember that I also recycle my cartridges. Time for a little math, so bear with me.
5 replacement cartridges = $7 spent (Free shipping with a $25 purchase, or free if you have Amazon Prime like I do.)
5 recycled cartridges = $10 in Staples Rewards
That’s $3 I get paid after the cost of my ink, in Staples Rewards, to buy ink and use my printer just like I always do.
Now I’m not saying Amazon will have generic ink for every printer out there — they don’t, especially older models. But it is worth a look (and reading the reviews, to choose the right vendor!) to see if you can be earning money for things you’ll already buy for your classroom at Staples while also printing all of those colorful centers and decorations with your (no longer) expensive ink!
I hope that this helps you stretch your dollar (and buy some much needed classroom supplies) a little more! I know this definitely helped me to save some money and not feel so guilty about printing lots of things for my classroom!