If you aren’t printing coupons from home, you are probably missing out on a lot of great savings. In this post, I’m going to tell you why you should be printing from home, and share a few tips on making it as inexpensive as possible.
With the popularity of new media platforms (Facebook, G+, Twitter, e-mail, etc.) manufacturers can skip the middlemen they used to pay to reach consumers. I have no idea how expensive it used to be to market that way, but now that manufacturers can reach you directly, that saves them money.
Also, since you bear the costs of printing at home (internet, printer ink, paper), they aren’t paying for that, either. That means they can offer higher value coupons that you can print from home.
Statistically speaking, the coupons you print at home are on average a higher value than the newspaper coupons.
I think eventually we will see fewer and fewer coupons in the newspaper. Newspapers are struggling these days. I personally buy the newspaper just to get the coupons. I get news from the internet.
Perhaps the popularity of coupons is keeping newspapers afloat? I’m not sure. I print 3 times the number of coupons versus the number of coupons I get from the newspaper. There are more coupons online, and I also can print only the coupons I want, whereas consumers don’t have control over the coupons in the paper.
Usually, there are a handful of good coupons in the paper that make it worth the cost of buying the paper to get them. And the printable coupons have limitations usually, so that’s a downside, but there are ways around that (printing from multiple computers) if you need more prints.
So here are three tips to print coupons at home for almost free:
Ditch the Inkjet Printer
I have switched the inkjet printers at home to Brother laser printers. I have a multi-function for my business and a basic black and white for a backup.
The reason inkjet printers are so cheap to purchase is because they make up for the cheap costs through the price of their proprietary ink. I had an inkjet made by a well known company that was rigged so that it would not work unless you bought their ink cartridges. There are rarely deals to be had on their brand name ink.
I don’t think there’s any reason to print coupons in color. They work just as well in black and white, and you don’t need to spend the extra ink to print them in color.
I have the Brother HL-2240 (pictured above), and it’s a great little black and white laser printer. It’s perfect for printing coupons. Brother printers have the cheapest operating costs (I checked on this!), and you can use refilled toner cartridges without any problems.
In fact, this printer is on sale this week for $59.99 at Office Max. The cost of this laser printer on sale is comparable to the cost of an inkjet, so if you’re thinking of buying a printer, this is a great choice.
Use Refilled Toner Cartridges
Check around to see if there are companies near you who refill toner cartridges. The Brother printer above uses the TN-450. Both of my printers use the same cartridge, which is great!
My favorite Cartridge World store at Bell Road and 40th Street (across from Walgreens in a strip mall) has a coupon program, too. They normally send me a $5 off coupon by e-mail each month, which brings the cost of my toner down to about $35 for the larger cartridge that prints 7000 pages. Ask your store how you can get coupons.
I’ve noticed that prices vary at Cartridge World locations, so call ahead to get a price. (I think they are independently owned and operated.) Your closest store might not be the cheapest.
Take Advantage of Free Paper Deals
Office supply stores, such as Staples, frequently have free paper deals after rewards, and usually there is a coupon to sweeten the deal. If you’re going to buy paper anyway, you might as well save some on the out of pocket costs and get your money back through a reward or cash back.
Spring/summer seem to be the best times to get these deals. It’s not difficult to stock up on enough paper to last you for a year with these rewards.
Back to school season starts in June/July and there are always paper deals then, too.
I hope this helps you save big on printing coupons at home!