First, always make sure you print only the pages you need.
Second, when printing pattern pieces, recipes, and receipts, always print your pages using the draft, fast draft, or economy setting. When using this setting, your printer will use the least amount of ink possible to get the job done. You can find both of these settings in the properties, settings, or options box when your printer window appears. I actually have my printer set to this setting as the default so I don’t worry about ever forgetting to do this. I only use half the ink as normal when I use this setting and that adds up to huge savings!
Third, I download the pattern to my e-reader and use it to follow directions and view the step by step photos. Before I had my tablet, I used my laptop. This way I only print out the pattern pieces that I will be using.
I even store my most used and favorite recipes (or recipes I want to try soon) on my tablet so I can set it on the kitchen counter when cooking. This saves paper and ink.
Obviously if you are printing out gift tags, greeting cards, or photos, you want an excellent printout. But for day to day printing, you can save a fortune following the tips above!
Thank you to some of my readers who also suggested setting your printer to grayscale. Another great tip to save on your colors!
NOTE: Since my original post was published a few years ago, two new things have developed. First, I got a new 11" tablet, which I highly recommend! How did I ever read on that five inch. Second, I have discovered HP Instant Ink. If you have an HP WiFi printer, I highly recommend looking into it. The ink they send you lasts forever and you choose a printer plan depending on how many pages you print in a month, not how much ink you use. Which means, if you print full color pages, you get charged the same as if you printed recipes or other text! This has changed my life! Plus, they monitor your use, so they automatically send you ink before you actually need it. If you don't have an HP printer, see if your brand of printer has something similar.