5 Tips for Reducing Your Printing Costs

Printing offers many opportunities for unexpected expenses or hidden costs to creep into the balance sheet and affect the bottom line. The average office sees three to five percent of its total operating expenses dedicated to printing. Nonetheless, reducing office printing costs is rarely where businesses start when they seek to cut back on their expenses. Most printing is considered a self-evident business need and, as such, practices around it remain unexamined.

Stunned by how big of a bite your printing took out of your budget last year? Here are five ways which you can cut back your expenses related to printing.


1. Set the printer default to black and white.

One of the easiest ways to save money with printing is to make sure you’re always printing in black and white. Unless your business specifically needs color printing, black and white printing produces professional documents more economically.

Color printing uses a combination of cyan, magenta and yellow to create colors. Color printers have the option of either using black toner or mixing the colors to create black. As such, printing in black and white while using “color” settings as the default uses far more ink. As a result, you’ll run through cartridges faster.

2. Print on both sides of the sheet.

By default, printers only print one-sided. However, most office printers can print on both sides of the paper. This is also known as printing duplex, and it can cut your paper usage in half. Very few documents shouldn’t actually be double-sided, meaning this should be the default setting.

Additionally, duplex printing enables the creation of many common types of documents. For example, tri-fold brochures and postcards both take advantage of a printer’s double-sided printing abilities.

Therefore, having a printer with duplex capabilities isn’t just smart for its ability to save paper. It’s also useful in producing a greater range of documents for the business.

3. Purchase high-yield toners and printers.

High-yield print consumables are supplies like toner cartridges which are capable of producing more printed copies with the same amount of material as the standard ink cartridges.

This may determine what sort of printer you buy. Typically, laser and LED printers use cartridges which are the most cost-effective, but they sometimes sacrifice the ability to print well in color. Inkjet printers produce high-quality color images but are the metaphorical gas-guzzlers of the printing world.

If you don’t necessarily need to be able to print in color, it may be worth it to look into high-capacity laser printers with a matching quality toner. High yield consumables save money in the long run.

4. Send larger jobs to more cost-effective machines.

Employees with their own offices may have their own printers. While that may facilitate the speed at which a job makes it to the printer, it doesn’t guarantee the most efficient use of printing resources.

Larger machines will typically offer lower costs per page. These workgroup machines are designed to be the central hub in an office, capable of handling multiple print jobs rapidly and well. If printing activities comprise a significant part of your core business functions, you may want to consider investing in a highly efficient, central laser printer which handles the large projects.


5. Use print management software.

Do you know how much money your office spends on printing each year? If not, you’re not alone. Most business owners have no idea. This makes it easy for hidden expenses to sneak into your printing costs, and they’ll eat away your budget rapidly. Lower your office expenses by taking control of this scene.

It also makes it easy for employees to abuse printing privileges in the workplace. Ever found someone printing off something personal after hours? At least 60 percent of employees admit to having done it, and it’s at the office’s expense.

Print management software tracks printing volume, controls usage, and even supervises printing security. Here are two easy to implement options.


PrintFleet is a remote data collection tool which helps businesses oversee print usage. It tracks total volume and where print jobs originated. This helps businesses tighten up printer access and develop a cost-effective printing strategy to save time, money, and paper.


PaperCut is print management software which tracks usage, controls access and secures documents. Through this software, offices create rules-based printing access to step up document security and control the number of pages being printed.


Reducing Office Printing Costs

Reducing the number of pages your office prints is one of the easiest ways to reduce overall expenses as well as a business’s environmental footprint. By tracking usage, adopting strategic settings and investing in high-quality equipment, a business can dramatically cut down on print waste.

Printing often slips our mind as being a major expense because it typically happens piecemeal. However, every paper eventually adds up until the average employee prints one tree’s worth of paper each year.


The first step towards controlling hyperinflated print costs is performing an accurate print assessment. Have our team conduct an assessment at your office today!