Printer Cartridge Ink Is $126 Per Ounce, And Other Costly “Conveniences”

Printer ink package in parody Chanel 5 bottles

Sometimes we must spend money to save time, but it’s good to know the true price of convenience.

New Year is a time for reassessment, and that includes your office budget. Printer cartridges can make up a big part of your office supplies budget. As can coffee – and not just the coffee shop extravaganzas.

The True Cost of Printer Ink.

You know that printer ink cartridges are very pricy. Did you know how much you were paying for the ink? $4285 per liter. Graphic artist Celeste Watson was so enraged by the cost of printer ink that she created parody Hewlett-Packard ink packaging to look like Chanel °5. Watson also discovered they test the ink on animals though it has NO know carcinogenic effect on humans. And the yellow and blue color cartridges contain less ink – at the same price as the other colors – because it has been calculated to be used less per “standard page.”

The Low Price High Price Bait and Switch.

You pay cost or less for the basic item, but the things you need to make it work is where the real cost – and profit – is generated. Basic Kuerig coffee machine price: $100-150. Consumer Reports calculated that the coffee inside the K-cups costs $50 a pound. When was the last time you spent $50 for a one pound bag of coffee? Not to mention the landfill all those K-cups create.

Big corporate offices routinely send their copy toner cartridges out to be refilled.
My solution is to refill the printer ink cartridges myself. It takes me five minutes. Here are two online refill ink companies: Uni-kit Ink and Simply Ink you can check out. A pair of disposable gloves and newspaper or other disposable leak-proof work surface is all you need.
If refilling cartridges is too daunting, try one of the local cartridge refill retail shops, such as Cartridge World, and keep a filled back-up set of cartridges handy so you can insert them in the printer while you get the empty cartridges refilled. (That way you don’t leave your printer head high and dry.)

How would you solve the K-cup dilemma? As a tea drinker my solution is simpler: tea bags or re-fillable tea infusers and hot water. Share your ideas in the comments below.

Saving money vs saving time – be informed and be smart.

Hat tip to FastCompany

Illustration by Celeste Watson