Do you really have to pay every month to use your home printer?

Have you ever bought a new printer as it may cost less than reloading your old printer with ink?

If you have a printer at home, you know that expensive ink cartridges can be a frustrating expense.

Josh Hendrickson, an IT specialist and editor at How-To Geek, said he found a solution in 2016 by joining HP’s Instant Ink program. The monthly subscription service promises refills for absolutely nothing per month if you do not print more than a previously assigned number of sheets.

“Registering has been incredibly easy,” Hendrickson said. “The idea that I should not go to the store and spend a lot of money on ink was very tempting and convinced my wife and I to do it.”

However, some program conditions have begun to bother you over time. “I still use it, but now there is reluctance,” he said. He wrote an article that documents his experience with unexpected side costs.

The cost per page is very important for teachers who work in a classroom with a tight budget, for college students who do not have a lot of money, and for photographers who print photos for a living. It is also important that you or your family try to reduce your costs as much as possible.

Many inkjet printer suppliers benefit from low-cost programs that address customer concerns. Some people automatically send discounted refills directly to your home when the printer is running out. Others send you bottles of ink so you can fill the printer yourself.

In all cases, clients say that it is worth reading the fine print before registering.

If you cancel the HP service, the ink stops working. Therefore, the manufacturer of the printer owns the product that sent it. And expect the used cartridges to be returned. “HP Instant Ink cartridges do not work after the end of your billing period, you have to send them back to HP,” she writes in bold on her website.


If you use your printer after cancellation, you may be charged a fee. “If there is a charge for additional printing, it will be charged to your credit card. Depending on when you cancel, charges may appear the following month, “said HP.


The company’s subscription service uses a tiered pricing system.

The free package means that you can print 15 pages per month free of charge if this does not happen. If it’s an occasional printer, 50 pages a month will cost you $ 2.99. For $ 4.99, you get 100 pages per month, and the highest level allows you to print 300 pages for $ 9.99.

Each additional 10 pages costs $ 1.

Hendrickson said the best part is that the pages he does not use are gone.

“A few months, I reviewed my printing plant, but the rollover covered me,” Hendrickson said. His wife is a photographer, so the family signed up for the $ 2.99 plan.




The other months there was no safety net.

In November 2018, they printed 116 pages above their limit, which added $ 16 more to their bill. The same thing happened in January, adding $ 13.

Yet he saved money.

Since I registered, “I spent $ 146 for the service. If I had bought all this ink on the traditional road, I would have spent $ 220, “said Hendrickson.

He said that the printed pages count even if the words on the page are blurred. In addition, you do not receive push notifications informing you that you are nearing your limit for the month.


HP printer. (Photo: HP / Amazon)


If you think the pages you have paid are missing, check the HP website for verification.

“Since January, my wife and I are constantly checking the pages, the psychological cost is still there,” Hendrickson said.

Laura Smith, a full-time blogger specializing in home organization, said she has tested rechargeable ink systems such as those offered by Epson and Canon before registering for HP Instant Ink.



Canon’s saving options include printers that work with the rechargeable Megatank ink bottle.

Deposit printers are expensive in advance, but the ink costs only $ 12 per bottle. Epson is reducing the operating costs of its EcoTank and SuperTank printers by supplying bottles “with a ridiculous amount of ink,” according to the company’s website.

Epson EcoTank: how Shaq fell in love

Smith said, “Filling it myself ruined my printer every time.”


“I’m printing a lot of colorful things and I did not like not knowing how much it cost me,” said the Indianapolis resident. “HP has been great. If I know that I will print a lot, I update my plan so as not to exceed the limit. ”

Sometimes it’s worth replacing your budget printer instead of buying ink for the one you own. This largely depends on the print frequency. Manufacturers often only include half-boot carts filled with cheaper ink nozzles, Hendrickson said.


Smith and Hendrickson said they’d recommend HP’s Instant Ink service, but Hendrickson said his advice “comes with provisions.”

He said he doesn’t enjoy being afraid to print on his own printers sometimes.

“You just have to be comfortable with the fact that HP has a say over your life,” Hendrickson said. “If you’re comfortable with that, go for it. Save money. But first, do the math.”