Printers allow you to quickly and conveniently print your own documents at your home or office instead of going to your local print shop. This article discusses benefits of different types of printers. It also includes some strong advice if you are thinking of buying the cheapest printer you stumble upon. Be careful because, more often than not, a cheap printer will cost you more in the long run.

Different Types of Printers

Printers may come with many extra bells and whistles. Here’s some of the features and how they may (or may not) help you. One of the first features you may find on a printer is a scanner. A scanner adds the ability to take documents you already have and scan them into your computer. For example, it would be a lot easier to scan a copy of your resume instead of typing it out all over again. Scanners also give you the ability to use your printer much like a copy machine although they won’t print copies as fast as your local copy-mart.

Another feature of some printers is a built-in fax machine. Typically a printer with a fax machine will also include a scanner but not always. A machine that prints, scans, and faxes is normally called an all-in-one printer. The benefit of an all-in-one is you save space and money because you don’t need to buy three separate machines. These are usually good for small offices. Overall, it’s good to be aware of these extra features if you need them. However, if you only need to print documents then you can save money buying a printer without a scanner or fax machine.

Warning: Cheap Printers May Cost You More in the Long Run

If you’re not familiar with printers, you might be tempted to snap up the cheapest printer you can find at the local whatever-mart. Be careful with this. Printer manufacturers are very much aware that many consumers will buy whichever printer is cheapest. So, they devised a very clever system to squeeze more money out of you; They offer cheap printers but expensive ink refills. When you see that low-priced printer, be sure to note which ink cartridge it uses. You can easily find this by looking on the packaging. There will usually be two numbers for two ink cartridges. One is the the number for the black cartridge, and the other is the number of the color cartridge. Remember those numbers and stroll on over to the ink refill section of the store (usually in the same aisle). Then, check the prices of the ink refills. You’ll be shocked at the prices for some of those so-called “cheap” printers. Many times the ink refills are more expensive than the printer itself.

How to Find the Real Low-Cost Printer

Here’s a tip. Usually the printer with the best value is the one that is one or two price ranges up from the cheapest one. You should check the ink refills once again and compare the prices to know which one will cost you less in the future. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the prices are only about $15 to $30 dollars more than the cheapest models. Remember, the manufacturers are expecting your ignorance with their cheapest models designed for unaware shoppers. However, the models one or two steps above the cheapest are designed for smart shoppers (that’s you!) who price compare and do their diligence before buying. Because they are expecting you to check the ink refill prices on these models, you’ll find the best value for your money over the long-term.

How to Save Money by Correctly Printing Your Documents

Once you get home with a new printer, be sure not to go crazy printing off everything in color. If you’re just printing a letter, choose to print it in black ink only. The black cartridge is usually cheaper than the color cartridge by about $15 to $25 dollars. So if you limit yourself to printing mostly in black ink, you’ll save money on the refills. Save your color printing for special occasions, and go to the copy shop if you are printing more than five copies of anything in color. It will cost you less in ink.


Printers can save you time and money as well as make your life easier if you know what you are doing. By knowing how to select the best printer for your needs, you won’t get over-burdened with useless features. And knowing how to print your documents correctly, you’ll save money when buying ink refills.