Teachers, homeschoolers, and educators all end up with a similar conundrum: to print in full color, or settle for black and white.
As a visual person, I appreciate the value of color printing. If I'm purchasing a cookbook, I want full color photos to drool over. My kids are the same way. If I'm printing off a resource for them, they want the full color version. I don't blame them.
Until recently, I thought my budget wouldn't be conducive to color printing at home, but then I stumbled across HP Instant Ink!, a monthly ink subscription, and everything changed.
I joined HP Instant Ink! and fell in love. I became an affiliate for their membership service because I wanted to share this great service with my friends. All opinions are my own.
For the longest time, I just settled for living with my trusty black and white laser printer for all of my basic printing needs. However, this meant that anytime I wanted something printed in color, I needed to run to the nearest copy center and wait in line...and hope that they printed my document correctly. It's expensive in gas and time, not to mention a bit risky.
I finally broke down and bought a new color printer to use for those special full color printing occasions. I'm still keeping my work horse printer, but now I don't have to leave home to print in color.
What About The Cost of Ink?
As I shopped around, I was also checking the prices of the coordinating ink cartridges. There is nothing worse than finding a great deal on a printer only to discover that you're going to pay an arm and a leg for ink for years to come. Then I saw the option for HP Instant Ink!, and I was intrigued.
The basics of the program is that you purchase a set amount of prints a month, and you can use as much or as little ink as you want on those copies.
There are three easy plans to choose from:
- Occasional printing:
- Equivalent to $0.06 per print
- Each additional set of 15 pages for just $1.00
- Moderate printing:
- Equivalent to $0.05 per print
- Each additional set of 20 pages for just $1.00
- Frequent printing:
- Equivalent to $0.03 per print
- Each additional set of 25 pages for just $1.00
- Shipping and recycling included (some conditions may apply)
With the purchase of my printer, they included three months of free membership to try it out. I opted for the $4.99/mo. option which gave me 100 copies a month. Here's a glimpse at the money I'll be saving:
If you don't use all of your copies in the month, they will roll over to the next month. This works out perfectly for me since my printing needs ebb and flow throughout the year.
Managing Your Subscription
Once you're enrolled in HP Instant Ink! you'll get some special ink cartridges in the mail. These cartridges communicate your print activity and ink status to HP so that you will never run out of ink again.
The starter ink cartridges that came with my printer only lasted a couple of weeks. It didn't take long to get a notice that fresh ink was heading my way. It was wonderful to not have to think about ordering ink and making sure it arrived before I ran out of ink.
You can modify your account whenever you like. If school is about to start up again, and you know you'll be doing some extra printing, you can bump up your subscription for a month, and then lower it back again when you know you'll be taking a break.
You can also check your printing history and keep track of how many of your prints you've used in a month. This is a great way to manage your subscription.
If you decide you're ready to cancel your subscription, it's easy. There are no yearly fees or plan cancellation fees. Just keep in mind that your ink cartridge that's connected to the plan will stop working. You can still use regular ink in your printer, you'll just have to purchase a regular old cartridge again.
Now I am thrilled to not have to worry about printing my Latin charts, where the colors truly actually mean something.
I also have the ability to print smaller versions of my Orchestra Cards to make a memory matching game for my kids!
I tend to make my own worksheets with extra blue, and if I was printing with normal ink, I would continually run my multi-colored cartridge out before I used up the other colors. Thankfully, with this subscription plan, I don't have to worry about using too much blue or magenta. It will all balance out in the end!
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.