There are a lot of things to consider when you try to analyze the true cost of something. Printing photos is one of those things. However, the friendly folks over at www.howtogeek.com put together a handy spreadsheet that gets you to the bottom line a little faster. It basically involves punching in a few numbers in a few columns and seeing what you come up with.
Take a look at the website here.
And a direct link to the spreadsheet is here. Although I strongly recommend reading the article first.
There are some things you should think about when filling out the spreadsheet. First, if you price your ink at local stores you’re going to pay a lot more per tank. Check out Amazon.com for decent prices on ink. Second, consider buying ink in a multipack. For example, for my Canon i960 printer, the 6 tanks are $10.82 each. However, if I buy the combination 6 pack of ink tanks that brings my cost down to $8.99 per tank which is a significant savings.
The bottom line? There are some places, both online and locally where you can get great prints for around $.10 – $.15per print. That’s could be significantly less than your printer can make prints for. Shop around and see what you can find.
Amazon.com has the cheapest prices I can find on ink and they have a great ink and toner finder on their website.
Amazon.com Ink & Toner Finder
Keep in mind however, that there are certain instances, where the printer (with cartridges) can cost LESS than the cartridges alone! If your printer cost you less than $50, you might find that buying a brand new printer can cost the same or less than just buying replacement ink. Go figure. (Also keep in mind that this is a significantly less eco-friendly way to reload your ink, and if you do choose this method, please recycle your old printer or better yet give it to someone who could use it or may not be able to afford to buy one.)