Students – how to print on a budget

Ah, the INKredible gang remember their student days quite well. Our house looked a little like the one occupied by The Young Ones! We did, however, have a very nice printer, you won't be surprised to hear.


Thing is, printing is likely to be crucial part of your university experience. The educational side of it, at any rate.

As you move through uni your work will take on an increasing importance – so it's only right you've got a proper printing set-up so you can get your assignments and dissertation in on time.

But we all know students aren't wandering around with lots of cash (especially when the new tuition fees kick in, yikes).

So how best to maximise your budget when printing at uni? Here's a few tips.

Buy a cheap but effective printer

While it may be tempting if you're short of cash to buy a mega-cheap printer, remember some cheap printers come with high running costs.

High running costs don't have to a problem if you print rarely but, as a student, you'll be doing a fair bit. The key, then, is to do a little research.

Just work out what you really need – why not go for a capable but basic model, that doesn't have loads of added extras?

One type of printer to really think about if you're on a budget is a laser printer. These can more expensive than inkjets, but tend to offer lower running costs over the long term.

Pool your resources

If you're living in halls or a shared house, think about pooling your resources together with your uni pals. You probably do this already with other stuff – food, for example, maybe energy, the internet. Why not do it with printing?

You could all club together and stick some cash in a pot to buy a printer you can all use. That'll save you plenty of cash. Similarly with ink and toner for the house, why not buy it in bulk and store it somewhere – a supply that should last you a while.

See what's on offer on campus

Most universities (well, all probably) will run dedicated printing suites where you can pop in anytime and print something off. If you're living close to campus, this is a really good idea as it will mean you don't have to buy a printer (just be prepared for a walk each time you need to print).

Universities usually offer printing cards which can be topped-up and often offer some initially free credit – typically a couple of quid. Still, every little helps.

And with the advent of things like Google Cloud Print, you might even be able to send your document to print from the comfort of your bed before strolling along to pick it up.

Use standard sizes and formats, use colour only when you need it

Basic stuff really – only use colour when you need it. If it's a draft document, why not print in draft mode and save yourself some ink?

Oh, and don't forget the power of duplex – both side – printing.

Looking to save a bit of cash on printing while at uni needn't take a lot of effort. You'll find you can easily save some money by doing simple things. That way, you'll have some much-needed cash to do what you want with – stick it in savings or pop for a pint down the uni bar.

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