How We Save Money on Printer Ink

How to save money on printer ink

{Note- this is not a sponsored post, I bought our printer on Amazon and pay full price for our Instant Ink subscription.  I have used affiliate links for the products linked in this post}

I get asked a LOT about what printer we use.  I have never written a post about it because it wasn’t anything special, until now.  Almost a year ago, I bought a new printer and began a new method of ink usage and it is amazing! I finally have a solid recommendation for you!

Want the short version?

It’s an HP Deskjet 8610, get it here on Amazon or here on  I am using HP’s Instant Ink service and love it!

Want more details? Keep reading!


HP 8610

I bought our printer in January 2015 after our old printer died.  I was pretty bummed about this because I dislike researching new electronics and didn’t want to start over again.  I had no idea how happy I would be with my purchase! Thankfully I was forced into research and turns out I am saving myself money even with a new purchase!

It was through this research that I learned about HP’s Instant Ink subscription service.  I was completely skeptical but I am a number cruncher so I began analyzing and soon realized this would save me a TON of money! I honestly couldn’t believe that this would save me money and be easier.

The printer comes with starter ink, so my Instant Ink subscription box sat unused for many months!  The ink that came with the printer lasted several months for me!

The basics of Instant Ink

You sign up and they send you a starter pack.  You wait to install the starter pack until your initial ink runs out.  Your Instant Ink subscription does not begin until you install the first instant ink cartridge.

The printer connects wirelessly to HP and automatically tracks your pages printed and how much ink you have left.

New ink is sent to you before you run out, you don’t even have to think about it! The ink sent to you is “free” as it is included in your monthly cost. I am still using the initial cartridges almost a year later.

Let’s do the math…

I was buying ink cartridges at least 2-3 times per year {high usage in the early childhood years}. Each set with my old printer cost me around $100 for each set.  I did NOT use generic ink, I always personally had quality issues when I tried, so I stopped and only used brand ink. Let’s say I only used 1 new cartridge set per year at around $100 for the set.

I am now on the $4.99/month plan for 100 pages which is $59.88 a year plus tax. Ummm, see the savings?  Yeah, even with the 9.99/month plan at $120 a year I save!

The cool thing about Instant Ink – each page counts as 1 page no matter how much ink you use! If you are printing full color pages this makes the subscription a HUGE savings! I wish I had this service back when I was printing loads of Tot School and Preschool printables!


HP Instant Ink Subscription Plans


Here’s a screenshot of our current usage.  You can see we are on the $4.99/month plan which includes 100 pages.  I am barely scratching the surface of this right now!  I have used 21 pages for this month and still have 100 rollover pages! When I have rollover pages like this, I will go on a printing frenzy at the end of the month to get ahead on printing for certain subjects.

Instant Ink Current Use


Final thoughts…

If you are in need of a new printer, I highly recommend getting an HP printer that is compatible with their Instant Ink subscription service. The printer itself is reasonably priced and has worked beautifully for me for a year so far.

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