printing and printing.............
Okay, Elizabeth...I have a question.
We have a color printer now. I was excited at first, because it meant I could print my pictures in the sizes I wanted, WHEN I wanted them, without waiting to order them and get them back. (I refuse to do the one-hour printing thing - tooooooo expensive.)
But I'm also hesitant to get into printing my own, just because of all the ink it would use.
Have you done any kind of cost comparison to see how the two methods compare price-wise?
depending on which printer I'm using and how many times I expected to be driving to and from the store to have them redone because i do not like the way they were printed, it's about the same for me. Ususally it works out to be about 25 cents a 4x6 sheet, and that give me the ability to print as small as 24 1x1 inch photos per sheet if necessary.
Once a long time ago I figured it out, and for me it was, but there are a lot of factors.
First off....if I have a coupon to get say 150 prints for $15 and I can come up with 150 4 x 6's I want printed....I do it. No bones about it, can't beat that.
However, here's all my factors, you weigh them to your situation. I think it depends highly on your brand of printer/ink.
I use Epson pretty much exclusively. My printer has 6 seperate cartridges so if the yellow runs out, I only change that. If yours has one tri-color cartridge, save it for special situations.
As ink cartridges go, Epson are amongst the cheapest, but best quality. I frequently buy direct from Epson, I actually get the best price on it, and if you buy 3, the shipping is free, so that comes right out of your cost equation. Also, I usually have it the next day, 2 days max, so unless I am really pinched, there's no gas or driving. If I'm not getting it from Epson, I usually get it at Staples. For my old printer Sam's Club carried the ink. Saved a bundle on that.
Liz and I both recycle our ink cartridges at Staples. We get $2/cartridge store credit. I almost always put mine toward ink or paper. Office Max has a similar program.
It also depends on your photo paper. Here I am a snob. I use Epson paper almost exclusively. For me I am the happiest with the prints. If I use anything else, I actually use Staples brand. I've had good enough results with it to suspect it possibly comes from Epson. Although the jury is currently out on a box of Staples photo supreme satin paper I opened yesterday. Not sure i'm liking it.
I watch for sales. Staples does buy one get one free, or half-price sales a couple times a year. When that happens I go buy 8, 10, 12 boxes at a time. If they do the sale as a "rewards rebate" I then use the rebate to buy more paper.
Epson also has sales on photo paper on their website, and shipping is often free on that too, especially if I order it at the same time as the ink.
Now, take my current batch of prints. I think I'm at close to 200 prints. If they had all been 4 x 6, nope, probably wouldn't have been worth it.
But I printed 14 8 x 10 pictures, and probably 25-30 5 x 7 pictures, and then about 8 pages that had 9 different wallet prints on them....
I also printed some in 3 x 5
I don't have any idea what photo centers charge for those sizes anymore, but I'm betting I make out there.
I can tell you that with all of those pictures, I think I changed one complete round of ink cartridges, BUT at different times, so that's not saying what I printed before that, and I'm certainly not emptying them. 6x$19= 114
rounding UP on the paper
4 x 6 = 2 x 9.50 = 14.25
8.5 x 11 = 2 x 15 = 30
so $162 all told