Do you know how much it costs you to print at home?wp5709b857_06

The ink cartridges in my inkjet printer at home ran out last night and I was not thrilled knowing I was going to have to spend another $40.98 (plus tax!) for ink. As I was putting these small cartridges in my printer I was wondering just how much actual ink is in these expensive little suckers. Ink cartridges and advertisers never give you a liquid weight, only an estimated page print count. In my frustration I decided to do a little research. After a fair amount of digging I found out there is only about 10 – 20 milliliters of actual fluid in the ink cartridge.

So I started doing some math (wouldn’t my math teachers would be so proud?). An HP21 Black Ink Cartridge is $16.99 (for 10-20 ml) which comes out to be a whopping $3,215.71 – $6,431.41 per gallon! And that’s only for black ink – color costs even more. I’m ready to get out my tracing paper and box of crayons!

I decided to do some comparisons against other common liquids we buy and I was surprised by what I found:
Distilled Water = $0.89 per gallon
Aquafina Bottled Water 24 pk 16.9 oz. bottles for $3.99 = $1.26 per gallon
Gas = $2.84 per gallon
Milk = $3.28 per gallon
Old Orchard Apple Juice 64 oz. for $2.79 = $5.58 per gallon
7up 1 liter for $1.50 = $5.69 per gallon
Orange Juice = $5.98 per gallon
Bud Light 18 pack of 12 oz. cans for $13.72 = $8.13 per gallon
Coffee-Mate Creamer 32 oz. for $3.48 = $13.92 per gallon
Crest Mouthwash 33.8 oz. for $3.99 = $15.11 per gallon
Round up 30 oz. for $4.99 = $21.29 per gallon
Filippo Berlo Olive Oil 50.7 oz. for $9.99 = $25.22 per gallon
Barefoot Wine 1.5 liter for $10.99 = $41.69 per gallon

Everyone complains about the price of a gallon of gas, which turns out is on the low end of the spectrum. My favorite wine is nowhere near the price of ink, but it is at the high end – though not enough to keep me from drinking a glass while I complain about the ink cost!

So instead of complaining about gas prices, maybe we should be complaining about ink prices. And since black ink is cheaper than color, I find myself printing mostly in black ink only and always on draft mode so as not to use so much ink. Needless to say my prints are not very good quality. I don’t have a problem with printing out my kids school reports or online receipts, but I am not going to print my invites at home. For the price and quality I’m going to leave that to the professionals!