Save money by printing photos at home
Get tips for affordable photo prints
Support & Drivers
How would you like to spend less money on ink and get better results than with bargain brands? Printing photos at home can be a fantastic value. Here are 10 tips for saving money and getting more ink for your buck.
1. Print more pages with Original HP cartridges
Choose Original HP ink cartridges instead of refills. You'll get beautiful photo prints with brilliant color. And you'll save yourself time, money, and stress.
When it comes to performance, not all inkjet cartridges are the same—especially refills.
Independent lab tests found that 72% of the refilled cartridges tested failed during use or right out of the box. That means nearly half of the tested refilled ink cartridges failed prematurely during use. And one out of three tested refilled ink cartridges failed right out of the box.1
Original HP ink cartridges print up to twice the pages—on average—of refilled cartridges tested.1
2. Use Draft mode for everyday printing
This Draft setting lets you print faster and use less ink. The print color will be lighter, but this mode is perfect for drafts and everyday printing.
Don't waste your color photo ink on everyday documents.
For everyday printing (not photos), draft mode, which is quicker and uses less ink, will give you what you need.
Your HP printer is made to use just the right amount of ink depending on what type of HP paper you use and the final print quality you choose. And, you can adjust the paper settings each time you change paper sizes or paper types.
Get how-to help and learn more about using your printer's software controls.
3. Save money with HP XL ink cartridges
Save up to 40% on your printing with Original HP XL Ink cartridges.2
You can save more money on ink by purchasing high-capacity (XL) ink cartridges.
- Save up to 40% on your printing with Original HP XL Ink cartridges.2
- Replace cartridges less often and make fewer trips to the store.
- HP high-capacity cartridges also require fewer cartridge and packaging materials per printed page, compared with standard Original HP cartridges.
4. Buy supplies in bulk and save money
Buy ink in twin packs to save money and ensure that you have a spare cartridge on hand.
Buy HP ink in discounted multipacks and save up to 10%.2 Multipacks combine multiple ink cartridges in one convenient package. Plus, when you buy multipacks, you'll always have a spare cartridge on hand.
You can also save 20% on ink and paper when you purchase these supplies together in convenient HP Photo Value Packs.3
They come in a variety of sizes and are available for a variety of ink and paper combinations. Plus, the amount of ink is just right for printing 150 photos, too (approximately). So you have everything you need to print great-looking pictures.
5. Use a separate photo paper tray
Save time, save supplies, and stay organized with one paper tray for documents and one paper tray for photos.
A printer with a separate, auto-engaging photo paper tray, like the HP Photosmart 6520 e-All-in-One, allows you to easily switch back and forth between plain and photo paper.
This printer also features media sensing, so the printer will automatically pick the optimal quality settings for your photo prints.
Learn more about the benefits of a separate photo paper tray.
6. Take a test run
If you're printing multiple copies of one image, be sure to do a test print first.
Treat every piece of photo paper as a precious resource and a package of it can go a long way.
One way to cut printing costs is to test your photo print on plain paper to be sure it's just right before you print on photo paper.
You can also print the images smaller than the final desired size, until you are sure that the output will be what you expect.
7. Save on small and large photo prints
Printing at home costs much less for 5" x 7" and 8" x 10" prints. And HP offers a wide range of larger-sized photo papers, like HP Premium Plus Photo Paper 5" x 7" borderless and HP Premium Plus 8.5" x 11" Photo Paper.
If you want a small batch of prints right away, printing photos at home gives you immediate gratification at a great price.
4" x 6" photo prints: In-store printing may appear to offer some of the lowest prices for 4" x 6" photo prints, but consider the hidden costs of driving to the store and your time waiting in line.
5" x 7" and 8" x 10" prints: A recent survey of photo printing services (in-store and online) reported that:
- The average outsourcing price for a 5" x 7" print ranged from 76¢ to $3.04.
- The cost for an 8" x 10" print ranged from $2.67 to $5.93, excluding taxes, shipping or other handling costs.4
By comparison, the cost of a 5" x 7" photo on the most popular HP printers averaged 69¢, and the cost of a letter-size print averaged $1.54.5
8. Save money and electricity
Conserve energy, cut utility costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help improve the quality of our environment with HP ENERGY STAR® products.
HP offers customers a variety of ENERGY STAR® qualified products that use fewer resources, reduce energy consumption, and are designed with recycling in mind.
HP ENERGY STAR® products also use roughly half as much electricity as other products—cutting your utility costs in half as well.
9. Stock up and save
Not sure what supplies to get for your printer? Just enter your printer information, or the ink you need, to find the specific supplies for your particular printer directly from the HP Home & Home Office online store.
You'll also get free, next-day business shipping when you purchase select HP inks. You also save time and gas mileage by ordering your printing supplies online.
- 1A Buyers Laboratory Inc. 2011 study commissioned by HP compared Original HP ink cartridges (60XL, 56A, 57A, 74XL and 75XL) with ink cartridges refilled by refill service providers and sold in North America. For details, see http://www.buyerslab.com/products/samples/HP-Inkjet-Cartridges-vs-Refilled-Cartridges.pdf
- 2Compared with single, standard HP ink cartridges. Based on average retail pricing, actual prices may vary.
- 3Compared with purchasing ink and photo paper separately.
- 4Excluding taxes, shipping or other handling costs. Photofinishing News, Inc. August 2007. Global Photo Services Price Review. Photofinishing news surveyed a broad range of photo printing services to compare prices. The survey included familiar vendors, such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Sam's Club, Costco and Target Stores, as well as specialty camera stores and online services.
- 5Prices determined using prices of twin packs, multipacks, and combo packs as well as using the highest count HP photo paper offering available. Page yields used for determining the cost of each photo is based on HP photo testing and these results can be found by printer model at www.hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies. Page yields vary considerably based on content of printed pages and other factors.