Printer Problems

Our family isn't the type of jump on the electronics bandwagon. You know, some new gadget comes out and we have to have it. Nope, that's just not us.

But for the past few YEARS I have been wanting a color ink jet printer.

Epson Stylus C86 InkJet Printer

I don't want anything fancy, just something that I can use to print the occasional color picture or project with.

Remember the "she's about to pop" baby shower that I helped throw a few months ago? I had a friend working with me several thousand miles away designing some cool things for me to use to decorate the table. One of the problems I kept running into was that I couldn't print any of the things that she made up at home.

thank my god

One of my favorite blogs that I read (Jones Design Company) offers several really cool printables for free or cheap. I would have loved to have printed off some of these thank you notes on some lovely cardstock.

Sometimes I do send some printable projects to my husband at work, but if I want the project printed on cardstock (as I often do), it just can't be done on a shared printer.

Just last week on The Martha Stewart Show one of her guests shared her numbered baby bodysuits and offered the template for free! But guess what kind of printer you need to print off the transfers? An ink jet. I know I can make my 12 month onesies but each set takes me about 8 hours to make...the set Martha is offering seems like it takes hardly any time at all.

Our current printer is a hand me down from my husbands Grandma. It's a very nice laser printer that we are thankful to have. Grandma gave it to us because she got a new fancier printer...which really, is the story of our lives. Don't get me wrong, I don't normally mind getting used electronics from our techy friends and family (seriously, keep 'em coming!), but sometimes the desire to have a product comes from years of "oh, we don't have that...but it would be nice if we did". Or "I could do that, if only I had...".

So, this week I decided to see if I could find a used inkjet printer on craigslist. Again, nothing fancy, just something that would print on cardstock or other thicker than paper material and print in color.

I found a guy literally down the street that had a fancy ink jet printer on sale for only $50. I thought that it was a pretty good deal, so I e-mailed my husband to see what he thought.

I have to start by reminding you (if you didn't know already) that my husband is an engineer. If you know an engineer or are married to an engineer, then you totally know what I am talking about. My husband is a great guy. He is always making me laugh and we are a great team together. We make such a great team because we balance each other out.

Where I am spontaneous, he is premeditated. Where I am a dreamer, he is much more rational and grounded.

I just have to share with you our e-mail exchange from last week where we discussed getting an inkjet printer (used from Craigslist mind you).

Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2011 1:00 PM
To: Teodoro, Mike
Subject: printer

I've been dying for an inkjet printer. Here's one

To: "Rachel Teodoro"
Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 4:03 PM
The lady is upgrading to a laser from
this printer. We have a laser printer. They are
better. Yes, ours is only black and white, but I can
print almost all color things for you that you need.
Anything else, just go to Kinkos. Color ink cartridges
cost a fortune. That is why they practically give
printers away, because they make their money on the ink.

To: Teodoro, Mike
Subject: RE: printer

I know, laser is better, but for what I need an inkjet would be really helpful. I could print out all kinds of wonderful things. :) And I know the ink is pricey, but I would love to be able to use cardstock in a machine, or print labels or envelopes or cards...the possibilities are endless.

To: Teodoro, Rachel
Subject: RE: printer

FYI -- I looked up prices for the ink cartridges. For that printer, I found the black/color cartridge combo for about $48 (both from HP and other places). It will print up to 480 black and 330 color pages. I was able to find remanufactured cartridges for about $8 each (black and color).

The best price I found for our toner cartridges was about $22 (much less than over $100 like HP wants). It will print up to 3500 pages.

At the cheapest prices, it costs about 0.63 cents per page for our printer. The inkjet would cost (with the cheapest cartridges) 1.67 cents per page for black and white, and 2.42 cents per page for color.

Of course, there are shipping costs and all that, but this at least gives you a decent idea of the difference between the two (assuming you haven't fallen asleep already). Black and white prints from an inkjet cost 2.5 to 3 times more than they do from the laser, and color costs almost 4 times what our B&W laser does.

Stupid math. :-(

And that my friends, is how I lost the battle to get an inkjet printer this week. Rational math doesn't always work out in my favor.


Ruth H. said...

Hahahahaha! I'm dying here, because guess what? I'm married to an engineer, too. And this sounds just like a conversation lifted from our house. There are some things only another engineer's wife can really get. My sister and I keep saying we are going to write a survival guide for the wives of engineers. For instance, I have discovered that I can get just about anything I want from my husband if I make a spreadsheet or powerpoint presentation to explain my reasons. I'm not even kidding.

Anonymous said...

wish I had known... just dropped off a HP color inkjet printer to goodwill with 5 extra ink cartridges because we couldn't use it and didn't know anyone that needed one. LOVE having a color printer. My mom is an artist and swears by Epson if you do go down the path of buying one later.

jen said...

how about figuring out how to refill the ink cartridges yourself? i know my brother used to do it and it saved quite a bit of money. i think you can take in ink cartridges for refills at office max, staples, and office depot locations. i love canon printers but had terrible luck with a lexmark (not as user friendly imo).

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