Photo Printers 101

Tips to save you money and frustration when it comes to buying supplies.

Photo by  Lisa Shin
  • Many printers come with starter packs of cartridges and paper, but “the cartridges hold 50 percent of the ink of standard ones,” says Justin Yu, an assistant editor at, a technology site. “And some models include only five sheets of paper.” When you buy your printer, pick up extra supplies.
  • To save money, visit Cartridge World (, which sells recycled cartridges that cost 20 to 40 percent less than new ones.
  • If a company suggests its own brand of paper, follow that advice. “The paper that a manufacturer recommends is usually the best at absorbing its own ink,” says Yu. “Otherwise you might see puddles, unclear lines, or streaking.”