The cost of running a printer can be exorbitant, especially if your manufacturer charges a fortune for colour ink that runs out after a few pages. But if you think before you print, you can save serious cash over time. You probably know that printing in black and draft will save pennies but we’re going to show you some excellent tips to save even more money.

Tip 1: Remove web advertising before you print to save cash

There are a raft of sensible ways to print and save your hard earned pennies simply by applying some free download tools to help you print smart. As well as only printing in draft and black when you don't need colour prints, you can use clever apps like Adblock plus, which, well, does what it says on the tin. Everyone knows that printing from websites often doesn't agree with your printer and the result can look like an accidental Picasso rather than a web page. The tool helps you print only the information you want to print by blocking the advertising on the page, saving you valuable time and print resources.

Adblock Plus deletes advertising.

Tip 2: Use Reader in Safari to cut out unwanted content

Another way to cut out unwanted text and images is to use the Reader mode in Safari. This strips out the main part of an article and presents it in a more read-able form (free from ads and other images). It's mainly designed so you can read easily, but a nice touch is that you can also print from this mode; cutting down on print costs.

Safari's Reader mode strips out unwanted content from online articles.

Tip 3: Turn prints in to books to save cash

Well know free PDF converter Fineprint has finally found a Mac alternative known as CocaoBooklet. The Mac download tool is designed to help you save on paper, ink and time, boosting you piggy bank collection for a rainy day. The tool lets you create a booklet out of a PDF file, which reduces the amount of pages you need to print. You can print multiple pages in a booklet format on one page and create a mini booklet so you can print on both sides. If you do want to print the PDF docs, you’ll have your important stuff stored so you can only print the docs you need.

CocaoBooklet prints multiple pages on one page.

Tip 4: Eco print with Greenprint 

Available for the Mac and PC, Greenprint is another free download tool to help you only print what you need so it is both eco friendly and economical. The tool connects to your printer and is rolled out for anyone, from home users to enterprise companies. It comes up a normal printer on your desktop but can send users estimated costs for print jobs before they are printed. That means you get to decide if it's really worth printing off. It can also create PDFs to save on printing and comes built with diagnostic and analytic reports to give you a comprehensive print management system.

Greenprint shows wasted print money.

Tip 5: Save the planet (and your pocket) with eco-friendly fonts

We all like to do something soul cleansing like help save the planet, even if it's only in the minutia of our daily lives but, every little helps right? You're not exactly going to save the planet with Eco Font Vera Sans though it is a cunningly simple way to save you cash. The tool embeds a print button on your tool bar and the developers claim they can save you up to 50 per cent of toner when you are printing in black text. It does this by perforating fonts with miniscule holes that can't be seen when they are printed. Ingenious!

Eco Font Vera Sans saves a fortune.

Tip 6: Share prints with your iPhone

Sharing pictures and prints with mobile connected devices is one of the best ways to set locked images of loved ones free from the tyranny of isolated hard drives. It's also a great way to print without wasting all that power that gets drained from using a Mac or PC when its plugged in -especially if you have a powerful system. Kodak's Pic Flick app is free from Apple's Apps Store and lets you wirelessly send your iPhone or BlackBerry images to a large selection of Kodak printers. All you have to do is shoot, share and print your shots off.

Kodak's Pic Flick app prints wirelessly.


Tip 7: Reduce printing by using Mac OS X’s PDF mode

Sometimes the best way to save money is by not printing anything at all. That said, Printing stunning high res colour photo shots of your loved ones can never be replaced but lots of documents just need to be stored and reproduced, and you don’t really need to print to paper. You can use the print mode in Mac OS X to convert all your documents in to PDFs, so you can store them without the need to print. Choose File > Print as normal, but instead of clicking print click the PDF button and choose Save as PDF. Select a destination for the document and click Save.

Mac OS X can turn any printout into a PDF.

Tip 8: Unleash creative design without wasting print jobs

If you fancy yourself as a creative graphic designer but don't have the knowledge to create professional results or the cash to buy expensive software like Photoshop, Posterino is what you need. Not only is it a simple way to produce Poster prints, but it will also save you on going wrong on complicated print output jobs. You can buy the full version for the comprehensive feature set or download the free trial. Either way, Posterino converts nearly any image format or Office doc in to huge multiple posters so you don't waste time misprinting complicated jobs.

Posterino turns any image in to a poster.

Tip 9: Manage office printing to reduce costs 

If you are not a home user but are responsible for running an office and want to keep the costs of a business down, you can try Print Manager Plus. Choose the thirty day free trial and you can manage your printing environment at the office to make sure employees don't abuse printing at work. What's impressive is that the download tool can monitor, restrict, display print quotas and report from any operating system. The tool lets the operator set up groups to manage exactly who prints, which means people think twice before absent-mindedly printing off expensive jobs.

Print Manager Plus offers detailed reports on office printing.

Tip 10: What are you paying to print?

Calculating running costs on a printer is a great way to make sure you don't become a heavy print user. Eco Font Vera Sans and Greenprint already have built in calculators to give you an idea about how much it costs and Kodak has a similar online tool. It even simpler if manufacturers take the worry out of print costs. Kodak has already been independently verified as the cheapest outfit around thanks to cheap cartridges offering more print jobs. Kodak also does nifty tech tricks like building advanced built-in print heads, which save money because you don't have to buy new print heads every time you replace the ink cartridges.

Calculators show how much you can waste on prints.