Is It Worth Printing Coupons?



I often get the question if it is worth printing coupons? Is it worth the ink and paper?  I thought I would explore this topic a little to come up with some answer and provide you with tips to save money on printing.

So …. Do you know how much it is costing you to print coupons?

There are several factors to take into consideration:

  • The type of printer you are working with.
  •  The type of coupons you are printing.
  •   How much your cartridge costs.

 Here are three separate price breakdowns based on several different models of printers. This DOES NOT take into consideration the cost of paper, because you don’t really pay for paper do you?  You will see the great variation in costs per printer. Note: These are just some comparisons of average printers, your printer may or not get the same performance.

Canon  Inkjet Photo Printer

– Must buy (4) Color and (1) Black Cartridge @ $10.40 – $19.00

-Yields 170-250 pages  per toner

– Total Cost per page: $.04 cents per page (presuming lowest price, highest prints)  – $.11 cents per page(presuming highest price, lowest prints) ** Taking into consideration you are NOT going to use the color cartridges to print. Only black ink is taken into price factor.

– Printing 3 Coupons Per Page: $.013 cents per coupon to 4 cents per coupon


HP Black and White Laser Jet Printer

– Must buy (1) Black Toner Cartridge $115.00

– Yields 6,000 – 8,000 pages per toner 

– Total Cost per page:  $.014 cents per page   – $.019 cents per page

Printing 3 Coupons per page:  $.004 per coupon to $.006 per coupon

* Note you will need to purchase  a drum over time. I have had my printer for quite awhile and have not had to make this investment.

HP Black and White Laser Jet Printer

– Must buy (1) Black Toner Cartridge $43.50

– Yields 3,000

– Total Cost per page:  $.015 cents per page   – $.019 cents per page

Printing 3 Coupons per page:  $.005 per coupon

* Note you will need to purchase  a drum over time. I have had my printer for quite awhile and have not had to make this investment.

Epson Stylus Ink Jet

– Must buy (2) Cartridges Color and Black and White  @ $26.50 – $32.00 

– Yields 300- 450 pages per cartrige

– Total Cost per page:  $.08 cents per page (presuming lowest price, highest prints)  – $.11 cents per page (presuming highest price, lowest prints)

– Printing 3 Coupons per page:  2.6 cents per  coupon to 4 cents per coupon

So it clearly pays to purchase a laser printer over time.  How many coupons would it take to pay for a laser printer? I posted a decent deal on Brother Laser Printer for about $60.00.

So if you are paying 4 cents a coupon vs. $.005 per coupon in ink – you are essentially paying 3 1/2 cents more per print.  It would take about 1700 coupons (assuming 3 to a page) or 571 pages  for it to pay for itself. Now, some of you are printing coupons and it is costing alot more. You really should look at how much this is costing you.

Tips for printing coupons

 – Try to choose more than one coupon when you are on sites like, Redplum and Smartsource. – Many times I will post a coupon that I think will run out of prints fast. While you are on those sites, print more than 1 coupon – many times printing  just one coupon will lead to a big ad below it. 

– Print coupons on, Redplum or Smartsource in increments of 3. This will use a full page of coupons.

– If you do print just one coupon from, Redplum or Smartsource, you can almost always be sure that it will print at the top. Use a half sheet of paper if your printer allows.

– Print in black and white. Most stores will accept your coupon in black and white instead of color.

– Use the lowest ink saturation possible.  Most printers have a “draft” setting that will use much less ink than on the regular setting. If you are unsure if your draft setting coupon will scan – take one to the customer service desk at the store you shop at most. Just explain that you are testing your printer and you want to see if their stores scanners can read the barcode. This will save a hassle at checkout for you and the cashier.

– Stick to printing single coupons over $.25 in value. I rarely see a coupon this low but sometimes they do pop up. These coupons may not be worth printing if your costs are high.

So in my opinion, yes it is TOTALLY worth it to print coupons!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here
  • Nichole

    I use free paper that I got from a coupon deal, when that runs out, i’ll print on the backs of paper that I recycle, i’ll even dumpster dive for printable paper if i have to.
    For printer ink, I actually do the fill your own cartridge kit. it’s super easy to do i got the kit from and you get like 5 times the cartridges in one kit. I’m not even kidding you it’s so super easy to do this, you just follow the enclosed instructions to a t
    (click into holder, put new sticker on, screw a hole in, syringe the ink in and pop it into your printer) EASY! Also there’s a cool youtube video for you hard core people that shows you how to install a CISS (continuous ink system) but that’s if you’re super hard core :)))) I don’t mind the ads, I cut them off, turn them around and print on the backs of them, nothing lost.

    cheers and happy shopping, Nichole

  • Anonymous

    You can also use “control P” to print and your printer options should pop up. From there choose black ink only and you can choose how many copies! Also if a coupon is printing with advertisements you’ll be able to see that and choose to print “page 1 of 3” for example instead of printing all 3 pages.

  • JULI

    The new Lexmark 901 inkjet uses a new black ink cartridge. It is only 4.99 and yields 500 pages. With stapes recycling program the ink will only cost 2.50. It isn’t a laser but I think it is the cheapest/most economical all in one on the market. IT has a lot of functions and may be worth looking into if you are in need of a printer…

  • Marcy

    I have an inkjet. I’m so glad you did this. I tend to only print black & white, and only coupons that I know I’ll use (or am pretty sure I’ll use). Still a lot go to waste.

  • Sharon

    Thanks so much for this article. I get so frustrated when a full ad prints out below the one coupon I wanted to print. Uggh! I didn’t know about the draft setting, I’m gonna have to ask my husband to look into that for me. I need to get better about only printing coupons as I need them, or if I’m certain I will use them. I can’t tell you how many I’ve printed coupons and then thrown them out once they were expired because I never got around to using them.

  • Karen

    another thing that helps me is to go into your printer options and select “show print preview”. it will show the page before it starts printing. you can zoom in and read the fine print and then cancel if if you want. it will also show you if there is an ad on the page and if it is before or after the coupon. if the ad is after the coupon you can hit the stop button on your printer just after the coupon prints to save ink and paper. i use scraps of half sheets and sometimes thirds and on print preview can make sure my piece of paper will be large enough for the print job.

    • Shannon


      Good tip Karen. It does help to know what to expect.

    • Ann

      I like using this option too, but there’s a couple things to be aware of: Some coupon sites’ special printing plug-ins somehow bypass my printer’s previewer. And if you do get a printer preview and cancel from that screen, but later want to retry some of those coupons, the coupon site will have already counted the earlier attempt as one of the number of prints you’re allowed.

  • Christine

    Hey Rob, I shop at king soopers (ie Kroger) and Safeway and they do double coupons under a dollar even when it says do not double. It’s just their store policy. Thought this might help! :)

  • Oanh

    Printing coupons saved me a lot of money. I don’t print coupons anymore because the CVS, RA, Walgreens, and even Stop & Shop in my area don’t accept them anymore. I’ve been told too many times that printed coupons are considered counterfeit and managers not being able to tell if it’s legit and a lot have never heard of Smartsource and before. It became such a hassle that I stopped printing them. :(

  • kim

    Hear you on the black ink thing! I have tried everything and can only print just black ink when the print box comes up (which isn’t very often)

  • I have an older HP LaserJet1300 B&W… I LOVE it!!! I’ve had it for about 5 years, so it’s lasted me printing out reports and projects in college and SEVERAL reams of coupons! It’s fabulous! I print nearly all of my coupons on it, the only ones I print in color are the Rite Aid coupons (VV, wellness, etc). The cashiers sometimes get weird when they see black and white VVs especially.

  • Ann

    I guess I cheat a little. I only print from home if I know I will use the coupons. I can’t figure out how to print b&w but I do have it on the draft setting. All of my “maybe” coupons I print at work! If there are only 1 or 2 coupons on a page, I save the scraps for my kids. They use it for math homework or drawing!

  • claudine

    I always print out my coupons on the back of scrap paper. At work, I save paper that’s only been printed on one side and use it for many things, including printing coupons. I’ve never had a problem with it. In fact, I think it helps to show that you didn’t make copies of the coupon pages.
    I also always print in black and white draft mode and have only been questioned once about copying.
    I wish that, smartsource and redplum would find a way to put a watermark on their printable coupons that would void it if copied. It would save all the legitimate users from having to defend ourselves when questioned.

  • i know that cartridges are expensive.but it will be a long term investment. printing these coupons can help pantries and the homeless. coupons are more of the wave of the future.

  • Autumn

    I usually get free or 1cent deals on paper. and buy the ink from a site that sells it for just 20$. so it varies.

  • Dee

    Do you mean 0.04 cents or $0.04 (as in dollars)?

    • Shannon

      like .004 cents.. . like less than half a cent.

      • Ann

        Careful about tacking on the word ‘cents’ after an amount already denominated in dollars… For clarity, the intended amount is:
        $0.004 (0.004 dollars) = 0.4 cents (4 tenths of one cent)

  • Kristine

    I totally agree it’s worth it. I just got a laser printer with a feed window in front, and by using the unprinted BACK SIDES, as well as 1/2 and 1/3 sheets of paper (left by printing only one or two coupons on a page) fed into the printer one by one, I save a ton of paper, too.

  • In order to not waste my money I only print coupons that I plan to use that week, and I have a specific deal in mind written down in my shopping notebook. It works for me!

  • Rob

    I love printing online coupons! Sure, it eats up some resources; however, I go to and stock up on large black ink cartridges for only $7! I also keep an eye when Staples has paper sales so I get reams of paper extremely cheap. I visit,,, and company websites to utilize the large range of coupons available.

    I never print out coupons that are under $1 because 9 out of 10 times, they are DND/DNT (Do Not Double/Do Not Triple) and I don’t print out coupons that are $$ off when you buy 2/3/4/5/etc. I have found that it’s just a waste of time and not worth it.

  • This is a GREAT article! Thanks for doing the homework!!!