How to Save Ink on Printable Coupons

Do you ever begin to print a coupon, only to realize that you’re also printing something like the above: a three-quarter page, full-color, high-resolution ad for a product you were already planning to buy? Sure, you’re glad to have the 1.00 coupon, but you’re not sure you wanted to spend fifty-cents worth of ink to get it. And since coupons print automatically without opening up your print-job tray like most documents do, you don’t even have a chance to change your printer settings to use less ink before the coupon prints!

Unfortunately, you can’t choose to have the ads not print on your coupon pages (yet!), but there is a way to change your printer settings to make them automatically default to the lowest possible ink use so that those unwanted intruders eat up only a little black print, instead of a lot of your much-more-expensive colored ink.

1. Click on the “start” button and choose “Control Panel”.

2. Once in the Control Panel, open “Printers and Faxes”.

3. Find the printer (or printers) on which you’re going to print the coupons and right click. Choose “Printing Preferences” from the drop-down menu that appears.

4. Set the preferences to “draft” and select the checkbox for “print in black and white”. Press “okay.”
5. Your computer will now automatically print all documents, including those pesky ads, using these settings. Remember to change the settings before you print other documents that want to have appear in color or high resolution.

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  1. If you just want the coupon and not the big picture, etc. Why not print it to a file, like an adobe acrobat .pdf file, or a microsoft image of the file. Then you can just crop out all but the coupon, and even put several on a page. 🙂

  2. Anonymous,

    Most coupons printers don’t offer the option of printing to a .pdf file; they automatically send it to your printer.

  3. I’ve been checking out your site and blog. Great information. I’ve been using coupons similarly to how you outline, but am always looking for ways to improve the process. Thanks for this great service!!

  4. My printing preferences are already sent to fast draft and black and white, yet when I print from any coupon site the coupons still print in color…ug! Other sites and documents will print correctly. Any ideas what the problem might be? (I do run Windows Vista…could that be it?)

  5. Thanks for the information on Printable coupons

  6. You can also hit the “cancel print” button on your printer after the coupon part of the page has printed out (just learned that one today!)

  7. The problem with canceling the print after the coupon has printed, is that some print the coupon at the bottom of the page. What a waste of ink!

  8. I can't follow these instructions because I have a Mac. HELP! How do I change the settings on here? Can't figure it out! I went to the System Preferences folder, then Printing/Faxing… but it didn't give an option for any settings.

  9. I heard that these coupons had to be printed in color. So I guess that isn't true? The stores will accept the coupon if it is in B&W?

  10. To answer two questions:
    1) You do NOT need to print in color! I NEVER do! BUT I don't like anybody to realize I'm printing (it's a sore subject around here. So, I clip them well, but I keep the very edge, b/c there's writing there.
    2) Printing in color: I had your problem once, but it ended up being that I needed to change it to "black cartridge only." Do what she said in this article. Make sure you go through Control Panel, not just one document. But make SURE you change it to black cartridge, not just draft. That should do it.

  11. I cut my paper in thirds! Then I have my settings set to Print Preview, so I always have to approve what's going to print before it actually prints. Then I know if the coupon is at the top of the page, then I insert a 1/3 sheet of paper!

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