Because our curriculum is an online membership to a website, and because all the lesson plans are digital PDF downloads, you’ll want to think about how you can print inexpensively.
For several years, we have been very happy with Canon printers. I have a combination printer/scanner/copier at the moment, the Canon PIXMA, but I use it to write curriculum and work on the business. It was around $60. I don’t know if you’d need something that fancy.
I had a smaller Canon printer before that, and it worked great with no problems for about 4 years. I only upgraded because I needed a scanner. I think this would be the perfect kind of printer for most homeschooling families.
We shop around for the best price on ink. We just use black ink, and we choose the default settings of “fast” and “grayscale” so that we never use color, to save money. But that’s just us. 🙂
Recently there is a newcomer on the printer market, the Epson EcoTank printer line, which claims to be the cheapest printer. It might not be cheaper up front, but the “tanks” of ink are more inexpensive than other brands. You might want to check it out!
The Cost of Printing
According to one study, the cost for our family to print with “grayscale” and only black ink (using the fancy Canon PIXMA above) is around $0.053 per page. With six children homeschooling each day, we use ink for the following subjects:
- Bible – 4-8 pages/week – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.212 – $0.424
- Together School – We use it only online (or max. 8 pages/week) – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.00 – $0.424
- History – We use it only online, with occasional 1-2 pages printed from Internet (or max. 4 pages/week) – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.106 – $0.212
- Copywork – Most of my children copy into a composition book, but we occasionally print, especially at the beginning of the year (5 pages/week) – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.265
- Phonics – student 6 pages/week, teacher’s guide online (or max. 3 pages/week) – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.318 – $0.477
- Spelling – 5-6 pages/week, per student – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.318 x 3 students = $0.954
- Grammar – 5 pages/week, teacher’s guide online (or max. 15 pages/week) – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.265 – $1.06
- Writing – We use it only online (or max. 4 pages/week) – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.212
- Vocabulary – 5 pages/week – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.265
- Typing – 5 pages/week – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.265
- Math – 5 pages/week, teacher’s guide online (or max. 4 pages/week) – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.795 – $0.477 x 5 students = $1.43
- Advanced Math – We use it only online (but average 8 pages/week) – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.00 – $0.424
- Science – student worksheets (5 pages/week) and teacher’s guide (3 pages/week) – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.424 – $0.954
- Preschool – 5 pages/week average, teacher’s guide online – Cost to Print Weekly: $0.26
TOTAL COST TO PRINT WEEKLY: $2.28 -$7.63
(…and your printer might not be as fancy, and therefore, is probably cheaper! Check out your costs here.)
As you can see, it REALLY saves a lot of money to use the resources online or download the teacher’s guides to a Kindle or smart phone!
- Click here for a review of the Best Home Printers of 2023.
- Another option is to use the HP Instant Ink subscription (from $5.99/month) so that you can use an unlimited amount of ink. This service has saved some of our customers a lot of money!
- If you get refurbished ink cartridges rather than purchasing them brand-new, you could also save a bunch of money. We have heard good reviews from Carrot Ink.
Let Others Print It for You
If printing things yourself doesn’t appeal to you, try downloading all the curriculum onto a flash drive or memory stick and going to Kinkos. They do a great job of printing and compiling our PDF files into books with whatever kind of binding you would like.
Heidi Cooper from Torah Family Living offers an inexpensive printing and binding service. Find out more here….