Top 5 Best Cheap Ink Cartridges: Print Smarter, Spend Less

Are you looking to reduce your printing costs without sacrificing quality? In this guide, we’ll take a look at five of the best value ink cartridges that offer excellent value and performance, ensuring high-quality prints at a low price.

  1. HP 63 Black & Tri-color Original Ink Cartridges, 2-Pack (L0R46AN)
  2. Canon PG-245 Black Ink Cartridge (8279B001)
  3. Epson 212 Standard Capacity Ink Cartridge – Black (T212120-S)
  4. Brother Genuine LC3011BK Single Pack Standard-yield Black Ink Cartridge
  5. YB Toner Compatible Replacement Cartridge for HP 410A (CF410A)

Top 5 Best Cheap Ink Cartridges

Cheap Ink Cartridges

HP 63 Black & Tri-color Original Ink Cartridges, 2-Pack (L0R46AN)

For those who need both color and black ink, but want to stay within a reasonable budget, the HP 63 ink cartridge offers a perfect solution. Priced at around $50, this 2-pack of cartridges includes both black and tri-color cartridges, making it a great choice for home or small office use.

Not only do these cartridges provide high-quality printouts, but they also support a wide range of HP printers, ensuring compatibility and ease of use.

Users often praise the reliability of these cartridges and the convenience of using both inks in one pack. If you want to print smarter without overspending, HP 63 ink cartridges can help you cut costs while delivering the print quality you need.

Canon PG-245 Black Ink Cartridge (8279B001)

If affordability without sacrificing quality is what you seek, the Canon PG-245 Black Ink Cartridge emerges as a top contender. Available for approximately $18, this cartridge offers exceptional value for those who print documents occasionally but demand high clarity and detail in their prints.

Compatible with several models in the Canon PIXMA series, it ensures seamless functionality and top-tier print results. The ink formulation is engineered to produce sharp, smudge-resistant text, making it perfect for printing important documents at home or in a small office setting.

Users commend this cartridge for its longevity and reliability, noting that it provides a cost-effective solution without the frequent need for replacements. The Canon PG-245 is an excellent choice for budget-conscious consumers who do not want to compromise on the quality of their printed outputs.

Epson 212 Standard Capacity Ink Cartridge – Black (T212120-S)

Offering a harmonious blend of affordability and dependable performance, the Epson 212 Standard Capacity Black Ink Cartridge stands out as a prime choice for everyday printing needs. Priced around $20, this cartridge is particularly suited for users of specific Epson Expression and WorkForce models, ensuring compatibility and ease of use.

Known for producing sharp, detailed prints, the Epson 212 is an excellent option for those who require clear and consistent output for documents, reports, and more. The ink is designed to prevent smudging and fading, enhancing the longevity of your documents.

User reviews consistently highlight the cartridge’s value, citing its reliable performance and cost-effectiveness for regular home or small office printing. For those seeking to minimize printing expenses while maintaining quality, the Epson 212 cartridge provides a smart, economical solution.

Brother Genuine LC3011BK Single Pack Standard-yield Black Ink Cartridge

The Brother Original LC3011BK Single Pack Standard Yield Black Ink Cartridge is a standout. Priced at around $15, this cartridge offers a practical solution for individuals or small offices that need reliable, high-quality printing without the need to replace cartridges frequently.

Designed for use with compatible Brother printers, this Brother ink cartridge ensures optimum performance and longevity, protecting the printer from damage that may be caused by non-original cartridges. The ink delivers consistently sharp, clear prints and is ideal for professional documents and letters.

Users appreciate its easy installation and the reliability of the original, which emphasizes its cost-effectiveness. The Brother LC3011BK is especially recommended for users who want to balance modest printing needs with brand-name quality assurance.

YB Toner Compatible Replacement Cartridge for HP 410A (CF410A)

YB Toner provides an excellent, cost-effective alternative to the original HP cartridges with its compatible replacement for HP 410A (CF410A). This cartridge is compatible with HP Color LaserJet Pro series printers such as the M452dn, M452dw, M452nw, MFP M377dw, MFP M477fdn, MFP M477fdw, and MFP M477fnw.

  • Price: Typically priced around $74.95 for a set of four cartridges (black, cyan, magenta, and yellow), offering a significant cost reduction compared to original HP cartridges.
  • Features: The YB Toner cartridges are designed to meet OEM standards, providing a yield of approximately 2,300 pages for black and 2,300 pages for color at 5% coverage. They are renowned for their reliable printing quality and high compatibility.
  • Suitable For: These cartridges are perfect for businesses or home offices that require high-quality color printing but want to maintain budget control.
  • User Reviews: Customers frequently commend YB Toner for producing vibrant colors and sharp blacks that closely mirror HP’s original cartridges. Many users highlight the ease of installation and the value of money as significant benefits. The cartridges are also praised for not causing any issues with printer warranties.

YB Toner’s offering is an excellent choice for those seeking to optimize their printing expenses without compromising on quality, especially for professional environments where document presentation is crucial. Their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction is well reflected in user feedback and product performance.

How to Maximize the Life of Your Ink Cartridges

One hand is installing an ink cartridge

To maximize the life of your ink cartridges and ensure efficient use of your printer ink, consider the following strategies:

  • Use Your Printer Regularly: Regular use helps prevent ink from drying out and clogging the nozzles. This doesn’t mean printing unnecessarily but try not to let your printer sit idle for too long.
  • Turn Off the Printer Properly: Always turn off your printer using the power button. This allows it to park the cartridges in a position that minimizes the drying of ink.
  • Print in Draft Mode: For documents where high quality is not necessary, use draft mode. This mode uses less ink and is suitable for internal documents or rough drafts.
  • Keep the Cartridges Sealed: If you have spare cartridges, keep them in their original packaging and in a cool, dry place until they are needed.
  • Clean the Print Head Regularly: Perform regular maintenance cleans if your printer has this function. This helps to prevent clogs and ensures that the ink flows freely.
  • Use High-Quality Paper: Poor-quality paper can absorb more ink and require more frequent cartridge changes. Higher-quality paper provides better prints and can help conserve ink.
  • Remove Cartridges Carefully: When replacing a cartridge, handle it carefully to avoid damaging the ink nozzle or circuitry. Also, only remove the cartridge when you’re ready to replace it to prevent the ink from drying out.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Color Printing: Color ink is typically more expensive than black ink. If color isn’t required for a specific print job, stick to black-and-white printing.
  • Align Your Printer After Installing New Cartridges: This ensures that your printer operates efficiently and can also help to improve print quality and cartridge life.

These tips can help extend the life of your cartridges, save money on replacements, and maintain your printer’s optimal performance over time.


With the right approach, choosing and using inexpensive ink cartridges doesn’t have to mean compromising on print quality. By selecting from our top 5 picks, considering your specific needs, and taking care of your cartridges, you can print smarter and spend less. Remember, the best cartridge is one that fits your printer and your budget while meeting your printing standards.

Feel free to experiment with different brands and types to find the perfect match for your needs, and always keep an eye out for new deals and options in the market.

Related reading: The 4 Best Printers for Small Businesses in 2024

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