Having a reliable and easy to use printer is a must in the planner community, especially if you plan on taking advantage of printable planner inserts for your daily, weekly, and monthly inserts.
But when it comes to stepping into the world of printable inserts the top three questions people usually ask are:
- What's the best paper to use for printable planner inserts?
- What's the best printer to use for printable planner inserts?
- What's the best way to print and trim printable planner inserts?
In this blog post I'm going to answer what's the best cheap AND economical printer to use for printable planner inserts - so let's dive in...
(This post includes affiliate links - see below *)
Epson EcoTank ET-2810* My Top Choice for a Cheap to Run Home Printer for Planner Inserts
The Epson EcoTank is known for being one of the best printer options if you want your ink consumption to be environmentally friendly AND purse friendly. This printer does away with the consumption of ink cartridges through the handy ink tank feature. With the EcoTank you simply fill the tanks with ink straight from a bottle instead of constantly replacing an ink cartridge.
Not only does it feature refillable ink tanks but it also allows you to scan and copy documents, as well as giving you wireless printing from your mobile devices.
I decided to do some research to find what would be my best and cheapest option when it comes to the EcoTank - here's what I found out...
The Epson EcoTank ET-2810* is one of the cheapest models available from the EcoTank range, the RRP is £229.99 but at the time of writing this I was able to find it on Amazon UK for £189 (9th September 2022) which is great value considering you get a scanner too.
Cheaper Alternative Home Printer Under £50
I know you can get much cheaper printers than this, such as the HP DeskJet 2710e which is also an all-in-one printer featuring a scanner*. I managed to find this DeskJet model on Amazon UK* at under £50 which is amazing value. However, this printer has much slower pages per minute print speeds when compared to the Epson, it doesn't offer automatic duplex printing so you will have to figure out manually flipping the printouts over when you need to print both sides, and then there's the cost of ink cartridges vs print yield to consider!
If you can afford to push the boat out and spend a bit more initially I believe the Epson EcoTank ET-2810* is a far better option, especially if you're aiming to reduce your consumption of non-renewable resources as well as your cost-to-run over time.
To summarise here are the Pros vs Cons of the Epson EcoTank ET-2810* as a cheap to run home printer for your planner inserts
Epson EcoTank Pros:
- Cheap to run ink costs thanks to the refillable tanks. If you're able to take advantage of the their '3 years worth of ink' offer then you could potentially save up to 90% off your usual printing costs.
- Easy to fill ink tanks, plus the 'key-lock bottle design' also means it will be mess free and you don't have to worry about accidently putting black ink in the yellow tank!
- Includes scanner feature making it useful for capturing artwork from your littles so you can digitally archive their masterpieces ;-)
- Automatic duplex printing feature - this is an essential for printing planner inserts as the printer will automatically print both the front and back of the insert automatically so you don't have to stand around waiting to flip the printouts over and praying you've 'flipped' them the correct way!
- Fast draft printing speed/times but note the print quality won't be as good / blacks won't be as rich. However, if you need to print in a hurry then this printer can print up to 10 pages a minute.
- Most reviewers commented that this printers is easy to initially set-up even for those who aren't tech-savvy! Great news if you want something that you can pretty much plug in and getting going quickly.
- Compact design so it should easy sit on top of a home office desk.
Epson EcoTank Cons:
- Automatic duplex printing may misfeed paper resulting in paper jams although this seems to be an issue with only a small number of models.
- Some people consider this printer to be noisy so you may not want to run it when your little ones have just settled into bed!
- Low quality scanner but should be sufficient for the purpose of digitally archiving your kiddos master pieces.
- Cheap build quality reported by some users of this print when compared to the cost.
- Not reliably AirPrint compatible - according to some reviewer of this printer they had issues connecting their iPads/iPhones.
- Some reviewers reporting 'paper settings mismatch' errors when switch from one paper stock to something different.
- Issues with WiFi connection.
- Print quality - some reviewers felt the print quality wasn't as good as other Epson printers.
- Probably not the best option for MAC/Linux users as a cable for connecting the printer directly to the computer/laptop isn't included.
Printing your own inserts is such a life-saver if you need something quickly. There are many options when it comes to predesigned planner inserts that are ready to download instantly on Etsy, as well as on stand alone websites such as Keshinomi. The convenience of being able to simply print out whatever you need whenever you need it is a massive draw towards using printables.
Overall, even considering the cons, I still think the Epson EcoTank ET-2810 printer is the best option when it comes to economical home printing of planner insert printables, when the time comes to upgrade my current printer then this model is top of my wish list items to consider!
*Amazon Affiliate links: As an Amazon Associate I earn from any qualifying purchases you may make after clicking these links.