Never pay full price for genuine HP ink! How to get ink for cheap or free!

How to Save Money on Genuine HP Ink

Never pay full price for genuine ink. You can get it for a low price or even free if you shop smarter!

A friend of mine recently asked me “Where do you buy ink because it’s so expensive?” I actually just got back from OfficeMax/Office Depot and said “I was just about to write an article about that!” So here’s to you Kay!

Never ever pay full price for ink ever again! I’m not talking about the generic brand. I’m not talking about the refill kits. No. This is straight up 100% genuine ink! That s–t is expensive!

How do you get ink 50% off or more, and sometimes even for free? Read on!

The two major office supply stores, OfficeMax/Office Depot and Staples have really amazing reward programs. I’ll discuss the OfficeMax/Office Depot aka OM/OD because that is the one I use the most and is more competitively rewarding in my opinion.

Here’s how it works:

Find any and all empty ink cartridges you can find lying around your house or office space! Ask friends or family for them if you have to! For every ink cartridge you return to OM/OD you get $2!!! Yes that’s right, $2!! That might not seem like a lot (ok it’s more like chump change) but that $$ adds up!!

You can return/recycle up to 10 cartridges and get $2 each in the form of Rewards. That’s $20! (The program has recently changed slightly, you must make a purchase of $10 in that same month to get the $20 reward. Read more about it here.) The Rewards are issued once you receive $10 (they are not issued right away, give it some time) and are redeemed as a form of payment when you use them so they can be stacked with coupons and sales.

Now, wait for a sale. They usually have one every week. For example, this week they have a sale “Buy $59 worth of ink and get a ream of HP paper” — not the best sale, but that’s just an example. A few weeks ago, the sale promotion was, “Buy $75 worth of ink and get a $15 Gift Card” — this amount is before coupons and rewards, so your out of pocket is actually less! This is when you want to RUN to the store!

The key is to also not just buy one pack of ink at a time. I know, you only need one black cartridge! Buy based on the total amount of the sale mentioned above to get the gift card promotion. This way, you take advantage of the promotions and you have lots of ink stocked up so you don’t have to always run to the store when it’s out again. Just run when there’s a sale!

Plus, OM/OD always sends out coupons in the mail. If you currently don’t get them, you need to sign up for their reward program. Click here to sign up. Or if you still don’t get them even as a reward member, you can often find them on coupon sites like and recently, you can get one by downloading the app SurveyMini (how I got my most recent one) and take surveys to get rewards & coupons like the $10 off $50 Office Max coupon that I received.

With that in mind, here is a sample scenario:

Buy 3 ink cartridges, $25 (give or take, trying to keep the math simple)
-use $20 in rewards
-use $10 off $50 coupon
=$45, get back a $15 GC wyb $75!
That would work out to $30 for three ink cartridges, or $10 a pack, a 60% savings!

Now, return some empty cartridges again while you are shopping, get another $20 for 10 cartridges and save the $15 GC to use next time AND wait for another sale like the one above AND stack with another coupon:

Buy 3 ink cartridges, $25 (give or take)
-use $20 in rewards
-use $10 off $50 coupon
-use $15 GC from previous purchase
=$30, get back a $15 GC wyb $75!
That would work out to $15 for three ink cartridges, or $5 a pack, a 80% savings!

The numbers are obviously generalized, but you get the idea!! Keep recycling your rewards and gift cards!

Plus, it gets BETTER!! Now that OfficeMax and OfficeDepot have merged, you can get 10% back on ALL YOUR INK purchases!! Yaaayyyy!!

So the 2nd time you redeem your rewards, you’ll actually have more than $20 in Rewards!!! It would be $7.50 (10% of $75, or $6.50 if it’s after the $10 coupon, I’m actually not sure about this one since the program is fairly new, comment below if you have the answer).

So it would look more like this with that extra 10% reward that’s added to your account:

Buy 3 ink cartridges, $25 (give or take)
-use $27.50 in rewards
-use $10 off $50 coupon
-use $15 GC from previous purchase
=$22.50, get back a $15 GC wyb $75!
That would work out to $7.50 for three ink cartridges, or $2.50 a pack, a 90% savings!

Alright I think that’s enough math for my head right now! I’m not a mathematician but you get the idea. I hope you found this article to be helpful. Please let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below!



  1. You are superb!!!!!

    • Thank you Kay!