Update @ 9 PM: Thank you readers for all your comments on this post! It really was bugging me that I was printing in color by default and my first reaction was for a “low-tech” solution (i.e. removing my color ink cartridge). My wonderful reader, Karen, kindly pointed me to the “high-tech” solution that I knew must exist, but I missed it when I tried to find it. Here it is (it may vary for you depending on what operating system and printer you use):
1. Select “Start”
2. Select “Control Panel”
3. Select “Select Printing Preferences”
4. Under the “Quality” tab change it to “Fast Draft”
5. Under the “Color” tab change it to “Print in Grayscale” and “Black Print Cartridge Only”
6. Click on “Apply” and start saving ink!
Thanks, Karen! I really appreciate you taking the time to enlighten me – it is such a treat for me to have such a computer-savvy reader as you!

I did something drastic today. I removed my color ink cartridge from my printer and just set it aside. My printer knows it is missing, but it will print everything gray scale now which is fine with me! I do occasionally have a need to print in color, so I’ll keep my color ink cartridge handy – but I will only install it in my printer when I have a specific need for it. But by taking it out I don’t have to remember to print in black & white – it’s automatic that it will. It’s all about my effort to save a little bit of money on ink cartridges for my HP Deskjet printer.

I’m also taking my empty ink cartridges to Office Max to get a $3 credit per cartridge (Staples has a similar program). I have not tried refilling my cartridges yet, but I might try it with the black ink the next time Walgreens offers it for free (I’ve heard good and bad things – so I think it’s something you just have to try to find out if it works for you and your specific printer).

I just ready Amy’s article at MomAdvice.com called “Saving Money on Printing” and got some more ideas for saving money on ink. I’ll be checking the online store she mentioned for my next purchase of ink cartridges. And I’ve set-up a separate place to set aside paper that can be used to print on the other side for things I want a hard copy of but don’t care what’s on the back side of it. I’m also going to try printing more “draft” quality stuff – it’s just hard to remember to change the setting each time for this.

I know there are other ways to save – and I hope a few of you will leave some feedback here.