How to Print as Much as You Want in Full Colour (on a teacher budget)

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

I remember when I FIRST discovered TPT.

My boyfriend at the time had won a home lottery, and we were living in a million dollar mansion.

(Turns out million dollar mansions aren't for me, but that's not the point!)

I was halfway through my second year teaching, right before Christmas, and I was struggling so much for so many reasons - at school and in my personal life.

I was the only maternelle teacher at my school, and I had no one to mentor me or help me figure out what I was doing.

Then, I found out Pinterest (only used for adorable quotes and home décor up to this point) had teaching ideas, too.

Then I found kindergarten teacher blogs.

And then... TPT!

I was magical and life-changing. It turned me into a better teacher and human and I started learning, creating, trying new things with my students, and hitting my groove as a teacher.

BUT, I still had one problem.

I can remember sitting upstairs in the million dollar mansion (because every house needs an upstairs living room too, right?), printing page after page after page, using my old awful printer that wasn't built for card stock OR the amount of work I was putting it through.

I'm pretty sure I went through at LEAST five ink cartridges in the FIRST MONTH.

That's a lot of ink and a LOT of money, even if you aren't paying on a mortgage!!!

Struggling with printer ink expenses on a teacher budget? Check out the blog post and learn my secret to being able to print as many full colour resources as I need WITHOUT breaking the bank, month after month!
This was me haha

In hindsight, I could have bought shares in Staples!

Then, we broke up a month or so later, and I did have to start paying rent. Along with all of the other expenses that had previously been split two ways.

I couldn't really afford to print things from TPT anymore (my school doesn't have a colour printer), but I also knew there had to be a solution to my problem.

And there was!!!

Due to some tenacious digging, I discovered a way to now print evvvvverything I need (and usually more) from home, in full colour, for less than 14$ a month!

Struggling with printer ink expenses on a teacher budget? Check out the blog post and learn my secret to being able to print as many full colour resources as I need WITHOUT breaking the bank, month after month!


What is this magical printing solution?

It's called Instant Ink - and it has been Life. Changing!!!
  • No more spending 100-150$ on ink every time I go to Staples (which was sometimes as often as once a month or once every two months)
  • No more printing the black & white option and spending countless hours colouring them in myself so they look good
  • No more having to go to a store to buy ink OR recycle my cartridges - everything is done via my mailbox. YUP - my new ink cartridges are mailed right to me, and I pop the empty ones in the mail to send to HP for free for them to recycle
  • I have only ever run out of ink ONCE since I started - and it was technically my own fault for deciding to print a 400 page unit on the Friday before a long weekend!
  • The cartridges that come in the mail are bigger than the ones that you buy in the store. They usually last me a couple of months before I need to change them.
  • My printer is connected to HP via my wifi, and my printer tells them itself when they need to send more ink - before it runs out!
  • I can print AS MANY BRAG TAGS as I want in full colour and not worry!!! :D
Struggling with printer ink expenses on a teacher budget? Check out the blog post and learn my secret to being able to print as many full colour resources as I need WITHOUT breaking the bank, month after month!

Instant Ink is my secret for printing resources that consume huge amounts of ink (like brag tags and colourful visual schedules) without breaking a sweat or praying to the ink Gods I will have enough ink and my tags will look good.

I even use it for printing full-colour photos of Leah for my anti-Facebook dad!

Here is an example of my NEON visual schedule... that I could print without stressing over ink.

Struggling with printer ink expenses on a teacher budget? Check out the blog post and learn my secret to being able to print as many full colour resources as I need WITHOUT breaking the bank, month after month!

So, what exactly IS Instant Ink?


Instant Ink is an ink subscription program from HP.

So, the downside is you DO need an HP printer compatible with Instant Ink to enjoy the program.

My old printer was HP, but wasn't compatible.

BUT I found my printer on Black Friday on Amazon for less than 40$, and it works great for what I need! To me, the 40$ was a great investment.

The printer I have is an HP ENVY 7640 e‑All‑in‑One Printer Series.

My particular printer doesn't seem to be available at the time I'm writing this post, but I found another one that seems similar to mine and is Instant Ink compatible.

>>> Here is an affiliate link to HP Envy 4520 Wireless All In One Printer

It's not on sale right now, but it will probably go on sale for Boxing Day!

Struggling with printer ink expenses on a teacher budget? Check out the blog post and learn my secret to being able to print as many full colour resources as I need WITHOUT breaking the bank, month after month!

Once your printer arrives, you sign up for the program, and choose the package you need.

I have the biggest package - I can print up to 300 pages (in full colour) per month, for 10.99 USD plus tax.

If I go over 300 pages, every additional 20 pages is $1.25.

BUT, if I go under 300 pages, the pages I didn't use are "rolled over", and I can use them during another month if I need to.

I have 368 rollover pages this month, so I plan to do a lot of printing over Christmas break!

So, how can you sign up??


If you want to sign up for Instant Ink, you will first need to make sure your printer is compatible.

All the new HP printers are compatible, but the older ones are not. There should be a list if you Google it!

If yours isn't compatible, here is my affiliate link again for the printer I have.

Your printer should come with a few free months of Instant Ink - mine came with three free months, but I have seen some people get up to six!

You can also "stack" codes, and use my referral link for another free month.

>>> Here is my referral link for a free month, to use when you sign up. 

If you sign up using my link, we will both get a free month of ink!

Struggling with printer ink expenses on a teacher budget? Check out the blog post and learn my secret to being able to print as many full colour resources as I need WITHOUT breaking the bank, month after month!


So, there you have it - good things come out of every breakup, and I am so glad Instant Ink came out of mine 😉

I can't IMAGINE how much money I would have wasted over the past four years if I was still trekking to Staples every month and buying two crazy overpriced cartridges!

PS - Have you signed up for my FREE French Resource Library yet?? There are lots of colourful freebies in there that you'll be able to print out with your new inexpensive ink ;) Just enter your info below and I'll email you the password right away!

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