but what is the best way to print it?
If you thought this article was going to be full of beautiful pictures then you are wrong. It’s about the best and cheapest way to print your pictures.
Printing out pictures
In this digital age, most of us take photos almost everyday. However, they are often left in the digital world. My wife and I have recently decided that we want to print off more pictures of our daughters as they are growing up. We just needed to decide what the best way of doing that is.
Online printing companies
We have already signed up for various online photo printing sites that offer free prints to new customers. Even after you add the postage it works out very cheaply.
Currently I can find the following offers.
- Snapfish: 20 free prints for new accounts
- Truprint: 40 free prints for new accounts
- Photobox: 60 free prints for new accounts
- Jessops: 50 free prints for new accounts
After you have used the free print offers if you want to carry on using online printing companies then it is always worth checking who has the current best price as they often have offers. All examples used are for standard 6″ by 4″ prints.
For example, today Photobox has a price of 12p per print if you buy up to 200 with the lowest price of 5p per print if you buy more than 500. However, they have a current deal where if you buy 50 standard size prints you get 100 free. So you pay 50 x £0.12 =£6, but get 150 prints which works out at 4p per photo.
The standard prices on Truprint are the same. However, they do not have the 100 prints free promotion so if you order today the price on Truprint would be three times higher than Photobox. Tomorrow or next week it could be a different story though.
Jessops currently has a higher base price at 15p per print for up to 100 photos and then 10p a print up to 500 photos. However, you do have the advantage that you can pick the photos up in store so you don’t need to pay a delivery charge.
Printing at home
The other option we looked at is to print pictures at home. We went to John Lewis to look at printers and they recommended a HP Envy 4500 printer as you can use a new subscription service called instant ink. With this service you basically pay a monthly fee to print out a certain amount of pages. When the ink cartridge is about to run out you get sent a new one in the post. The idea being that you never run out of ink. The good news is that the included pages can be either standard word documents or high quality photos, whichever you choose the cost is the same. We went for the basic package which means we pay £1.99 a month and can print 50 pages a month.
Those doing some calculations might say, hang on that works out at 4p a print and you have to buy the printer and paper as well. However the good thing with this is that you can fit four photos on one A4 page. This means that the ink costs are 1p a print.
Photo Paper is not as expensive as it used to be. You can buy 100 sheets of HP 200g/m2 Photo paper on Amazon for just under £10. So 50 sheets would cost £5 added to the printing costs this means that it’s 3.5p per photo. You could get it even cheaper if you lowered the quality of the paper.
The printer we chose is the HP Envy 4500 and cost around £45. The print quality is very good although slow and we have been happy with our purchase so far.
So what’s the best option
There are advantages and disadvantages with each option.
Advantages of printing online
- Quality is usually better than printing at home.
- With deals it can work out cheaply as well.
Disadvantages of printing online
- It can take time to find the best deals as the base prices are pretty high compared to printing at home.
- It can take a while for the prints to arrive.
- You probably have to pay delivery charges.
- It can take a long time to upload the photos to the website.
Advantages of printing at home
- It usually works out cheaper
- It’s pretty instantaneous and you can print something off when you like.
- You don’t have to wait till you have 200 photos and then sit there for hours uploading the best ones to the online printing companies.
Disadvantages of printing at home
- You only have a set amount of prints per month and are charged extra for exceeding those pages. However you are able to roll a certain amount of pages over to the next month.
Having weighed up all the advantages and disadvantages I think that we will mainly use our own printer for general photo printing. However, we will keep an eye on deals at the online printing companies and make use of those as they arise. Also, whenever we need to print for a special occasion, I think we will stick to the professionals.