I’ve been using an instant ink program for 5 years now and I can’t imagine what I would do if I had to go back to the old way of buying cartridges. I really feel that using an instant ink program is one of the best teacher hacks and one you’ll want to try.
What is the instant ink program?
The HP Instant Ink Program is a monthly subscription that delivers ink right to your doorstep - exactly when you need it. Actually, it’s delivered before you need it so you never run out.
After 5 years, I can say this was only a problem one time and customer service was phenomenal about fixing it. They sent me a new cartridge overnight - at no additional charge!
Their printing plans work based on the number of pages you print - not how many cartridges you use. This means you can print all the color things with no worry! I can’t tell you how freeing it is to print in color anytime I want.
My school does not allow teachers access to color printing. So for me, the $12 a month charge is a small price to pay to be able to print class sets, parent notices, and center materials in color whenever I feel like it - up to my allotted page amount (currently 300 pages).
Whatever pages you do not print roll over for the next month.
This means that if you do not reach your maximum allowed for printing, it will save it for you and add it to next month! There is a cap on how much they roll over so check the details on your specific plan if you decide to enroll.
How do I enroll in the instant ink program?
Step 1 - Check Your Printer
The first step to signing up to the instant ink program is to check if you have a compatible printer. HP Instant Ink requires you to have an HP Printer.
This wasn’t a problem for me because when I originally signed up for the instant ink program I was in need of a new printer. After doing some research I ended up purchasing the HP Envy 5540 All-In-One Printer. I needed a printer that had the capability of scanning (a must have when uploading my required documentation for recertification and column advancements). Plus, I wanted a printer that printed decent color pages without breaking the bank as I often need to showcase my TpT products that I create.
My printer still works great but it’s getting a little outdated (as technology tends to go) so I also recommend this similar printer from HP. It’s a beautiful white color which is my thing right now and it also comes with your first 6 months of the HP Instant Program for free! If you also sign up using my referral code that gives you an additional month free bringing it to 7 months of free ink.
If you already have an HP printer or want to keep shopping around, check out this page to see if a printer is compatible with the program.
Step 2 - Choose Your Plan
The second step to signing up to the instant ink program is to choose your plan. HP Instant Ink has 5 plans to choose from ranging from 99 cents (!) to $24.99 a month. I personally have the $11.99 a month plan that affords me 300 pages of full color printing every single month.
Remember as well, whatever pages you don’t print will roll over into the next month up to a certain number. This is great for months you might not print as much and months you print a ton (hello back to school season I’m looking at you).
Step 3 - Use a Referral Code
The best way to get a good deal is to make sure you use a referral code when you sign up for the instant ink program. If you use my referral code, we both get a free month of ink. I’ve heard about other teachers using multiple codes to get even more savings when they’ve joined.
What happens next in the instant ink program?
Once you’ve signed up with your eligible printer (and hopefully used my awesome referral code so we both score free ink), then you can just start printing. Your printer connects with the HP Instant Ink Program wirelessly and will automatically detect when you’re ink starts to get low.
The instant ink program will email you that a new cartridge is on the way and you’ll usually have it in your mailbox in a few days. I love that I never have to worry about running out to the store and keeping extra on hand.
Is the instant ink program flexible?
Yes, one of the best features of the HP Instant Ink Program is that you can try a different plan at any time. You can even cancel at any time if you decide it’s not for you.
The ink cartridges they send are also longer lasting than the store purchased cartridges. I print a ton and rarely need new cartridges. My favorite part is that you can also easily recycle old cartridges by simply sending them back to HP in a postage paid envelope that they include in every ink shipment.