It’s a new year and we always seem to refocus ourselves to budgets and fitness at this time of year. I’m always aware of how much I am printing, especially when it comes to color ink. Those beautiful, engaging, charming clip art pictures come to life on my screen. But when I have to fork over the money for a new color ink cartridge I want to cry! So I’ve been thoughtful when producing packets (many will offer b/w and color versions). It’s also something I look at when previewing products to buy.
Who wants to work with b/w copies all the time? As my daughter often expresses…boooooring! One way that I get around this is to print activities onto color construction paper or card stock. The construction paper and black ink is a lot more affordable and easier to come by for me. Craft stores often have fantastic deals on card stock so I grab different colors when I find great deals. I know, I’m not the first one with this idea, but it has given my materials that spark of color without draining my ink cartridges. Now when I go to print, I make myself a list with three categories: pages that I can print in b/w, print in b/w on color paper, and those that would be best with color ink.
When printing on color paper, I always choose colors that coordinate with the theme. For example, I printed my “Would You Rather: Halloween” freebie cards on orange, green, and purple paper.
For portions of my “Winter Olympics: Language” unit I printed on red, blue, yellow, and green paper. These are the same colors I would have used to back my cards and this way I saved some extra cutting and gluing steps! The materials are color-organized whether I back them or print on construction paper. The games above are two separate “I have…Who Has” games but they have very similar graphics and vocabulary and are the same size, so “color-organizing” them is very helpful.
You can check out my post of using an “er” word sort here to see how I choose to print on color paper at times when looking at other products. In this case, I found an adorable freebie online but had no access to a color printer at the moment…so instead I chose to print on “earthy” colored paper. Having separate colored paper allows me to easily sort and ensure I have the correct materials. Please know, there are still some materials that work best in color…and I’m certainly not going to deny myself that happiness 🙂
There has been a surge in SLP created materials lately (which is fantastic!!). What are some of your tips to help manage your “production” costs?