If you live near a Costco you can get your empty ink cartridges refilled at the one hour photo desk for a very low price. Go to that department and ask someone there which cartridges they are able to refill and then research the printers that use those cartridges.
I have an HP all in one scanner, copier, printer and I love the quality and the inexpensive refills. If you can purchase a printer with separate cartridges for the various colors and refill them you will spend much less on ink.
If you can live with black ink only I recommend a Samsung ML series printer. It has a high volume cartridge that costs around $35 but seems to last forever. Printers went from my most hated product to one I don't think about.
Yes, the type of printer you want is called a laser printer. You'll pay a bit more up front, but you'll get thousands of pages from each cartridge instead of scores. And the heads will never clog because there aren't any.
Thank you for the information. I looked up the generic ink and the Lexmark Pinnacle. I have a feeling the generic might not give me good quality and I don't want to waste anymore money then I already have (I feel like Lexmark is on my payroll and I'm a stay at home). I will start shopping for the Pinnacle. I hope I get one at a good price and not the day before they come up with a newer model either. Thanks everyone.
A typical laser printer will give you about 5,000 pages per cartridge. A typical inject specs at 300 pages per cartridge. As VicAriel said, Samsung ML series laser printers are dependable and cheap to operate. We have three of them, including a multifunction printer/fax/copier. Another consideration is that the toner cartridges can be refilled very cheaply.
If you truly need color, but only once in a while, consider the savings with using a laser printer at home for most of your printing and doing the rare color work at someplace like Kinko's since your inject cartridges tend to dry out and plug if not used frequently.
Also, if you're still shopping for an inkjet printer, be wary of the Epson printers. Several of them have a well document problem with static build up damaging the electronics on their cartridges and rendering them useless, even when still almost full.
I had a very nice Lexmark printer, doc feed and fax included. It worked well...but it drank ink like a sailor onshore on payday. And then the printhead totally fried itself, no repair possible. I pulled an old HP out of the cupboard, got ink for it and you know, I won't buy another if it's not an HP. As to ink, I cut my regular printing down to "black draft" unless I have a reason for better quality. And it saves a lot on ink. The HP ink isn't cheap but the capacity is very good. I think I'm using less than half the ink I did with the Lexmark.
Throw away your Lexmark printer and invest on a secondhand HP laser printer -- the older the better. If you must use color, go with a Canon one with ink tanks, not with the (black, chunky) cartridges that look like hp's.
I prefer Laser printers. I have a Brother network laser printer (black) that I paid about a hundred for several years ago. I am on my 2nd cartridge. I also have a hp wireless color laser that I just bought for under 200. I don't print much and these will last a long,, long time. I had problems with ink jets because the cartridges would dry up and used excessive ink during cleaning process.
I have an old Canon that uses ink cartridges which cost $8.79 here (cheaper some other places.) I picked it expressly for the price of the ink. I have a freebie Lexmark one that came with my computer still in the box because the ink cost isn't worth using it. Unfortunately, the Canon models that use that cartridge are old and only available used (I think.) Maybe that is ok with you. Canon ink still seems to be on the less-expensive, though.
I also have a HP laser printer that I use for higher volume printing. The cartridges last much longer than ink jet. So the price is very reasonable if you look at it as cost-per-page. I get tons and tons from one cartridge...plus it is so much more crisp. The machine itself is about 15 years old and still going strong. And I agree with WolfBlitz's comment that the dry toner in the laser printers doesn't dry up after months of non-use.
I also have a Dell color laser printer that is awesome. I don't print color often enough to see if the price of those 4 cartridges are worth it, but it still has the factory cartridges 3 years later. And the quality is sooooo much better than most inkjets. Some people don't like laser photos, though...they are not as forgiving as inkjet because inkjets "bleed" a little, almost softening the photos. I happen to like them very crisp.
I guess I am saying if you print a lot of b&w documents, look at a laser. If you print a ton of photos, check to see if you like color laser at a store. If you don't want to make the investment in the laser machine or don't print often, shop backwards! Go to the ink section here, sort by price, THEN look at the printers that go with the cheaper cartridges see which ones are reasonably priced and have decent enough reviews.