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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Does anybody buy pen refills anymore?

This came up in conversation a week ago, about how we'd buy refills for our retractable ink pens and reuse the mechanical part of the pen.

I have a very specific pen that I like. The ink flows smoothly and dries very quickly. This makes for very fast writing for me. I can write my notes faster with a smooth-flowing pen, and I don't smear the page, as the ink dries so fast. I've gone through a couple of 5-packs of these pens in the last year, spending about $7 per package, or $1.40 per pen. The other day, knowing that my last of these pens was running low on ink, I thought to check for refills on Amazon. Sure enough, this pen that I use has multi-packs of refills for a substantial savings per pen. I ordered a 12-pack of refills for $10.55, or 88 cents each refill. That's about 40% off the price of a new, whole pen.

It just got me to thinking that we have become so accustomed to treating our everyday products as disposables, when some of them can be reused, refurbished, or refilled. Anyway, I slipped a refill into one of my used pens and I'm back in business. Less waste, lower cost -- that sounds good to me.

By the way, several brands of pens do make refills. If you have a favorite pen, check Amazon or Office Depot to see if refills would save you money, too.


  1. I had a refillable pens years ago that I loved, for the reasons you mention. No idea whatever happened to it. I now am facing 4 young adult's desks worth plus back up of school supplies, having opened the few remaining moving boxes and need to cull through, sell/donate after getting the green light from the kiddos. I don't see needing to buy office supplies for some time!

  2. I didn't realize many pens had refills available these days. I am very much a recycler, and as I'm throwing away an empty pen, I think about the fact that it goes into the landfill, and how unfortunate that is. I will look into refills for the next pens I use up. Good info, Lili.

  3. I don't buy pen refills anymore. It may not be conventional, but I get my pens by a method my kids taught me when they were in high school. They got their pens and pencils by picking them up off the floor. They said there was always a good supply that no one claimed. Most pens we have
    have either been picked up somewhere like a parking lot or were give aways. We always have plenty and they work pretty well. If I had a pen that worked just right for me like you do, I would probably buy refills. However, what we're doing seems to work well enough.

  4. I'm big on upcycling everything, and I mean everything, including what is normally considered trash. Speaking of pens, I've been saving the hollow round tubes of real, disposable pens for crafting. It feels great not to waste anything, and it lowers the spending bar even further. When you are turning junk into crafts, everything is so much more appreciated and of value.

    Have a great evening!!



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