If you're printing off a stack of photos this Christmas — maybe as a gift for a friend, or maybe to use as impromptu postcards or Christmas cards — it's very easy to buy some ink, a stack of 6x4in paper, and run off a series of prints on your home printer. But is it cheaper to upload your photos to a Web site like Snapfish and have them printed and delivered?
The HowTo Geek Web site has a great Excel spreadsheet that lets you input the price and page yield of the black and colour cartridges of your home printer — as well as the price of photo paper — and calculate the overall cost per print. You can also adjust the results for large 8x10in paper if needed. If you don't have a copy of Microsoft Excel, you could always download OpenOffice or use the spreadsheet uploader on Google Docs.
Once you've got the data you need, compare the cost to online photo stores. Make sure you factor in the waiting time of having prints sent to you and any promotions or good deals you might be able to find online.