Hi Sarah. I have the 3822 and find it a good cheap printer. Not Brilliant but it does the business. I use non HP print ink carts and have had no trouble. It does a fair job on photo's as well. Your idea of buying a new cheap printer instead of ink carts sounds Ok but in practice the cartridges you get with a new printer are only about 30% full so you will replace your printer with monotenous regularity. The black ink provided in my 3822 lasted only just over 3 weeks and I am a fairly average user. I use high capacity non Hp cartridges at less the half price from the internet. They are fine.