The above is from 2003. In 2013, the situation was much the same:
It’s enough that printer ink might be the most expensive liquid you buy. Even the cheapest ink, at about $13 an ounce, costs more than, say, fine Champagne, while the priciest, at about $75 an ounce, is more costly than, say, Chanel No. 5 perfume. Check our graphic, “The Case of the Disappearing Ink,” to see just how expensive printer ink can be.
But exclusive new tests in our labs show that some, even a lot, of that precious ink probably never even makes it onto printed pages. Instead, it’s used to clean print heads and for other maintenance chores, typically when the printer is preparing to print after sitting idle for some time.
Tests in Consumer Reports’ lab, done in cooperation with International Consumer Research and Testing, an independent consumer testing and research organization, confirm that some printers use much more ink than others in those rituals—and the extra cost of using those models can add up to $100 or more a year. —Consumer Reports