I have a Canon Photo Printer which takes six CLI-8 Canon Ink Cartridges. The cost of each individual ink cartridge ranges from around $12.50-15 (on Amazon) to 18.99 in Staples. So no matter how you buy the genuine Canon Ink Cartridges keeping yourself ready to print photos is expensive.
You can get a better per cartridge of you buy them in Canon CLI-8 4-Color Multipack Ink Tanks. In that case each individual cartridge is a little less expensive. Canon package CL-8C (Cyan), CL-8M (Magenta), CL-8Y (Yellow), and CL-8BK (Black) as a pack ($40-44 on Amazon). When cartridges are sold in packs you might think those colors are used at similar rates... but that is not so.
I have kept track of the usage of the cartridges over a long period of time and would like to share these results with you.
Number of cartridges used
CL-8M Magenta = 5
CL-8Y Yellow = 8
CL-8B Black = 6
CL-8PC Photo Cyan = 6
CL-8PM Photo Magenta = 8
CL-8C Cyan = 4
My usage shows that yellow is used the most, followed closely by Photo Magenta, followed next by Black and Photo Cyan, and trailed by Cyan and Magenta. Note that I have a laser printer that I used for text otherwise the usage of the Black Cartridge would have been a lot higher.
I buy most of my color photo ink on-line from Amazon. However now that Staples began (again) accepting CL-8 cartridges for Staples Rewards in their recycling empty cartridges program, I wanted to analyze my usage to see which cartridges I should buy at Staples using my Staples Rewards.
My original thought was to buy Canon CLI-8PC Photo Cyan Ink Tank and Canon CLI-8PM Photo Magenta Ink Tank since they don't come in a pack. But given the usage chart above, it is clear that I should buy extra Yellow and Photo Magenta.