5 surprising items that are cheaper than printer ink

When you work out the cost per litre of printer ink, it may be more expensive than you think.

The prints and the pauper

A new home printer can cost anywhere from $100 for a basic model to more than $1000 for a fancy multifunction model.

But it's important to factor in the cost of ink cartridges, which can end up costing more than the printer itself – and a lot more in the long-run.

But just how expensive can printer ink be? 

One standard black HP ink cartridge we looked at cost $46.18. This may sound reasonable, until you realise that works out to $8396 per litre – which is surprisingly more expensive than these five items.

Our printer reviews reveal which models have the cheapest annual running costs.

1. Champagne

Carbon F1 Champagne
Image: thisisf1.com

Dousing yourself and others in champagne has been an F1 tradition for more than 50 years (putting aside the sport's brief flirtation with sparkling wine). 

In 2017 the Formula One Group welcomed Champagne Carbon as its official supplier, with reports that the magnums sprayed on the podium cost US$3000 each (or AUD$2889 per litre). 

That's one very expensive shoey for renowned enthusiast Daniel Ricciardo, yet still not as pricey as printer ink.

2. Crème de la Mer

Creme de la Mer credit La Mer
Image: cremedelamer.com.au

This famously luxurious – and famously expensive – moisturiser has a devoted following, with A-Listers including Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron and Serena Williams said to be fans. 

But while it's certainly not a budget buy for most – at $6650 per litre it's definitely more affordable (and surely more moisturising) than printer ink.

3. Human blood

blood bag cheaper than ink

OK, so the average person is unlikely to be in the market for this vital liquid, but for curiosity's sake the National Blood Authority prices 'whole blood (WB) red cells leucodepleted' at $2140 per litre. And while that's certainly expensive, it's still $6256 cheaper per litre than the HP ink.

4. The world's most expensive coffee

klatcha coffee more expensive than printerink

Given its price tag can range from US$100 to US$600 per pound, you'd think Kopi Luwak – aka 'cat poop coffee' – was the most expensive coffee in the world. But Klatch Coffee in the US is now claiming that honour, after paying a record-breaking US$803 per pound for a batch of Elida Geisha Natural coffee at a recent auction.

They're now selling the beverage for US$75 a cup – roughly AUD$456 per litre. A veritable bargain compared to printer ink, plus I know which one I'd rather drink.

5. Chanel No.5

chanel no 5 chanel credit
Image: chanel.com

Nearly 100 years since it first went on sale, this fragrance is still one of the world's most iconic scents. With the eau de parfum coming in at $2400 per litre, it's a steal compared to printer ink – although I can't quite imagine a world in which Marilyn Monroe wore nothing but a few drops of HP 65XL Black Original to bed.

How we worked out the printer ink price per litre

We worked out the price per litre of the HP 65XL Black Original Ink Cartridge based on the price at hp.com/au

The cartridge is compatible with the HP Envy 5030 multifunction inkjet printer, which is currently available at BIG W, Kmart, The Good Guys and hp.com/au.

For more information on how to reduce ink costs, see our guide to buying the best printer.


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