I use a CIS (continuous ink system) for more than one epson printers, and I can tell you for sure, it is the "Head Cleaning" itself that uses the most ammount of ink by far.
The ammount of ink used for a head cleaning, or multiple head cleanings does not even compare to printing an entire page of a colorful print.
If you have spare paper that you have used already, but would throw out, you could print a test page, or a nozzel check, or anything else you want , without fear that it will drain your carts, as much as a head cleaning would.
If your printer uses a nozzel check it would be better than a test page, because it uses every jet in the thing to print. A nozzel check uses a very very small ammount of ink, and can represent all aspects of operation quickly.
Notes: Using CIS or cheap inks does have a tendancy to clog more, and I would not recommend them for minor use (pita it is). I feel it is better to keep your inkjet printer printing a few pages a week, instead of drying out , because of the head cleaning taking so much ink. Always make sure you park your heads/cartrige (turn off) on the printer before pulling the power on it.
Other notes: Even if a nozzel check works, or a test page works, there is no guarentee that the thing will print 10 full color pages after that. It might not be fully "primed" anyway, depending on how it ran out. I do not know enough to state as fact, but there are times after a cartrige change where it can go Dry after printing a few full print pages, and still require a head cleaning to get the ink back down.