The Cricut mini doesn't use cartridges. But in defense of the Cricut (and I am a ProvoCraft hater) - I have gotten virtually all of my cartridges brand new from ebay for under $30. With the exception of the CTMH Art Philosophy. Each FULL cart ( so not the Lites or Seasonal) can contain hundreds of images and fonts and creative features (tags, boxes, cards, monograms...etc...).
So I think for me, if I had to pay .99 cents for each image - well I sure wouldn't have very many.
I have also downloaded the entire handbook for each cartridge on my kindle fire so I don't even need to riffle through them. I can browse the images on my tablet. Then do all the editing I want on my Gypsy.
With the Cricut I can score all the boxes with the scoring blade, and even use markers or gel pens to just trace the image with or without cutting. I love my Cricuts. I just hate ProvoCraft because their updates are so unreliable they can kill your machine.
You can get really good Cricut bundles (machine and carts) on ebay from a seller called taymeag(?) something like that. All brand new stuff.
And since they are stand alone machines or don't have to be hooked up to computer unless you want to use Cricut Craft Room.
**** just a caveat ***** right now if you link your cartridges to your gypsy you can't link them to cricut craft room. Just another fine engineering glitch. But "they are working on it".
A good dog, a sewing machine, and an old guitar......