In the first post in this thread I said less than $300, but unfortunately, I skimped on the scope and now had to buy a different one. So about $300 you can get everything you need IF you buy right the first time. Now, IF you look for some good used equipment I think you could do it for under $200. I have seen ads in Craigs List for $75 lab quality scopes, centrifuges are a different matter as you just don't see them listed, but a good new one will only cost you $72. The book is a bit pricey, so you can make do with printing off just the pages you need off line. There are also recipes so you can make your own fecal solution if you want. The slides and cover slips are only about five dollars, so that is no biggie. I think a person could get into it for under $200 and the sky is the limit if you want to buy the best. The most important thing to keep in mind when buying a scope is that it has a minimum of 80X and 100X is even better. The rest is just niceties, like a moving base, led light, digital camera, etc.