I got a huge bag of aspen shavings at Petco for $6-7, wheel was $3 at Walmart, water bottle was $2 at Pet Supplies Plus, and I made my own cage, hammocks, nest boxes, and buy food ingredients in bulk at PSP and mix it up at home. I miss having mice, but I love my hamster. He's much more social and cuddly. I make all my own rodent cages, toys, etc. Saves quite a bit of money! For my hamster's cage, I used a 30gallon tub I got at Walmart for $10. I also use 1/2 in wire mesh for ventilation. The holes were too small for my mice to get through: no matter how small the gap was, my mice would always get through the bars in a cage that had them. They can flatten their skull horizontally, which is how they get into and out of such tight spaces.
Solstice - cellophane HM female