Luckily, veggies are reasonably cheap where I live, so there are no problems there (and it will encourage me to eat more veggies too, if I always have to have some fresh stock ;) )
The alternatives to Carefresh sound good, and I have a hardware store down the road from me which sells wood pellets, so if they're the right kind (haven't checked yet), that could be a convenient option :) I could use CritterCare on top of that, if I go down that route.
Carrie86: I'm not sure where'd I get them from yet--it depends on availability/compatibility when the time comes that I'm ready to adopt :) When I search Petfinder, the rescues nearest to me (near Toronto) that pop up are Piggles Guinea Pig Rescue and Guinea Pigs R Us. When I look at regular shelters nearby, guinea pigs don't seem very common.
jedifreac: it's indeed the hay that I'm finding a bit hard to find; I have a feeling there should be a semi-local source I can find because I'm not TOO far away from farmland, but I think the internet may not be the best way to find it ;) So far I've mostly seen timothy/alfalfa mixes, and I've seen on this forum and elsewhere that it's pure timothy that's wanted for adults (though is a percentage of alfalfa okay?)
Also, just so I can give a better idea of where I'm coming from, I'm luckily in a position where money is not super tight. I just like being careful, and I figure it's a good idea to think of expenses ahead of time so I can be sure I'll be able to meet them :)
Timothy is best for adults, adults fed on alfalfa long term can get kidney/bladder/excretory system problems from all that excess calcium. Growing and young pigs (under a year) thrive on alfalfa but that's pretty much the age cut off.
My friend was able to find a local Timothy farmer on Craig's list in Michigan (the only one in the area) but your mileage may vary. If you live near a place with horses you will be on the right track.
Another option might be Orchard or Bluegrass hay. These and Timothy are grass hays. (Alfalfa is a legume hay.)
If you have space, you may be able to buy a BALE of hay for astoundingly cheap and then stash it in a shed or garage. That could easily last you a year.
Kinda a little embarassed to admit, but I spent $80 on toys and special treats for their birthday July 9, and then $40 on all the veggies and fruit that they like. Needless to say, they didn't get ALL of it on that day, but this whole month has been a constant party for them. :-)
You'll also want to consider that you might get a heart pig. Heart pigs need meds every day. We spend about $40/month on Truffle's furosemide and elanapril. And if the dose isn't right you'll have to make more trips to the vet than for a regular piggie.
Not trying to scare you, but it's a recurring expense we didn't think about originally and we now budget for it.
I'm not sure where Guinea Pigs R Us is located but Piggles is probably just a quick drive for you. I only had to drive just under an hour to get there.
ETA: I just checked the Piggles website and they're closed for some renovations at the moment. But do keep them in mind when you do decide to adopt! They might be open then.
Also, I remember seeing Indy on the website! He was a cutie--congrats on your adoption :)