I wouldn't call barbells and weights expensive -- usually 50-75 cents/lb. on Craigslist. When we quite the gym(s) a year and a half ago, we were paying 2x$40/month for Gold's, and 1x$50/month for a power/Olympic box. I bought a cheapish bench/lat pulldown/situp combo with a bar and some weights, some more weights and another bar at 50 cents/lb. from a metal working shop, and a treadmill for $50 from a neighbor who was moving. Total investment, about $350. My wife really wanted a spin bike, and paid $400 for one, which I though was overpriced, but agreed to the purchase. The bike is setup in my home office, and I use it 3-4 times/week, so it has been worth it. All that equipment was paid for within six months of no gym fees, and so we have saved over $1500, and have much easier access to the equipment.
Update on my fitness efforts: I worked out for 12 straight days, and on the 13th day, injured myself during my workout. It wasn't an ordinary injury, but a flying log from a misplaced maul strike whacking my knee. My planned lower body workout was cancelled. This adds an additional wrinkle to the upcoming challenge of diet and exercise due to a business trip. I had planned to take advantage of whatever better food options I can, and to do double workouts today and tomorrow, followed by a workout/day Tuesday-Friday. I expected to gain a temporary pound or two because of increased food and drink consumption, but to mitigate the increase by continuing to work out.
My modified plan is to do upper body and abs only, with some swimming as long as I can stand it. If my knee feels better toward the end of the week, I'll resume lower body and bike/treadmill work. Any other ideas for non-impact cardio? A heavy bag maybe? Pushups to exhaustion?