I'm at a similar point. I have all these "visualizations" of macro and still lifes (for lack of a better category) but I am approaching lighting as a trial and error process. I've read the books. Hey, a couple of thousands of dollars of lighting gear and you, too, can make these photographs.
Over the decades I have accumulated stands and umbrellas, small and medium strobes, and not a small number of "clamp-on" light fixtures. I'm starting out with the cfl bulbs, myself. (Black and white film, of course) The experimentation will come in diffusion and reflectors. My wife, the graphic artist, has suggested tracing paper for diffusion. Cheap and readily available. I'll also try thin fabric, and some white, translucent cutting boards (for the kitchen, of all things). For reflectors, I have stocked in some white foamcore. Also cheap and readily available.
To further cut costs, I'm going to use that "other" technology for initial experimentation, and then burn film when I'm starting to see something usable.
I mean really, isn't playing around part of the fun of all this? Cheers, and good luck!