I like some cheap cameras so I don't have to worry about expensive damage if they get a little wet once in a while or it wouldn't be the end of the world if it got stolen or accidentally damaged. I'm talking $150 speed graphics when I could be using a $3000 canham if I weren't into DSLRs also. The graflex is what people used 80 years ago with great success and still works fine. Cheap lenses are just as good as expensive lenses if it does exactly what you want, and are better for portraits sometimes. A beat up good camera is like a rat rod that won't win car shows but provides a ton of fun.

I'm halfway tightwad when it comes to chemicals. I've learned a taste of pyrocat-hd which is cheaper than normal developers and lets me skip stop bath. I don't use it because it's cheap, but because it does what I want and it's not high in cost. There's usually more than one developer that will do what you want. No harm in evaluating your options. If I were cheap, I'd mix it myself, but that takes time and mess.

One area I don't skimp is film. Inevitably, the cheap film pinhole or defect will be in your sitter's eyelash or someplace you can't retouch. Kodak/Ilford/Fuji is where it's at. Enjoy it while it's available.