Yes the film processing by itself is less expensive. My local Wal-Mart will develop a roll for under $2.
As to your scanning question APUG is not the best place to ask, it's "off topic".
http://www.hybridphoto.com is APUG's sister site and scanning is on topic there.APUG.ORG is an international community of like minded individuals devoted to traditional (non-digital) photographic processes. We are an active photographic community; our forums contain a highly detailed archive of traditional and historic photographic processes.