Step one: Bargain Bin Equipment
If you're into vintage equipment, a second hand store could be where you score. I found a bucket o' skis with some poles and used ski boots offered while I was browsing the vinyl section at a northern California (Nevada City) store. Oh yes, K2's, Rossignol's and Dynastar's representing. Old school style. The boots scared me and I would (am) holding out to purchase new boots, but hey, you could grab them here.