I follow minhag techeilet and I am on a university student's budget. Does anyone know where to get tzitziot with techeilet online for relatively little?
Seeing as there is no known company making Murex trunculus besides Petil Techelet, and on the other hand even the discounted techelet from then (for soldiers) is 100nis, I doubt anything lower will be the real deal. If on the other hand, you are interested in squib "techelet", which btw according to the radzin chassidim (I have spoken to the person who distributes it, son of the old Rebbe za"l) it is possible that both types can be halachically considered techelt. So if you want to go by that, they can go for as low as 50nis. BTW if you want me to send you Murex trunculus from Israel where if can be bought for cheaper, be in touch.
There is a "trick" called Ramabam Tafranim (literally Ramabam sewers [sewing], but meaning - rambam for poor people). Assuming you did your reaserch you should know that there are three opinions about the amount of techelet strings you need. Rambam(1), Raavad(2) and Tosfot(4). most people take Rambam because it is cheaper or because they think a Rabbi said so (for example there is an incorrect rumor [which we personally discounted] that Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein said so. I personally hold Raavad.
In any case, to the trick: Some people will buy Raavad or Tosfot and then cut the strings in half, and tie them to white strings making a string which is half white and half techelet, this will come out considerably cheaper (if you intended on having more than one pair). There are some opinions that this constitutes another knot and is halachicaly problematic while others don't but for more about this it would be wise to have a seperate topic about the knots in techelet as well as the opinions regrading the amount of strings (hint - some opinions claim that others make you over on deorita shatnez and say you are not wearing tzitzit at all)
The Techeiles Chabura sells Bada"tz certified, murex-dyed strings for slightly less than Ptil Tekhelet's American costs.
I saw cheap radzyn techelet only for $15 on ben's tallit shop, but if you are wearing techelet from murex snail, you'll get the cheapest at techeiles-chabura.com, but the price not so far from ptil tekhelet, with the same quality and kashrut. You'll get The genuine ptil tekhelet with their genuine price only on chanut.tekhelet.com(or store.tekhelet.com) or at tzitzit.tallit-shop.com(ben's tallit shop). So far if i buy techelet, i have to buy from store.tekhelet.com, because they sell the nipputz lishma ones and the shipping price doesn't take much.
When I was a soldier is Israeli army (about 7 years ago) I remember they (Ptil Tcheles) were selling it with 50% discount to soldiers. So, if you are soldier, you can use this option.
Another trick is as follows. If you make Tcheles by the opinion of Rambam you can buy a Tcheles of Raavad (same price) and split it to two sets of Rambam. I personally made it number of times. The idea is that in set of Raavad one whole string is colored, while in Rambam you need only half string to be colored. So, you buy one set of Raavad and another simple set of white strings. Then, you cut the colored and white long strings to halves. Tight the halves together, and you have two sets!
Going down the Bing list, and the Resellers list from P'til Techelet, it looks like "cheap techelet" is an oxymoron. There's a non-Jewish vendor calling himself "The Shoferman"who claims to have $20.99 "Original Blue" strings using snail dyes, but he also says the color runs--a good indicator that they are NOT real techelet dyes, as the comments point out. That leaves P'til Techelet and their resellers. P'til Techelet sells complete sets starting @ $70 on their order page. The comments also point out that their Hebrew site has the sets for NIS 160, (about $45.33), so if ordered there using NIS, they can get the real thing from the manufacturer @ at least 1/3 less than most other places - "relatively little", as requested. All the resellers I've run across that have pictures of the package sell them for at least $70. with one exception - Ben's Tallit Shop, who has them for $60.