I dont know if you can get much cheaper than the granite at home depot. maybe laminate
some of the new laminates look great...
Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.
Granite tile is cheaper than slab granite. There are plenty of other inexpensive tile options, too. Corian and other solid-surface materials can be cheaper, but they can get pretty pricey, too.
I've done a number of kitchens and baths with granite tile...in this project the two large Kitchen surfaces with LOTS of edges ( the pricey part) was about 600 in materials.
Have you considered painting them? These cost $60 to do and look amazing: http://www.hometalk.com/144797/i-finished-painting-my-kitchen-countertops-this-weekend
A lot of creative people have made there own concrete tops. Concrete can be died any color you want. If you decide to do it yourself I would suggest that you do some reserch and practice on some smaller tops first.
Here is a short blog post I wrote about counter top choices - it has a link to view a chart to give the pros/cons and price variables
I couldn't afford granite either and here's what I did to mine, it turned out amazing! http://www.hometalk.com/5avgjjrpi4/posts#!/514822/redone-countertops-with-giani-granite-countertops-paint
I am going to do the same thing like Anna M. I got my kit in Walmart on Sale for 50.---
and am redoing the whole kitchen. Started to paint and did my backsplash too. When I am done, will post pictures! Can't wait.....
This is how I plan on doing my counter's when I remodel my small kitchen
We used large granite tiles, decorative edge and corner pieces. We used a very small grout line and epoxy grout to match our tiles. I love the look. It was about 1/3 of the price of slab granite. I had a lot of countertop to cover. For a small rolling island we used IKEA butcher block countertop.