In researching what it takes to make cider, I priced equipment and apples. A good commercial cider is ~ $10 per 6 pack. That is ~$90 for 5 gallons.
The apples I priced out the grocery store (~$2.00 per pound). That won’t work. That is nearly $200 per 5 gallons to make cider. Nope.
The local orchard (assuming I have equipment) anywhere from $60 to $160 per 5 gallons for the apples. Better, sometimes much better. But need the equipment to juice apples.
Store bought juice anywhere from $25 to $60 per 5 gallons. With frozen concentrate being the $25 option. It is a good and inexpensive place to start. I believe Conal (Jim Hart) made his Lemonade cider from frozen concentrate.
Planting my own trees and getting the equipment, I can get the price down to $20 per 5 gallons, once the equipment and trees are in, producing fruit, and that stuff paid for. Long term goals.