Janome 11577 Heavy Duty Serger at a mere 149 clams. Though refurbished, buyers seem pleased and it's got 4.7 out of 5 stars. Could work.
Up next, Olfa 24x36 cutting mat for less than $50. I had one of these gems in college for studio and tragically mine never made it out of the building after graduation. Some lucky 19 year-old probably is resting his/her coffee on it right now...
And lastly, one of the best bangs for your buck, Fiskars pinking shears. I bought a pair when working on the wedding dress so that I could finish the raw edges of the seams. I never looked back on frayed messes again. They were also my best friend when rushing to finish the table runners and preserve my sanity. Get some and be happy.
They've also got some good looking dress forms, oodles of thread, and an assortment of notions. Like I said, who knew?