Started out with a used 1980 Denon PMA-510 which I bought from Bullocks TV & Radio opposite my school around 1982. I bought it because it was £50 - well, I was still at school.
Picked up a JVC LA-110 turntable from Richer Sounds for about £60 (normally about £120). Was pretty good to be fair, and ended up fitting the cheapest Ortofon MC cart I could get at the time, which was about £75 I think. Crazy, but it sounded good!
My mate’s dad had a pair of Solavox speakers which seemed to be able to take a bit of a pounding, so had a look at them (they were sold through Comet at the time) and picked up a pair for about £40. Soundwise, these were the Wharfedale Valdus of their day, for those that remember them from 20 years ago - not great, but you get what you pay for. Quite a hard sounding bass, no real depth, but punchy.
Must have been 2002 when I toddled into Richer Sounds in Edinburgh with a few quid in my pocket and walked out with a Cambridge Audio A1 amp, CD5 cd player and a pair of Gale 3020 standmounts (and a few quid less in my pocket!). A Bush turntable followed in due course. I still have the CD5 "for emergencies" and the Gales are in the attic after having been used as rear speakers for a 5.1 system for a while after I replaced them with B&W DM602 s3s. The Bush turntable served until the end of 2022 and still works.