500 pages white paper = $20 (for writing samples [when requested], and unofficial transcripts] ... some of this is excess/left over
175 nice "resume" envelopes = $15 for a pack of 25 * 7 = $105 (I might be wrong on this one; can't remember)
400 sheets of 100% cotton paper = Four 100pg packets costing $20 each = $80
180 stamps * .40 cents per stamp = $72
2 ink cartridges @ $35/e (office depot didn't have the ink to refill my printer cartridge) = $70
Total = $347
I also needed to buy a printer (didn't have one before) and a stapler, but most people don't need those. Subtracting one ink cartridge, that was another $130 for me, but most people won't need to pay that.
I needed 400 sheets of 100% cotton paper because I used 2 per envelope * 175 = 350 total, and that gave me some left overs for when I made/spotted mistakes (which I did quite often).
I also made an effort to make everything pretty top-of-the-line. I got the heaviest paper, I always used the best printing quality, I got the nicest envelopes, etc. So far it does not seem to have been helpful, but I've still got a lot of places to hear back from. And I guess I just need one single job offer.
As far as time? Way too long. From start to finish, this whole process took me 3-4 weeks working pretty hard (although working around ~40h of work per week). That said, now that I know exactly what I'm doing, I think I could repeat this in half the time this took me (I would guess it took me 120h total, but keep in mind that I also e-mailed almost an equal amount of firms).