They aren't really too hard to make. And as far as expenses go, I have been using the same $150 TMOS since last January and still have about 1/3 left. That accounts for hundreds of gels. Some people try to use sodium silicates as well, however, I have not had any luck with it. TEOS is a little cheaper and less hazardous, but produces slightly different aerogels. If anyone is serious about making some, let me know if you have questions and I will be happy to help.