$500 is probably the bare minimum, for a rig. You'll drop $200 for a recorder, then another $75 on a battery box, and that leaves you about $200 for mikes. You'll be at the extreme low end of cost and quality.
Not to discourage anybody new who wishes to join the game, but this is about the bottom in terms of costs to enter the hobby. Even with good shopping skills and buying a deck used, you're still looking at only $250ish for mics.
Jerseyguy57- Welcome to you!
(it is not as expensive a hobby as say, yachting, but it can get expensive if you want it to be!)
Think about it this way- the most important piece of the chain is microphones. It is similar to back when turntables were part of EVERY sound system, the cartridge/needle was (is?) most crucial. When it was actual tapes being used, the Tape deck's heads/transport were the crucial part. For live recording, it is the mics. (It is certainly true that one does not need "expensive mics" to make good recordings-location is always key as well)
I haven't used them, but the rec's above for SP or CA products are probably right on and these can be found used at good prices. Also don't forget another small manufacturer onboard here, naiant audio. Many of his mic's can be had for ~$200-300/pair (X-R. X-X, series depending on which deck you choose.)
read a bunch of mic setup threads and keep your eyes on the YS- and let us know what you choose and/or ask questions.
Also, as far as mic choices go, once you've decided on one or two types/brands check recordings made with those mics out on the LMA or bt.etree or whichever tracker is your choice and listen carefully to figure out what results you might have.