A 6 x 8 inch pre-drilled perf board at your local Radio Shack should only be $4.87, I got a couple because they are very useful for circuit building and a step up from point to point component soldering. Some prices have dropped at their web store also like $63 for the top of the line Electronics Learning Lab! Damn, I remember when those were like $199! These labs were more-less developed by Forest Mims so there are always some neat noise making circuits and a good collection of basic circuits for future design incorporation. The Sensor Lab is cheaper yet, $49 and there are plenty of projects with LEDs, touch sensors, and tone generation. The manuals with all the schematics are online here and here. So the circuits can be easily replicated even without having to purchase anything. Thanks Rat Shack!