ok, I assum you are saying flourite. Well, laterite is one cheaper alternative. Laterite has another advantage that it isnt the substrate, but an additive, meaning you can have any substrate you want on top. With flourite, it is the substrate, thus you are confined to just one choice.
i think you need about $90 to fill in a 55 gallon, tank, where as, with laterite, you can buy the most expensive one as much as $32. I recommend First Layer laterite from Aquarium pharmaceuticals, its cheap(about $16 for 55oz, and you only need 1 oz per gallon).
Both will cloud water, but it will go away, and clouding when uprooting plants is no problems(Actually, whenever I uproot mine, its not clouding yet, but this might be because the plants are fairly new).
Thats pretty much what I think, and hope other people could help you.