If you buy your components in bulk, you will save money. Try looking at www.gibrass.com
for powder and brass. Even with the hazmat fee for powder, you will still save money over buying the same stuff locally. For example, I bought a 8lb jug of WC844 pulldown powder and with shipping was at the time about $85. An 8lb keg of Hogdon H335 (loads the same as WC844) locally was $125 + tax. This was a couple of years ago. I also use the same powder for my 308.
As for a progressive press, it will load consistent ammo if you use a powder that meters good. I agree with the others that it is best to load on a single stage press until you get some experience.
With the lower cost of powder from buying it in bulk, my cost per load decreased significantly. If I bought primers in bulk that would help too. Even with the cost reduction in powder and assuming that I will find all of my brass ejected by my AR-15, buying non-reloadable stuff like Wolf still costs me less than reloading plinking rounds with about the same accuracy.