There are online stores offering academic software for incredible prices. You need to work at or attend an educational institution, as you have to provide proof of employment or attendance.
For instance, Office 2010 Professional is 109, Photoshop CS5 Extended is 199. Huge savings.
My older son wanted money toward Visual Basic for Christmas, I got it for him for 300 (normally 1000).
So find a friendly teacher or a friend with a student. The only two catches, you can only order one copy of each program (until updates come out) and they send the product key to the email associated with the account (the teacher or student).