Hit up the granite warehouses/showrooms for close out inventory or discontinued granite. We found a distributor on Hempstead Hwy that had enough left over of a discontinued line to do our kitchen tops before selling our last house and got a bargain on it. They can also refer installers. For whatever reason, there's a bunch of flooring and countertop wholesale places concentrated along Hempstead Hwy that have large showrooms open to the public.
I wish we had Granite Transformations here. They are in Dallas but not here yet. Its a new idea in granite. They use real granite but its not so thick and heavy, a thinner piece, much less expensive But same real product, same look and feel...just using less cuts the cost drastically! It would be a gold mine in places like this where homes all need updating.
Have you measured your counters so you know how much you'll need? because the places with bits and pieces don't always have enough...
Also consider other surfaces, theres more than granite and most look very bice..
I ending up with the most expensive granite they had, because it was so much prettier- I don't regret it, i love it so much- a year from now, you won't remember what you paid, you'll only know you love it or hate it!
I love granite, but have noticed on the home shows they are using different types of materials. I guess when I decide to redo the kitchen I will just have to go and look at new homes. They always seem to have the latest stuff.