Several sites are selling Arduino “basic starter kits” for around $55. That’s not a bad deal, but they tack on around ten dollars in shipping! These kits generally include:
Arduino UNO board
“Getting Started with Arduino” book
USB A to B cable
I put together my own bundle on Amazon, with free shipping, which costs significantly less:
Arduino UNO ($26.95)
“Getting Started with Arduino” by Massimo Banzi ($10.39)
BB400 Solderless Plug-in Breadboard with Power Rails ($5.50)
The total price was $42.84, with free shipping. I saved $22, and the only things missing are a USB cable and some wire jumpers for the breadboard. I have a $2 roll of solid core wire from the local electronics shop for jumpers, and who doesn’t have USB cables laying around?
If you really want purpose-built jumper wires, I have read good things about the NKC Electronics 70 pack ($4.95 + $4.75 S/H) and the CanaKit Premium 30-pack ($7.95 + a whopping $12.52 S/H) looks like it has very high-quality, rectangular connectors.