I did find one club (about 4 hours away) that charges $40 for bronze... But it's still cheaper than the $75 for a competition (even with an extra out of club fee). Moves tests are more expensive than freeskate it seems, but I did my Bronze moves years ago. I wasn't a club member for years, since I didn't have tests or competitions to prepare for- like you, I didn't think it was worth the fee. Unlike FigureSpins assertion that parents don't gamble with their money for tests for kids, I find they are more willing to spend money than the adults are... I know many who stay out of competitions (myself included) or shows, because the fees are so darn high.
I, like you, thought I would never compete, but I do now because I've run out of tests more or less. I was working hard on silver moves, but with the addition of the new spirals unless I get surgery on my hip, there is no way I can do them. (Even with the surgery it's a gamble.) I am trying for Bronze, but my loop may hold me back. Once I finish Bronze, I'm done- competitions are all I have left to strive for. I don't practice well without a goal. I don't care if I win, I don't want to embarass myself.
However, Bronze opens the possibility of Adult Nationals. If I pass it now- I could still go in 20 years (unless they change the minimum qualifying). If I'm having this hard of a time passing it now, it isn't going to get better- not with my extensive injury history. I don't give a darn about winning, I just want to be allowed to play. If they let me skate Pre-bronze there, then I'd stay PB. It's too fun of an event to not try to get into it.
Once I pass the test, we'll change my program to better suit the level. But I don't want to change it for one month and one day before a test session. Changing the program would mean I have to take out my best element (scratch spin) and replace it with one I've barely mastered (camel, because I only do an attitude spin, not a layback, so it's still upright. actually, I think a layback is considered an upright spin...) I can't take out my backspin, because then I'd have to redo the entrance. Too confusing to muscle memory.