My local ACE hardware sells me by the foot on most items. It's just a tad higher than a bulk roll, but IF I only need a foot or two then it pays off nicely. I try to keep at least 10 feet of annealed copper and a few fittings just in case I spring a leak or want to make a change in my system. Don't forget the acid flux and lead and cadmium free solder too. Gotta haves for good solid connections. And for the record, pipe is cheap, compared to the prices on the darn fittings. Thats where the extra cost comes into play. Hope that helps.