A good PAR meter is usually around $500. I agree with the other replies that a LUX meter is probably a better option for your budget.
Ran across this while researching affordable PAR meters...has great Amazon reviews: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PTPB43Z/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1
good luck finding a PAR meter for $40. However, amazon has a few decent LUX meters that can get you close enough
Agreed. I use a LUX meter and if you want a PAR value there are formulas you can use to convert.
yea Im trying to weigh out the possibilities of finding one. Ill probably go with the lux too. cheers