Using two LM317 variable regulators and two (1K and 5K) potentiometers for fine and coarse control for each IC, I have designed and am in the process of building a low cost variable output PSU. I discovered that the panel meters and power source make up the majority of the device price and as a student decided to work around this problem.
I found that laptop adapters could supply the DC voltage I required and banana plugs at relevant points would allow the use of a multimeter instead of a panel meter.
Using a LM317 and LM7805, along with a 10k potentiometer, a single channel common ground PSU was made with a laptop power adapter. Banana plug outputs allowed ease of connection and measurement.