Price is always a factor in the decision making process and while some types of printing may well be cheaper than embroidery, it’s not by much. Be warned multi coloured print jobs can work out a lot more expensive.
The type of printing used can dictate the price of the job as well as the quality. Direct to Garment Printing (DTG) or transfer printing can be done fairly cheaply even in small quantities.
Silk Screen Printing is generally the best of all the methods of printing designs, however to do it properly needs specialist equipment a fair amount of space and quite a lot of setting up (there’ll almost certainly be a set up fee), for this reason, it’s only really cost effective for large production runs.
Embroidery in reality is often somewhere in the middle. It might cost a little more than the cheaper types of printing, but if quality is a factor, it’s far more cost effective than screen printing, especially for smaller orders.
If you’re investing in custom clothing, we’d always recommend going for the best fabrics you can. They last longer and they take embroidery better.