To get to Moorea, you'll first have to fly to Papeete, Tahiti, which is the capital city and major hub of French Polynesia. If you're coming from North America or Europe, one of the easiest ways to get to Papeete is from Los Angeles.
Once you get to Papeete, there are flights that will take you to Moorea via Air Tahiti, but I personally recommend taking the ferry, which take only marginally longer and will be less expensive.
If you're going to travel all the way to Tahiti, then I'd recommend staying right on the water. On our trip, we wanted the traditional overwater bungalow experience, which is why we chose the Manava Beach Resort, but if staying overwater isn't important to you, then you can save a bunch of money on accommodation.
In planning your trip to Moorea, I would recommend booking accommodation that will either give you access to free bikes or that's within walking distance to one of the towns. As far as renting a car goes, given that you'll be spending most of your time on the water, it doesn't really make sense to rent a car for your whole stay.
That said, I did rent a car for one day during my trip just to explore the island a bit further.
If you have your heart set on staying in one of Moorea's overwater bungalows, then Manava Beach Resort will be the least expensive option. I stayed here on my trip to Moorea and absolutely loved the snorkeling right out front. They also offer free kayak, SUP and snorkel rentals. Plus, you're within walking distance to a number of inexpensive restaurants.
Food will end up being one of your bigger daily expenses on Moorea, so it’s definitely wise to keep your spending here in check. Keep in mind that hotel restaurants are going to be ridiculously overpriced, so if breakfast isn’t included with your stay then it’s worth going into town to find a cheaper restaurant.
On my stay in Moorea, I didn’t eat at our hotel once, and instead opted to walk into town where we found it was roughly $10 per person for breakfast.
Additionally, you can save a huge amount of money on food if you either get accommodation with a kitchenette or a place near town where you have options for restaurants and grocery stores (purchasing alcohol in the grocery stores tends to be much cheaper too).
If you’re looking to peruse the absolute least expensive accommodations on Moorea then check out AirBnb. (If you sign up through our link, you can get a discount on your first stay!)
While Hotel Hibiscus was fully booked for our dates on Moorea, this was one of my top accommodation choices. While we didn’t stay here, we were able to check out this hotel during our stay and I was able to confirm that both the hotel and the beach were gorgeous. Plus, there are plenty of spots to swim right out front as well.