It is possible to learn to ski without lessons - I taught myself how to telemark back in the late 1970's when hardly else was doing it in the USA, hence no lessons were available (and I was too poor to take any if there had been).
I'll support that view, being always near poverty level. We did have a SC locally, but they taught very little except the wrong way to do it. I am a fast learner, and started by a gear loan from a supportive person, already then adept enough with snowshoes and winter bc camping. I read books at the library, and only got onto a downhill resort groomed snow very late in my experience.
Year one on learning basic bc skiing, I topped the highest peak in Yosemite in early spring, although mostly traversing gentle terrain. As I skied with more experienced bc skiers (in another SC chapter), I developed my technique to surpass even avid bc downhillers as far as where I got to. Then, I had some education in basic mechanics, so knew what doesn't work. You can watch films to see how they do it, and hopefully suffer no terrible errors.
Although if you are thinking of learning skiing, with today's gear costs, you are not that poor. I could carpool with the then MLC SC (1970's) and I doubt you have any such op. I have my offers on my website to teach skiing and loan my extra gear, but no takers or even inquiries--there is a disclaimer which seems to deter all.
Your first 5 minutes on skis are your most dangerous. Most novices will slip and fall, and that can be terrible. Injury, and with extreme medical costs, even lifelong disability, can result. You are better off spending the money for professional lessons. Even paying your deductible for horrid injury can result in far more expense, should you somehow have insurance.
I have gone on to do hundreds of bc tours, never any ski injury except once. That was due to the malice of the MLC SC leader, some psychologic engineering, many will say, to dare me into having a freak accident. Though the bc group I was last skiing with all afforded a big gear upgrade, putting me out of it. My only ops presently are to ski solo, as bc skiing is now long past MLC SC history. Love to get out there again, but there is gear failure, and the prospect of another freak accident.
If the local ops to eep so nicely in the winter bc are deplored so cheerfully, I guess the sport is not that appealing. Sad to see so many doing mud hikes when the incredible rush making S's down fantastic powder and corn is so available, but with the enviro disdain, I guess all will eagerly follow the MLC SC lead.