|Actually those aren't your only options.|
First - I will not tell you how since there are both legal and ethical concerns, but since the question was posed ("is there anyway around this without buying the full product?"), we do need to identify the fact that software piracy is "a" solution to this. Do not reply asking for any help with that, and I do not recommend you do it, but as a simple matter of fact and honesty, it would solve your problem (and create others).
(the following assumes you are a student based on you having an 'important project')
Another option - some schools, mostly Universities, are registered with the Microsoft DreamSpark program. Please GOOGLE it - better yet, ask your school staff if you have access to it. This program lets students get certain software applications which might be necessary during their schooling for free. I think it focuses mostly on development software (like web development, programming, etc) but you might be able to find Office in it, I haven't checked it out in depth since my college doesn't have access to it.
OpenOffice is great except it runs terribly slow...even on cutting edge hardware MS Office beats it every time (in my experience). I'll never understand how an open product became more slow and bloated than something turned out by MS. If you are in a desperate emergency situation, go with OpenOffice, but I recommend you exhaust every other possible option first if you have the time and patience.