Watching birds just outside my kitchen window is one of the pleasures I would hate to have to give up. There's nothing quite like sitting with a cup of tea and seeing a finch flit around the area then settle in to snatch a few seeds from the feeder. There aren't as many birds here as there was in the old place, but still there are enough to keep the watch interesting.
Besides finches and sparrows, an occasional chickadee or a few juncos show up. My feeder won't let the bigger birds eat from it because it's set to not allow squirrels to eat from it and they're too close to the same weight. I miss the bluejays most of all.
Anyway, feeding the birds can get pretty expensive, no matter how you go about it. Bird seed doesn't come cheap unless it's the kind none of them will eat. Corn and wheat is wasted on most birds. Crows will eat corn if that's what you want at your feeder, but very few birds will eat wheat, which is included in most cheap bird seed.
The solution? Grow your own. If you have even a small plot you can give over to bird seed, you can grow at least some of the seed you'd otherwise have to buy. Sunflowers, milo and millet grow together happily crowded together in any sunny spot that has decent soil. By "decent soil" I mean anything that isn't sand or clay and has an average amount of nutrients. They will grow better in better soil, of course, but they'll grow almost anywhere.
A small plot can be harvested by hand. When the seeds are completely dry, cut the stalks, then spend some time removing the seeds from the seedheads. Put each stalk in a bucket or barrel and bang it on the sides, or put them in a paper or plastic bag and beat it on the floor of the garage a few times. The seeds will come tumbling out and... you've got bird seed!
That's not the only way to save on feeding birds, though:
Making Feathered Friends
Please feed the birds
Bird Breakfast Cakes
Watching Bird TV
Backyard Bird Feeding