I love that my preparations for gardening include bringing home Styrofoam peanuts and coffee grounds from work & frecycling kitty litter pails (in order, in lieu of rocks, as fertilizer/soil conditioner, and as planters (because the litter our cats use comes in bags)).
Oh, and poking holes in Chinese take-out containers (the plastic ones, not the paper ones).
I have planted my first seeds, leftovers, for the most part, from past years, so I overplanted something between 4 to 1 and 12 to 1. Warming on the second heater are three plastic containers with germinating (I hope) seeds for Roma tomatoes, jalapeño & habanero peppers, three kinds of basil (a pack containing lemon & lime basil, and then a "spicy globe" basil) and parsley (Italian flat-leaf) - things we know from past experience that we will use. I'm pretty excited... yippy, actually. Very bouncy over three pins of wet dirt and coffee grounds.
Now all we need to do is find the lamp portion of our grow-light rig.
Last year, I found this site, "How much does a garden really save." I'm contemplating doing the same thing for my mini-garden this year.
So far, loosely rounding, I've spent $3.50 on seeds and $8.00 on dirt.