Straw Bale Gardening is not a hobby that hurts your wallet, especially compared to Raised Bed Gardening.
With SBG, you have very few expenses; bales do not cost very much (and you can even create your own free “bales” with compostable material). You need to buy some fertilizer (Bale-Buster is your best choice), but that can be all of the investment to start growing.
By contrast, Raised Bed Gardening can be quite expensive because it requires investing in a lot of wood, and a lot of soil to fill the growing space.
SBG is a much more thrifty option.
When you calculate how many tomatoes or Basil plants you can harvest from just one straw bale, there’s no question that this hobby pays for itself.