I try to keep expenses and work time as low as possible while still getting crops that rival hydro growers. I can’t beat them but I get respectfully close. I think some folks are wired to try and know everything and prevent probs ahead of time or just want that perfect Grow.
With retail prices avg $200 per oz here my last harvest would have cost me $1,800 to buy. It cost me less than that by far to get the tent, light, seeds and ancillary supplies so this Grow cost me a bag of soil and lectricity. I learnt to clone (relearnt since I cloned in the 80s) and can now put up that same crop perpetually.
All the other stuff folks do is to go from great to insane. The question is where the point of diminishing returns hits. Living on a fixed income I only have the low cost options available.