I am balancing the needs of the birds, squirrels, and raccoons.
The cheapest feed is not a bargain, because they fill the sacks with millet. Doves love millet, but that family of birds is known for their fecundity. This blog is a vocabulary builder, so look up the word if it furrows the brow.
Black oil sunflower seeds are the best single seed to use. Most birds love it, and squirrels also favor it.
Cracked corn appeals to a few birds and squirrels. Cheap seed also has cracked corn in abundance, but very little sunflower seed.
I noticed that Walmart in Jane, Missouri has enormous bags of corn for deer season. They cost very little, while small bags of field corn for squirrels cost about $7. If I took home an enormous bag of corn, the critters eating corn would gather in ever larger numbers. I could have put it in the Icha-shed, but that would have given me a haven for mice, squirrels, and who knows what else. Ingratitude comes with abundance, so the mess would grow.
I once entered the church shed in Columbus where hundreds of pounds of grass seed were stored. The mice poured off those bags, a waterfall of rodents.
My current solution is to buy birdseed with a mixture of sunflower seeds and nuts. Blue jays love nuts, and so do various species.
Some birds like fruit, too. One solution is to nail orange halves outside (orioles), save old grapes, raisins, apples. The worse the weather is, the more they flock to the food.
I am giving suet one more chance, with a wire basket holding a small cake that combines suet and seed.
Blue birds love suet and mealy worms. Duncraft sells suet with mealy worms cooked into the food. Mmm.