Ammunition, even the cheap stuff, can be costly if you buy (and shoot) a lot of it.
Buying handgun is much like owning a horse—the feed bills can, over time, be expected to cost more than the critter!
How much you’re willing to invest depends on your individual income, but invest you must if you want to develop and maintain your competency as a shootist.
There are some decent alternatives to live fire but none can fully take the place of actual range time.
Some people hand load their own ammunition but many are unable to, often due to time or space constraints—or a healthy fear.
Many discriminate between cheaper range ammo and often more costly carry ammo while others train with the same ammo they carry. Yet there is no denying that ammo must be purchased and expended.
How do you do that?
Do you buy all your range ammo for the year (say) at one time in bulk from an internet dealer? Or do you simply pick up a box or two when you visit the range for target practice?
For carry ammo, do you keep a box or two and replace it with fresh ammo every year or two or three?
With ammo shortages in recent memory, do you keep a stock of ammo for emergencies?
How do you decide on which ammo to stock up on? Do you have a protocol in place for shooting the old stuff and replacing it with fresh?
In view of maybe getting into hand loading, do you save your brass empties? Do you take this into consideration when buying ammo (some brass has a better reputation than others, and then there is the small primer/large primer issue with .45 ACP brass and the crimped primer issue presented by some milsurp ammo)
Do you have a plan to share, and how is it working for you?