Deborah, I prefer to have a mulch too, and never gardened without it when I had more $ but am not using any of my meager garden budget to buy any. Slowly building up a layer of organic matter from tree leaves, clippings, & pulled weeds.
RJ, IDK. I don't spend garden budget on anything but plants, an occasional pot, & load of paving bricks. Someday I'll be able to walk from my car to back door without walking through sand & mowed area. If it prevents seeds from sprouting, I wouldn't want it because I often toss out more Zinnia & sunflower seeds.
No weeds in sight today! Anxious to declare Jack Frost gone for the season & get started with grounding some plants!