I stopped at a local cabinet maker in town to ask him about the cut-off ends of boards from his operation. For $100 he sold me a full-sized pickup bed (8'x6'x2') of end cuts that were cluttering his shop space. I went through it all today and found red and white oak, birch, cherry, maple, poplar, and black walnut. Most is 3/4", some 7/8", a few 1 1/2" (he keeps those 1 1/2" ends for something), and a few thinner (1/2" or 1/4"). Widths range from 4" to 16". A lot of the boards are over 3' long. I estimated the total at about 500 board-feet. I expect this will keep me going for a few years except where something special is needed.
I checked Menards - black walnut is $15/bd-ft & cherry is $20/bd-ft. So at $0.20/bd-ft this looks pretty good to me. Now I need to find things to make from lots of different dimensional lumber. I can see cherry,walnut, maple, and oak baskets, bowls, and boxes in my future.
Are there similar shops in your town? Might be worth a look.