Get yourself some Hempseed Jack,not the tinned stuff,try your local Pet shop.Cheap bait and will last you ages.Put 3 handfuls in
a pan,cover with water and leave to soak overnight.In the morning bring it to the boil then turn down the heat to a low simmer.
Cook until most seeds are split(around 30 minutes).Use a size 16 or 18 hook and push the bend of the hook into the split of the
seed.Start fishing just off the bottom,adjusting depth until you find where the fish want it.Feed maybe a dozen or so grains every couple of minutes,this is important to keep the fish in your swim.A tip;cover the seeds in your baitbox with water to stop
them drying out.Enjoy some explosive Roach fishing! Don't tell all your mates what you're baggin'up on though,they'll all be at it!
you can also use tares, prawns, mussels, paste, you know them sausage shaped meat things you get out the fridge at the super market (forgot what they're called but someone will tell me just now lol) cut one of them into small squares they're excellent bait,just a few more ideas jack try everything see what works for you... good luck.
Basically you can fish most things on the hook when pole fishing. Most of the posts above have covered the basics.
Cheap or easy to get/keep baits:
Pellets, worms, sweetcorn, bread, meat, hemp, paste, cat/dog food. Maggots and casters can be kept frozed and used as required, they're not quite the same but they do work!
A lot depends on what you're targeting, but it's still possible to go fishing and catch on less than a few quids worth of bait, and bring the left overs back to freeze and use next time.
Not sure about tares, but meat you need to have in small cubes and you can put it straight onto the hook, making sure the hook point is visible.
If you are using luncheon meat, cube it up nice and small, chuck a few tablespoons of icing sugar over it and mix it. Leave it a few minutes and it will start leeching its oils and fat. At this point sprinkle with your favourite groundbait, mix up again and shake off the excess groundbait, and away you go.