Ordered all new gauge wheels for my deck (old ones looking a bit raggidy), and I got to looking around, and pricing the mulch kit for it as well. YIKES!! No thanks!
Anyway, watched a couple videos of guys making their own mulch plugs for the discharge chute. Seems like an easy enough DIY project to tackle. One video I watched, had the most compelling argument, even over the mulching effect, IMO, and that was that once the plate is installed, now you are not forced to make left hand passes around obstacles anymore, for fear of discharging into it (flower bed, garden, vehicle, windows etc. etc.). Also this would save a bunch of time mowing over the life of the setup, simply because you can mow however you want, no more setup to mow to the left anymore. Even if you don't get the FULL benefit of a mulching kit, there has to be some benefit to it.
Have you made a DIY mulch plug for your mower deck? What have you noticed while using it, if you have?
Turn Your Mower into a Mulching Mower for $20! - YouTube