|Image from Forbes.com|
You and I both know that our hobbies cost money. Money that for some of us is in low supply after subtracting the daily costs of life such as grocery shopping, filling up at the pump, and paying all those not so fun bills. So when you do have a little to spare you want to get the most bang for your buck! Sometimes the big chain craft stores can be a little overwhelming with some of their prices! So I'm going to give you some crafty shopping tips that will save you money!
1. Dollar Stores! I know that sounds pretty obvious, but you'd be amazed at what some of them have! Today I got an ink pad and some fancy tissue paper for my mail art for just three dollars! Now don't expect the quality to be as good as the standard arts and crafts store products. But alot of them do just fine! I also buy most of my brown envelopes and packing tape there as it is much cheaper!
I also find that walking through every aisle (yes even the animal toy aisle) even though I think I don't need something can be useful. I get alot of my storage items and plastic sandwich baggies (I don't use them for food!) from dollar stores! And being creative also helps. Oh that's a scrubby dishwasher? NOW ITS AN ART TOOL
And don't be afraid to go to multiple dollar stores! They all have something different! My favorite ones to walk through are the ones that seem a little sketchy/random because they aren't run by a brand like family dollar or dollar tree so they have really RANDOM goodies! My favorite one was by my college and it had great sticker books and hardware type tools!
2. Thrift stores and junky antique stores! Always fun to walk through and so gratifying when you find something you need! If you're a seamstress or just like to sew you can usually pick up old clothes for a few dollars to make something with! Much cheaper than the typical fabric store and you're recycling! I have found rubber stamps at my local salvation army that I know sell for more than 5 dollars and I got it for just a dollar. Like collaging? There's plenty of paper back books at thrift stores! And there's usually AWESOME craft storage to be found as old tins, glass jars, boxes, vases etc.
3. The Community! Yard sales are fun and easy ways to get odd bits and pieces for crafts from neighbors. Libraries usually have book sales or very cheap books for sale on a daily basis. I know at mine they sell for a quarter but some are just given away. Go dig through your sofa, I think you can handle a quarter!! Friends and family are also really good resources if you just let them know what you're looking for they may have what you need just laying around their house.
4. Party stores! I recently discovered the extremely random nature of these establishments when I had to buy some gift wrapping for a present. They don't have the best prices on everything, but if you're the kind of person who likes working with paper and odd tid bits of embellishments this might be a place to check out. Most stores I think will have tissue paper, wrapping paper, and confetti. The one I was at had a lot of decorative napkins which I know a lot of people use for all kinds of things, but I don't remember the price.
5. The internet! There's plenty of discount and auction places out there on the web, you just have to find them! Amazon and eBay are big ones (though I haven't gotten in much to eBay) A few that you may not have heard of are Listia and Blitsy. Listia is an auction site that works by bidding credits rather than money, you can earn the credits by putting some of your things up for auction or by buying credits. Sometimes there are great deals, sometimes not so much. I have gotten quite a few things from there in the past. It has a little bit of everything! Blitsy is a discounted art supply site. Each week it has different deals on items, think like the social coupon sites where it offers discounted products or experiences. The only downside is that you have to make an account to see what is on sale, the account is free though!
6. Your house! You'd be surprised what you forget is in your house! Look through your closet, your desk drawers, your garage, your mail pile. This doesn't always work though, especially if you're a neat an tidy person (unlike me!) But if you are looking for materials to work with for mail art, I can assure you will find it in the form of magazines, junk mail, newspapers, that old notebook from college and a sundry of other things!
7. Craft and art supply stores! Okaaay I know you can't always find what you need somewhere else. And sometimes these stores do have amazing things on clearance or in the dollar section! I got a bit crazy at Joann's once and spent about $10 on clearance items where each item was 50 cents or LESS. So miracles can happen! Just make sure to go armed with the weekly coupon! I recommend getting the app for your smartphone as it makes it so much easier and the cashier just scans your phone. Both Joann's and Micheal's have one.
Hope this has given you some ideas on how to be a thrifty crafter! Did I leave anything out? Where's your favorite inexpensive place to get supplies?