It’s no secret that we LOVE to be creative here at Sunshine and Hurricanes. We try all different types of crafting, some we do with the kiddos and some we just like to do ourselves. However, with all this crafting we’ve got going on, we have to be budget conscious. We try to find all the ways we can to save money on our crafty adventures so we can buy even MORE crafty goodness to share with our readers! Here are our TOP 5 ways to save BIG on crafts:
There is ALWAYS a coupon. You can print them online via any craft store’s site, cut them from the newspaper or direct mailings you receive, or, our favorite way, use your smartphone! Many times, I just google “Michaels coupon” and one will pop right up that I can use. Even better than that is a FREE APP called Snip Snap! You can use the app in 2 different ways: “Snip” lets you search by store and will automatically show you all the available coupons & offers, you choose which is the best deal for you and present it on your phone at the register.(This is great for those who always forget their coupons at home) “Snap” allows you to take a picture of a coupon and then it amazingly formats it into a mobile ready offer right on your phone.
2) Price match
With the exception of Hobby Lobby, all the other craft store chains accept their competitors coupons, so if AC Moore is offering 50% off an item that week, use that vs. the 40% Michaels version you have in your wallet. Stores will also match the ad prices for their competitors as well. Bring the ad with you or present it on your smart phone and voila, more money saved!
3) Buy Out of Season
Fall & Winter holidays bring tons of new stock into the craft stores and by early December, stores want it GONE, they’re moving on to Spring already! You know all the holidays will come around again so stock up on holiday themed goodies in anticipation of the next year. I pick up Christmas craft supplies for 80-90% off ALL THE TIME in late December/January and am all set for the following year. BONUS SAVE: I don’t have to fight the holiday crowds at their peak to buy crafty stuff!
Also, as it’s back to school season right now, TONS of crafty supplies will be on clearance as soon as those kiddos are back to school. We’re talking paint, construction paper, colored pencils, markers, glue, crayons. So many of the items you need to stock a great craft area for you or to put together a creativity station for your kids like we talked about in our Encouraging Creativity in Children Post.
Combine all the clearance sales with coupons when possible and you’ve got a serious stockpiling opportunity on your hands.
4) Overbuy BUT Return
I hate running out of ribbon or paint before a project is completed. I tend to buy an extra spool of ribbon, just in case, but am pretty good about returning unused supplies to the store. I don’t have the storage space to hoard supplies and I probably won’t find a ton of uses for that green zebra print ribbon in the future and I’d rather get another ribbon I’ll actually use on my next project. I love walking in, getting a refund, and then shopping with my new list of needs! With the price of gas these days, not to mention the value of my time, I don’t want to HAVE to run back to the store for a single item or two. *Be sure to save your receipts, it’ll save you time & money, ensuring you get back exactly what you paid!*
5) Recognize a DEAL vs. a SALE
Craft stores run in sale cycles, just like any other retail establishment. One week paints, brushes, & canvas packs are on sale, the next week it’s all the scrapbooking supplies, etc. These cycles happen repeatedly, on a regular basis and can help you save. However, the DEALS will generally happen close to holidays, major & minor, and save you some serious cash. Example: small bottles of acrylic paint run about 69 cents a bottle, they go on sale for 30% off( so they’d be 48 cents) but a few times a year, they’ll often be 4 or 5 bottles for a dollar! That is a deal & time to stock up for maximum savings!
BONUS TIP: Don’t forget the Dollar Store or the Dollar Spot @ Target when looking for basic supplies. Ribbon, floral accessories, brushes, and more are readily available and always $1! They can be even less when the Dollar Spot items go on clearance or if there is a discount in the Cartwheel App.