If you're like most crafters, you're probably always looking for ways to save on craft supplies. The good news is there are many ways to save on craft supplies. Here are just a few ideas of places you can get craft supplies for less, maybe even for free.
Garage sales and estate sales are great places to look for cheap craft supplies. Sometimes you will find sales where people are just trying to get rid of a stash they inherited or a stash for a craft they are no longer interested in.
If you're not too picky about the supplies you're getting, you can often get a whole bag of yarn or box of supplies for just a few dollars. If you hit the garage sale toward the end of the day, you might even be able to pick up some supplies for free.
Auction sites like eBay are a great place to save on craft supplies. Again, if you're just looking to build your stash and aren't looking for a particular item to finish a project, you can pick up great supplies for just a little money.
Check out the mixed lots and kits, and search for auctions that are about to close. If you can find auctions that are about to close and haven't been bid on, you can save a lot of money.
If you have a crafty relative, ask if you can use some of their stash. Most crafters have more than they can ever use.
While it might sound kind of morbid, when a crafty friend or family member dies, you might be able to pick up some supplies from his or her stash. Then when you create things with their supplies, you keep their memory alive.
If you have crafty friends, you could set up a supply swap. Each person should clean out their stashes and bring things they can live without or supplies they bought and have decided they'll probably never use.
Then each person can take what they want from the other crafters' supplies. When you're finished, if there's anything unclaimed, donate it to a Girl Scout troop, a kindergarten class or a local group that crafts for charity.
Search Yahoo or your favorite online group site for people who swap craft supplies for your favorite craft. If you have something of value to donate, you might be able to trade it for something else that you need.
If you want to try to find craft supplies for free, check out Freecycle. This is a site where community groups come together and people can post things they want to get rid of. Other readers can then arrange to pick up those items.
Using the system is free, and all items on the list are free. You can also request items, so if you are looking for mixed lots of yarn, thread, candle making supplies or anything else, you can request those things on your local list and people who have things to donate will contact you. Then all you have to do is arrange to pick the items up.
Sales and Coupons
The last savings strategy is, of course, to shop sales and use coupons. In my area, the main craft store is Hobby Lobby, which has weekly sales of as much as 50 percent off craft items. They also frequently run a 40 percent off coupon that you can use on any one item that isn't on sale.
Other craft stores like Joann often have online sales, where you can save 20 percent on all the items you buy that day.
Michaels and JoAnn stores have flyers that come in the mail with 40% one item coupons. You can sign up at JoAnn for extra coupon flyers and even one that comes in email. Also, you can use JoAnn coupons in Michaels and vice versa.
Local stores also have sales or special events for repeat customers. Get to know the owners of your independent craft stores and get on their mailing lists so you will always know when you can save on craft supplies (and support local businesses at the same time).