Monday, August 16, 2010

Crafts on the Cheap

Guest Post by Cara, from Letter Me This.

Hi, I am happy to be guest posting on Mamma Loves To Save again.  Today I am going to be telling you how to save money when shopping for crafts and home décor items at craft stores.  I have had to teach myself a crash course since I started my own crafting business in January.

There are many ways to save money when you are feeling crafty.  And in fact the more crafty you are the more opportunities you will find to save.  You may ask, WHY is that?  Well (almost) every single time you check out from Michaels, they will hand you a coupon that prints after your receipt.  Usually this coupon is for 40% off a regular priced item, that expires in one or two weeks.  Sometimes it prints out a 50% off a regular priced item coupon.  Use these!  There are many items that NEVER go on sale at Michaels. For instance my picture frames, have NEVER gone on sale.  I would have spent a fortune without these coupons.

You also should go to,,  and sign up for the email coupons.  Almost every week they email you the specials for the next week and most of the time there are coupons available for you to print.

Another great way to save is the special coupons they give out at the store.  They are on a flyer at the check out and the clerk puts them into your bag.  Make sure you get that out of the bag and look it over.  A lot of times these coupons are for a certain percent off of your ENTIRE purchase.  These usually are only for a certain day, for a short time period.  For instance I received one last weekend for 25 % off my entire order this past Sunday evening from 4-8 pm.  This coupon INCLUDES sale items. 

And some Michaels stores, let you stack coupons, as long as they are all from different sources.  So if you bring in one of the previously printed coupons, a coupon from your email and a special coupon you can really save money.  Note that not ALL employees will do this, and I have found karma is your friend in these instances.  The nicer and more pleasant you seem the more likely the cashier will help you out. 

If you are a regular coupon user, you know that the cashier can make or break you. 

So from looking at the flyer for this week’s sales, I see that Artist’s Gallery wrapped stretched canvases are on sale for 50% off.  In my business, I use these like crazy.  So I will be stocking up -  50% off the regular price and then I will get to take an extra 25% with my coupon.  That is GREAT!  So if I buy a 10 pack of 8 x 10 canvases that I regularly would have to pay $19.99 for, they become $10, then after I take an extra 25% off they become $7.50!  That is only $.75 each!!!  That helps my bottom line out tremendously, especially since I am still paying retail for my items.  I did recently take the plunge and applied for a tax ID number so that I can buy some items wholesale and help bring my costs down.  A pack of 10 canvases may be excessive for you, but if you need one canvas for a project the same logic would apply. 

AC Moore,  and JoAnn Fabrics, both have coupons online a lot of the time. So always visit their sites or Google the stores and check for coupons before you head off to shop. 

Now to the mother load of crafts and home décor, Hobby Lobby.  Oh, how I love thee!  The best thing about Hobby Lobby is that if what you want isn’t on sale today, check back next week.  They run items 50% off ALL the time and they seem to be in constant rotation.  And they have a pretty good clearance section usually too.  It is usually along a back wall or down an aisle in the corner. I spend most of my business’ money in Michaels, but I can spend hours perusing Hobby Lobby.  And spend a lot of my personal money.  They don’t offer a lot for me as far as what I sell on etsy or Facebook but they have great fun products.  Hobby Lobby also puts coupons online, so check for those.  

And if you live in a teeny tiny town like me, in the middle of nowhere, Hobby Lobby now has an online store to shop.  This has come in very handy for me when I do DecoArt projects. I recently became a design consultant for them.  DecoArt has a great site, which offers you many craft ideas and has plenty for beginners as well as more experienced crafters.  Check out and look through their project library.    Two of my projects are featured right now, there is an artist drop down menu, look for Cara Heard. 

Another great thing about saving on craft supplies, is saving at gift giving time, especially around the holidays.  Homemade gifts are personal and thrifty.  Check Mamma Loves to Save for a tutorial tomorrow on how to make a special one of a kind gift for your loved ones on the cheap!  If you are not into crafting but love one of a kind, hand painted items please check out my etsy shop and my Facebook page

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