Everyone likes a deal, and with the holiday season looming right around the corner, you’re likely to find lots of sales online and at stores, but are you truly getting a good deal? If you’re shopping on a budget, this guide to saving money will help you explore ways to find the items you’re looking for while still keeping that budget intact.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and many other Christmas sales will be springing up soon with no shortage of companies trying to showcase their items to win your cash money. Whatever you’re considering purchasing, you’ll likely be able to find that items and more at a discounted price. While you’re shopping on a budget at your favorite craft outlets, keep the following things in mind…
Avoid Impulse Buys
Impulse buys are a drain on our wallets and our hard-earned money. It’s the exact opposite of shopping on a budget, and if nothing else, it’s the one thing I hope you take away from this guide to saving money.
Sometimes we get so distracted by all the shiny items on sale, that we lose sight of why we started shopping in the first place. I’ve definitely seen something on sale and thought “yeah, I’ll probably use that”, bought it, then never used it. I’m sure we can all think of our own similar stories. Other times the concept of a sale helps us justify buying something we might not have purchased otherwise. Sometimes we are just looking for inspiration. Read my post titled What inspires you?, if you find yourself searching for some ideas.
In these cases, impulse buys end up eating away at our crafting budgets. Instead of browsing a store to see what items speak to you, try a different approach. Take an inventory of the things you already have. Make a list of the things you truly need. Keep that list on you while you shop. At the end of your shopping visit, take another look at your list and your budget. Are you at checkout with items on your list? Or, is your shopping cart filled with non-menu items? When looking at the non-menu items, are you sure you need them?
Saving Money by Compare Prices
When you’re trying to save money, it’s to try to find the best deal. Say you’ve found something that you truly need in a store or online. Do a quick Google search on the items your planning to buy. Do you see another trusted retailer offering this item for less money? If so, are you willing to wait a couple of days to receive it? Just because something is on sale at one store, doesn’t mean you can’t find it for cheaper at another store, but always remember to account for the cost of shipping when budgeting for an item online.
Check Reviews or Test It Out
This will likely only apply to more popular items, but if you’re looking at a few different brands, and you can’t decide which one you want, consider looking online at some reviews. Amazon and eBay are good places to find reviews, and they typically offer lots of good feedback by consumers like yourself. I would, however, recommend being cautious of items that only have a few reviews. They might have been left by paid reviewers.
If you can’t find any reviews, consider looking for a how-to video on YouTube. Many how-to videos will give best practices around what works well with a product and what doesn’t. In any event, these are just a few places you can go to look for information on products.
If you’re looking for adhesive recommendations, you can check out my top 5 favorite adhesives here.
Do you really NEED the name brand?
When you’re shopping on a budget, consider buying products that are not a big name brand. Now, this is where I can lose some people. I’m not saying that you should sacrifice the quality of a product just to buy a cheaper item. What I am suggesting is that you consider the pros and cons of both brands. Many times, when you buy a brand name product, you are paying an increased rate for the brand itself. If you find that the cheaper item is just as good as the expensive item, seriously consider buying the non-name brand item.
Beginner supplies vs. professional
Some brands, especially art supplies, make a line of beginner supplies and a professional line. If you’re trying to dip your toes into something new, I recommend starting with the beginner items. They won’t be as high quality as the professional line, but they will be less expensive, and usually come in larger quantities. This is great when you’re just learning. You will undoubtedly mess up
I hope this guide to saving money has helped you think up a game plan for your next big trip to the craft store. whether it be a physical box store or an online shop. And remember, coupons are available year round, so you may not always have to wait for a big sale!