Get on Mailing ListsSign up for the mailing list at your favorite craft stores. Look for both email and snail mail versions. Many include coupons you can use to get, on average, 40% off any item. I use my 40% off coupons from Jo-Ann Fabrics to buy more expensive craft items, like a package of blades for my rotary cutter (normally around $30.00). They are also nice when you need several yards of a single fabric.
Do Your HomeworkDoing your homework will help you save money. Figure out what you want to make before you go to the craft store and then make a list of the supplies you will need. When you go to the craft store, get the things on your list and then leave. Try to avoid browsing because that is when you are more likely to grab things on impulse. You buy items you don’t need and then get home and wonder what you are going to do with them.
Comparison ShopFor many basic craft supplies, you are sure to find several different brands of the same item. Before you automatically grab for the cheapest product, consider what you will be using it for. In most cases, if you are making simple family crafts like the majority I share on this web site, the cheaper product will do. Where I am picky is when it comes to glue and paint. You really need to make sure you have the right glue for the right job. When it comes to basic acrylic paint, if you buy the least expensive brand it is usually a lot thinner than a more expensive brand. For some projects this might not matter, but when you have to use 5 or 6 coats of a cheaper brand to cover the item you are painting, are you really saving money?
Watch for Clearance SalesWatch those clearance racks. You never know when you might find a great deal. I like looking for items I can use for parties and other events. You can get several of the same item, perfect for party crafts or homemade favors, at rock-bottom prices. Holiday clearance items are also a great deal, and some of them you won’t even have to wait a year to use. For example, I bought Christmas-themed decorative boxes for nearly nothing, took them home and used decoupage techniques to transform them into gifts. After Christmas, watch for red and green craft supplies to go on clearance. Buy what you can at the reduced prices and use them for St. Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day crafting!