Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Those of you familiar with me or my Etsy shop know how I love to be thrifty with my craft supplies.

I thought I'ld share some of my favorite tips for getting the most out of your craft dollar.

1 - Use what you have - yes, I know that's an obvious one but before you head off to the nearest big box craft supply store take a peek in your supplies, maybe you already have something that will work? or something close enough that will take your project from drab to fab? I included the brass earrings above because when I first started making jewellery from computer parts I rarely mixed them with anything from my "regular" jewellery stash - then a friend encouraged me to think outside the box with my supplies - and voila! I now love pairing together the unexpected.

2 - Use coupons - not just that weekly coupon from the purveyor of plastic made in China supplies that shows up in your mailbox every week but check your favorite Etsy supply shop, many have coupon codes for returning customers or seasonal specials you can take advantage of, ask them!

3 - Shop outside the normal confines of the craft store. The dollar store, grocery store, hardware store, art supply store - all can be inexpensive sources of materials you would pay way more for at the mall or large craft chain store.

4 - Thrift, church, charity, consignment, used, pawn stores, restore - whatever you call them, they are all fabulous sources of new and lightly used supplies or items just waiting for a new purpose. And the best place to consistently find vintage items at reasonable prices. Their prices can really vary and yes, some contribute less to charity than others but buying at any of them helps to reuse items!

5 - Garage sales - people get tired of hobbies all the time and clear out their left over supplies

6 - Garbage picking - see something interesting at the side of the curb or in an accessible dumpster! go for it! just be careful, some items are not worth the bed bug risk.

7 - Supply Swaps - got a bunch of friends with unwanted or excess supplies? hold a supply swap! it works for clothes and baby items, why not craft supplies?

8 - Kijiji, UsedWinnipeg etc. - online sources for no longer wanted supplies from some discarded hobby or estate.

9 - Clean out our supplies on at least an annual basis. Confine yourself to a set amount of space and keep your supplies labelled and organized. It doesn't matter how great a find or deal it is if you don't have space for it or you can't find it when you need it.

10 - Have fun! If finding thrifty supplies is more work than it's worth for you, then reconsider your approach. For me, finding a bargain or a treasure is half the fun but if that's not your thing that's ok too! The point of being thrifty is to be mindful and respectful of our valued resources: our time, our energy and our money. Do so in the way that works for you!

I hope this gives you a few ideas - would love to hear in the comment section what you do to be thrifty with your supplies!


  1. In addition to kijiji or usedwinnipeg, you can check our freecycle. There is a group for Winnipeg. I am a purger lately but I am sure there are a lot of things that you awesome upcyclers can use to make wonderful things!

  2. Freecycle - yes! how could I forget such a great source!!!

    Interesting post I found about Value Village while researching this article - seems CBC has retracted their story about it being owned by Walmart


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