Is there anything more fun than going to the craft store? It seems every time I step through those magical doors, I just want to buy all the things! There are so many gorgeous colors and fun toys to be had! And it’s so hard to resist the urge to control your spending when there are so many amazing craft supplies right at your fingertips! Why must there be so many temptations?
And though it might be great fun to bring half the craft store home with you, it not only quickly drains your bank account and leaves less money for important things, you know like groceries and the mortgage, but it also adds a lot of clutter to your craft stash. And I don’t know about you, but I kind of like to eat, and I just don’t have unlimited craft storage space, so I’ve learned to be pretty judicious with my craft supply purchases since I only have a small space to store them.
How to Control Your Spending at the Craft Store
- Make a list of supplies you need for your project before you go to the craft store. Then when you go to the store, stick to the list! If it’s not on the list, it shouldn’t be in your cart! This is a great way to ensure you only buy what you actually need and don’t make impulse purchases.
- Give yourself a budget beforehand. Decide what your budget for craft supplies will be each month, and stick to it to help keep from overspending and overbuying. Sometimes if you only have a general idea of what you’re making, it’s hard to put exactly what you need on your list beforehand, but if you give yourself a budget, you still have to exert self control when you go to the craft store to stay within your limit.
- Use cash at the craft store. If you give yourself a budget of $20 and head to the store with a credit or debit card, it’s not a big deal if you add something extra to your cart and go over your budget, because you can just charge the extra expenses, right? If you bring cash, though, you actually have to stick to your budget because you won’t have enough money to buy any and everything!
- Take a picture. If you find something amazing and beautiful that you MUST have, take a picture of it with your phone and then leave the store. Two weeks later, look at the picture and decide if it’s still something you really need. When you’re in the moment, it’s hard to control the urge to buy. Giving yourself some distance can help you really evaluate whether you truly need the item or not.
- Don’t touch things while you’re shopping! Did you know that you’re more likely to buy something after touching it? The connection between touch and the mind are powerful things. When you touch items, you create a connection with them and develop a sense of ownership. Why do you think they have displays with things for you to play with at stores? It’s the one-up that brick-and-mortar stores have over online stores these days. So try to keep your hands to yourself while you’re at the craft store to keep those impulse purchases under control.
- Only buy what you’ll actually use. Otherwise you’re just wasting money and adding more stuff to your craft stash that you’ll never use. Even though you’ll spend less money per item (or pound) by buying in bulk, if you’ll never use all of it, what’s the point? In the end, you’ll have spent more money than it would have cost you just to buy one or two of the item, and you’ll have to find a place to store the extra supplies on top of it all.
- Shop online. If stepping through those sliding doors at the craft store just ends poorly for your bank account, try buying your craft supplies online. That way you can see exactly what you have in your cart, how much it will cost, and you’ll be less likely to make impulse purchases since you can’t touch things beforehand.
- Give yourself a deadline. If you’re at the craft store and see something that you absolutely can’t resist, and you know there’s no way you’re leaving the craft store without it, instead of feeling guilty about your purchase, give yourself an ultimatum. Set a deadline, such as a month, to use the item for a craft, and if you haven’t made something with the item by the end of the month, return it to the store (check the store’s return policy and keep your receipt with the item so it’s easy to find).
- Keep your craft stash organized. How many times have you bought something at the craft store and later found out you already had the item at home? Decluttering your craft stash and keeping it organized will help you see what supplies you already have so you don’t waste money buying duplicates.
- Use what you already have. Instead of heading to the craft store the next time you start a project, try to make something from the supplies you already have. By getting a little creative and thinking outside the box, it’s amazing what you can come up with. You can even make things from items found in your recycling bin, which not only helps your wallet but also the environment!
I used to buy craft supplies on a whim. I’d see something in the store that I just had to have. I didn’t have a project or purpose in mind, but it was so cute or the sale was so good that I just couldn’t pass it up. Everyone has that one thing they can’t resist, and for me, it was ribbon. I don’t know why, because I really don’t even use ribbon all that often, but I ended up with a large collection of ribbon collecting dust in my craft stash.
I wasn’t even really aware it was a habit, and it took a thorough decluttering of my craft stash to realize I was even doing it! So after coming to terms with my ribbon obsession, I now make sure that the only time I buy ribbon is when I need it for a specific project. I actually try to do this with all of my craft supplies, and I’ve found it helps me save money and keep my craft stash from outgrowing its space.
It takes practice to get those impulse purchases under control! It’s a gradual process, and it’s only natural to slip up every now and then. The important thing is not to just give in and say, “Well I’ve messed up, so I’m done now.” The key is to keep trying and make an effort to do better each time you go to the store.
So tell me, what’s the hardest part of keeping your craft spending under control? Do you have one thing that is always your undoing? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter below to receive a weekly dose of crafty fun right to your inbox! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to share it with your friends and family!