So, as a crafter, I spend a lot of time shopping for specific yarn, fabric, or other crafty bits. If I'm lucky, I can thrift a bag of yarn or fabric, but the downside to that is the yarn is most likely an older brand so whatever I get is all I'll have. That leaves retail craft stores for filling my stash, and since I'm such a die-hard thrifter, I hate paying full price for anything if I can help it.
I was never much of a coupon shopper in the past, but the more I pay attention, the more I figure out how to s t r e t c h my dollars. So here are a couple tips for getting the most out of your craft budget and then I have something awesome to share. Enjoy!
1) Sign up for the mailing lists. If the store offers a mailing list, I've joined it. For example, Jo-Ann's; I signed up for their list and it sends coupons in email and snail mail. Often times, these will be doubles, which means more savings for me. Just make sure that the bar-code numbers are different.
2) For smartphone users, download the apps. The first application I got for crafting purposes was The Coupons App. My main stores are Michaels, Hobby Lobby, & Jo-Ann Fabrics, and this app has coupons for all three. There are also standalone apps for Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann's (Michaels needs to get with it!), and the Jo-Ann's app often give more coupons than the Coupons app. So check them all out. (All apps available in Google Play Store and Apple Store.)
3) Ask about combining. Most of the time, the coupons will say "cannot be used with another coupon" or "one per customer per day," but what I've learned is that sometimes, you can combine certain coupons if you ask. For example, I once had two 60% offs and a 40% off that were expiring the day I went into the store, I told the cashier that I didn't want them to go to waste and she let me use all three in the same transaction. It was a great day.
4) Check out the sales. Sales are great an all, but it's terribly annoying when I want to use a coupon but the items I need are already on sale, and the sale percent is not as great as the coupon percent. To remedy this, I occasionally peek at what is currently on sale and plan to go when the sale ends.
5) Visit the website. Some craft stores like Michaels have printable coupons on their sites.
5) Make a plan. It sounds a little OCD, but when I have a few coupons to use, I will plan which item will go with which coupon. It helps me stay focused and not pick up random yarn that I likely will never use...
Now, I went through all that to share with you the awesome savings I managed to swing the other day ^.^ Seriously, I went to Jo-ann's on Sunday and I'm still geeked about this today, lol. Check it out:
So let me explain the awesomeness you are about to witness! I went into Jo-Ann's with two 50% off reg price coupons and one 15% off your total purchase coupon (including sale items). So I got a pound of black yarn (50% off) and some crochet hook grips (50% off). I like to reserve any coupon that includes sale items for transactions with sales items to get the most savings. Unfortunately, there wasn't any sale yarn that I wanted or needed so I took a peek at the fabric. Lo and behold, there was a sale on the sale! What? The clearance red-tag prices were an additional 50% off! So I got three different fabrics: a solid red, a large motif, and some red lace. Now, evidently when you buy almost the rest of the fabric on a bulk, Jo-Ann's has a policy where they will offer you the remnant for 50% off whatever the sale price per yard of what your buying is (did that make sense??) So I bought the rest of the bulk on the large motif and the solid red.
When I got up to the register, I was expecting to have to do two transactions. One for reg price items and another for the sale so I could use my 15% off coupon, but the lovely cashier let me use all of them together! So... let me see if I can break this down...
Yarn = 50% off
Grips = 50% off
Fabrics = clearance + 50% off + additional 50% off on remnant
Total Purchase = 15% off
I spent $31.28 and saved $44.18... (let that sink in) I saved more than I spent! When does that happen?!?!?! Turn up for coupons! ::does happy dance:: So yeah, this was long, but I think you guys understand my zeal for craft store coupons now, lol. Try it out. ^.^