Are you on a budget this year? Yeah, me too. Boooo! Well, actually being on a budget and sticking to it is a good thing. It means that you have money to spend on things that you have made a priority in your life and it means you have to cut back on the things that are not a priority. I really don't need more craft supplies. I don't need to make shopping for them a priority. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to go into the craft store.

Over the years I have talked to thousands of crafters and scrapbookers in person and online. Wanna guess what their number one problem with creating is? It is a problem with too much stuff. That might manifest itself as any of these:

  • Buying too much
  • Not putting away stuff you bought
  • Not putting away stuff you used
  • Not being able to organize the stuff you bought/have
  • Hoarding
  • Buying stuff you don't have a need for – because it is on sale, cute, you might need it later, etc (idea of scarcity)

You get the picture.

Shopping for craft supplies is fun. Sometimes, a new stamp or goodie might be just the ticket to sparking your creativity! It is nice to “treat” yourself to something special every now and then. I often go overboard though. I go into the craft store for more hot glue gun sticks and I come out with a cart full of $100 of other stuff.

When I went into Michael's yesterday, I thought about why I went there. I didn't have a real reason. Just that I hadn't been in a craft store for forever and I wanted to see what was new and if there was anything that I might be interested in using for some upcoming projects. I grabbed a small wicker basket from the front of the store and started on my way. After 20 minutes, I had filled the basket. I found some stuff for my niece's birthday in a few months, a few nonsense toys for Matthew, some goodies on clearance I might use. I recognized I was doing the same things that got me into crafty trouble before. I realized I should only buy things that I actually have a purpose for and use for RIGHT NOW. My niece's birthday isn't until October! There will be lots of new things to buy between now and then…

I decided to limit my purchases to $5. I went through each item in the basket and asked myself:

“Will I use this THIS WEEK?”

If the answer was, “no”, I put the item back. I did a second round of purging before I got to the checkstand, while waiting in line. I realized I was trying to buy stuff I would never get to use this week. And that means I might not ever use it. It will go in a box or bag or get put away and be forgotten for years. Because I literally (don't judge, you do it too, I know! LOL) have stuff that sat in boxes or bins for YEARS that I just recently re-discovered. How much credit card interest could I have saved if I hadn't shopped so much? How much better would my back feel if I had not moved all this stuff around with me from apartment to house to house all this time? How could that money I spent been working for me as an investment if I hadn't spent it all on craft crap?!

It makes my head spin.

I whittled it down to 3 items:

  • Card bases for 50 cents. I need more thank you cards so these will be great for cranking those out.
  • Sentiment Stamps for $2. I can use these for the cards and the “A Note” sentiment is great for blank notecard cards I've been making
  • Playing cards for $1.20. The robot motif is cute for crafting and I can play the games with Matthew.

Check out this video where I explain what I bought and why:

Will you take the challenge with me? A couple times a month I plan to get some craft supplies for under $5. I might shop at a craft store or local scrapbook store, thrift shop, or flea market. The point is to not spend over $5 for whatever I am getting. I'll use the hashtag #Under5 to mark my posts in social media so you can find them easily.

I'd like to invite you to take the challenge with me!

  • Spend $5 or less on craft supplies
  • Share a video or photo of your purchase on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube
  • Use the hashtag #Under5

When is the last time you spent less than $5 at a craft store?


Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 thoughts on “Under $5 Craft Haul #1

  1. Get ideas not only for storing our stuff, but keeping within our budgets while still having fun. Too bad more people didn’t enter your March challenge.

    Posted on April 12, 2014 at 8:37 am
  2. Great post!! I have been purging my craft room and realizing what a craft supply hoarder I had become!!

    Posted on April 12, 2014 at 2:15 pm
  3. Last night I was looking for something I needed for a challenge and found some Christmas crafting kits I had bought @90% off-in 2007! I was so ashamed-glad to know I am not alone. So I went to Mike’s today-with coupon no less-and didn’t buy anything! I need a good woodgrain stamp-could’t find one. You have inspired me to be more sensible about what I buy-thank you!

    Posted on April 16, 2014 at 11:09 pm
    1. Woooohoooo!! That is so awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Posted on April 17, 2014 at 6:41 am