Yesterday I provided some information on how to get started scrapbooking. For many people, the amount of time and cost are both intimidating factors that prevent individuals from taking advantage of capturing their memories in this way. Because of that, I present to you:
scrapbooking on a budget
1. Photos: Printing photos can really add up and it is probably my biggest expense. Walgreens offers a good quality photograph selection for about $.19 a photo, (4×6 size). While that beats many companies cost per photo, I only order with a coupon! If you become a part of Walgreen’s mailing list, they will keep you up to date on all current and upcoming photo offers. They often have 1/2 off coupons, especially around holidays! Don’t order just a few here and a few there. Order in bulk and save money! I usually keep a running list of photos that I need to order and when there is a coupon I order them all. This cuts my photo cost in half.
2. Coupons: Find out which stores (Hobby Lobby, Joanns, Michaels, etc.) honor competitors coupons. This will guarantee that you always get the best deal. Before you go to the store, look online at their site and print the best photo offers. Furthermore, they will allow one coupon per person per day, so take cash and let your kids or shopping buddies check out one or two items for you. These multiple transactions will allow you to use multiple coupons and save more money.
3. Learn the Sales: I never buy paper pads unless they are half off. $20 for 60 pieces of 12×12 card stock just isn’t going to cut it. Also, if you pay attention to the individual card stock sheets and the paper pads, you can often buy the individual papers for cheaper. Make sure to do the math and select which ever option you will use more of. I know that Michaels has paper sales on holiday weekends so I watch for those sales instead of forking over tons of money when they are full price.
4. Know your Stash: I hate when I walk into a store and have to stop and think, “Do I have that?”. If you are aware of the items you have on hand then you are less likely to buy multiples of these items.
5. Learn New Skills: I used to look at my scrapbook pages and think that they were “okay”. They displayed the photos I wanted to share but they didn’t portray them in a highly creative beautiful way. By learning how to make my own embellishments and how to do more things out of my paper scraps, I have been able to enhance the style of my layouts without going nuts on high cost items. I love looking at other people’s work and I see lots of beautiful layouts with $10 or more in product for one page! Sure, those look great but who can afford that? If you try to make your supplies stretch and learn new techniques, then it definitely isn’t as expensive.
Here is an example of this. I used a cardboard flower, covered it in paper, inked the edges, and created a journaling tag instead of buying one for $4.00 at the scrapbooking store.I also made the “remember this moment” journaling tag from scraps of paper left over from other projects.
6. Save your Scraps: Many people I have talked to save any scrap that is bigger than 1″ x 1″. That seems a little extreme to me but good for them. I try to save any scrap that I think is usable. If it is a pattern I absolutely love then I save it, if it’s big enough to make something out of then I save it, if it’s nothing special recycle it. Don’t go nuts on saving scraps but if you can save them and reuse them then it is definitely going to save you money. I cringe when people take a full 12×12 sheet of paper to cut out one letter in the cricut machine. I mean it’s fine if you are careful so that you can use the rest of the paper, but otherwise it’s wasteful!
7. Shop Practically: Only purchase items that you are positive you will use. I hate when I buy a lot of one product, open one, and then decide I hate it. Shop smartly and you will get the most out of your products.
8. The Essentials: One of the worst things about scrapbooking is that you have to spend money on albums, page protectors, and adhesive. These are tedious purchases that take away from my paper and embellishment money. Because of this, it is essential to buy them on sale and for the best price. My favorite investment was this Pink ATG adhesive gun. I know it looks scary and hard to use but I promise it will be the best investment you will ever make. The in store refills are a little expensive but tapedepot.com offers a good alternative that greatly reduces your overall cost.
If you have any questions or comments for scrapbooking on a budget, I would love to hear from you!