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Guest post from SK Bell of Nursing, Naps, Nostalgia
Although I’ve only recently called myself a crafter, I’ve been working on a project of some kind for most of my adult life. I’m a long-time MoneySavingMom.com reader and we proudly use a cash envelope system. We recently added a craft fund to our list.
I’ve noticed crafting can be really expensive. The first week, I spent the whole fund on fabric and didn’t get any other supplies I needed. I wasn’t able to work on any projects for the rest of the pay period. That was disappointing since I’ve discovered this outlet is important to me.
I’ve since learned a few tricks to stretching that budget — and I’m sharing them with you today!
1. Price Shop.
I’ve seen Mod Podge at the dollar store. When a local quilting store went out of business, I snatched up three of the most expensive items on my list since their prices had been reduced to less than 50%.
I am signed up for text coupons through Michael’s and JoAnn’s. Those, mail coupons, and coupons at the door/cash wrap will help get you through when you combine with sale prices.
2. Go Used!
My favorite and first stop is the thrift store. I recently paid $.50 for enough fabric for two projects already on my list.
Thrift stores have inexpensive shelves and picture frames for painting and re-purposing, fabric remnants, linens, already-cut sewing patterns, embroidery hoops, yarn, half-full jars of glitter, etc. etc.
3. Research First.
I recently found inspiration from an Instagram account, @DollarTreeCrafts. I often see cute, affordable crafts on other blogs that I’d like to try for myself and save a picture to a folder on my computer.
I am constantly finding free or very inexpensive Pinterest projects (like the wood pallet bookshelves we’re working on for our children’s room and many kid crafts using recycled items!) The library also has a lot of great books (some sewing books even come with patterns on a disc).
If I have an idea of my own in mind, I’ll draw it and brainstorm it, talk to my husband or a friend about it, and see if their fresh perspective might remind me of a less expensive item I can use, a cheaper way to do it, the best place to buy the materials.
4. Take Your Time
This one is easy for me at the moment, since I’m chasing a toddler around all day and rubbing my tired, pregnant belly in the evenings… but there have been times I found myself burning the midnight oil to finish a project I was excited about.
Now, I allow myself a little optional crafting time every day, and then I move on so a project lasts longer. Sometimes taking a break gives me new perspective any ways!
I’m curious… what are your tips for crafting inexpensively?
What have you made recently that fulfilled your crafting need but didn’t break the bank?
SK Bell is a happily married mother who enjoys traveling, crafting, and doing both frugally. She blogs positively about marriage and parenthood at Nursing, Naps, Nostalgia.
Our friends over at Cents of Style are giving away $500 Paypal Cash this week! You can use the $500 to pay for Christmas, to put toward a savings goal, or even to just buy your groceries for a few weeks!
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Jesse and I spent time really discussing what my focuses should be for 2014 and we nailed down four areas that are my priorities for this year:
- Marriage: to continue to invest time and energy to strengthen and nurture our marriage and make it one of the greatest priorities
- Mothering: to continue to invest in our children with the goal of teaching them character, life skills, and raising them to be responsible adults
- Myself: to make my health a priority and to invest in my personal growth as a Christian, business owner, writer, speaker, and leader
- MoneySavingMom.com: to invest time into blogging — not just overseeing the business and my team, but making writing content pieces one of my top blogging priorities
Having these specific areas determined at the beginning of the year is really helping me to prioritize and giving me much clearer direction on when, where, and what to say no to this year.
Here’s an update on how I’m doing (or not doing, as is the case with many of these!) on my goals this year:
1. Read 6 marriage books. (I’ve finished 5 marriage books so far.)
2. Write 50 love notes to Jesse. (I’ve written 45 love notes so far.)
3. Read 40 books aloud to the kids. (We’ve finished 9 chapter books so far — yes I’m probably going to fall woefully short on this goal this year.)
4. Finish memorizing Romans 1 together.
5. Go through a cooking course with the kids. (I have been teaching the kids quite a few different cooking skills the past month. We haven’t done any official course, but they’ve learned a lot more cooking skills this year.)
6. Read through the Bible. (I paused this goal to instead dive into the She Reads Truth Hospitality & Thanksgiving studies. I am LOVING these — and it’s been a great change after years of just reading straight through the Bible.)
7. Memorize Romans 2. (I’m working on this.)
8. Run a 5K race and go through P90X again.
9. Read 150 books/ebooks. (I’ve read 76 books so far this year.)
10. Write 150 substantive content pieces for the blog.
11. Write 50 DIY/Recipe posts for the blog. (I’ve written 38 DIY/Recipe posts so far.)
12. Blog about/participate in the 12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge.
Did you set goals for 2014 yet?
If you’ve posted an update on how you’re doing on your goals for 2014, I’d love for you to share your link in the comments. Or, if you don’t have a blog, feel free to just leave a comment with an update on how you’re doing on your goals. Let’s encourage one another to live lives of intention and purpose!
If you’re brand-new to goal-setting, be sure to read my post on How to Change Your Life By Setting Goals.
This deal is valid today, December 4, 2014 only.
Thanks, My Frugal Adventures!
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(Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.)