Jul 6, 2014

Sunday Savings (How to Stamp Without Going Broke)

Decided to share a few ideas and thoughts I've had lately about how to stamp without going broke -- this is something with which I struggle, but have been having some pretty good success lately.   I'll continue this on Sundays as long as there is something to say because I suspect my experiences are pretty similar to yours.  Would love to hear your reaction.

This week's thought is:  We are in charge of what we buy and when we buy it

It sounds simple, but businesses are built on the opposite concept.  Companies want to be in charge of when and how much we spend.  Stamping companies know that this is discretionary spending.  None of us "needs" that die or ink pad and really, if I don't get one floral set, there are really 20 others that will make me just as happy.  That's why they advertise and have sales.  And free shipping -- with a minimum purchase.  And monthly releases or annual catalogs.  And fabulous Design Teams.

So when I saw that Ellen Hutson was having a 20 percent off sale this weekend, I thought about getting a few things.  But then I remembered that I wasn't planning on buying a thing this weekend and the things I particularly want right now are not sold by Ellen Hutson.  I could have placed an order for $50 worth of product and "saved" $10 or I could have just saved $50.  

There's no right answer -- if I had a list of products I was planning on buying soon that EH sells, purchasing them this weekend would have been smart (particularly because Ellen runs a first rate operation). 

But I decided not to buy.  I didn't let a sale make the decision for me.  So now I still have my $50....

Next week I'll share a few techniques on selecting how to spend that money, given the hundreds, if not thousands, of choices.  Decisions, decisions.

22 comments:

  1. Oooh, those things get me! Free Shipping is a big one for me - or the free item with purchase (of x amount). I was actually able to not spend at Ellen's (for the same reason as you - didn't need anything), but I got caught up at another store because a die set I wanted was a "free with purchase". I really should have waited for it to be available as a lone item (currently the only way to get it was to spend x amount), but I caved. I struggle with this for sure. I think it was you (year[s]? ago) that said it was freeing to realize that it was ok to just buy the $15 set you want and not spend up to the free shipping, because $50 in product does not equal $8 in shipping. I try hard to keep this in mind, but I do struggle - constantly! I will definitely look forward to these postings! Your work, before the move, to down-size your crafting supplies was inspirational too

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  2. The free shipping lure always gets my attention. Sometimes I'll fall for it, sometimes common sense will prevail. But living in Hawaii, free shipping actually saves me money...especially if buying cardstock. Just have to be smart and patient to get the things I need instead of the things I think is going to sell out because of hype.

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    1. there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of a sale that makes sense for you on your own terms. it's the hype that gets me!!

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  3. Choosing to not learn how to order on-line has saved a lot of money! If I really want to make a purchase I have to ask someone to order it for me. Also learning to live within a cash craft budget now helps me in my purchasing at brick & mortar stores. Trust me I have plenty and will not run out of supplies anytime in the near future as I have not always been wise at purchasing...but I'm learning.

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    1. now that is one sure fire way to buy wisely. the internet, with the ease of click, makes spending a little too easy!

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  4. Deedee WisconsinJuly 6, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    When I'm tempted to buy something new but might not need it or perhaps shouldn't buy it at this particular time, I just go make a card with what I have. That usually satisfies my "want it now" thought process. I honestly try and get a lot of my stamping supplies from thrift stores and have been quite fortunate to find wonderful things very reasonably priced. That's actually how I got started making cards!

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    1. thrift stores!! now that is a clever idea.

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  5. Joan, I love all your posts lately and just haven't gotten the OOMPH to write until now. I've been waiting at least a month after a stamp release to buy anything...and that has left me buying pretty much close to nothing lately. And I am kinda lovin' it.

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    1. thanks Suzanne. waiting is essential!!

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  6. Joan, I also was a bit tempted by the 20% off at Ellen Hutson. I keep a running list of stamp sets that I eventually want - listed by manufacturer and including all the online stores where they are sold. As it turns out, only one $15 stamp set that I currently want was sold by and/or in stock at EH. I almost ordered that one set with enough embellishments to fill up the cart, but decided to pass. Since I order regularly from PTI and MFT, I can afford to wait on sales and free shipping to get the rest. After all, there is an entire room full of previously bought stuff to use in the meantime, right? I admire your willpower in downsizing - I don't have that fortitude yet!

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  7. Joan, this is an excellent post. I too refrained from spending this weekend because I now ask myself two questions before I buy: 1) Is the die, stamp, or accessory different enough from all (!!!) I already have to give me a new option that's been on my wish list for awhile, and 2) Do I have a planned project to use it NOW? I've spent too much on wonderful ideas for someday. Now I must have a specific project and occassion in mind before I buy. I've saved lots over the past 6 months since I've been trying this. Thanks for focusing on a simpler, less costly way to stamp. I enjoy your posts.

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  8. Sometimes I'm hopeless but sometimes I can use restraint. Dies are my particular downfall right now and I have acquired more in the last few months than I ever have. I do use them, however, unlike the drawers full of neglected Stampin'Up! stamps. One thing I love about Ellen is that she carries things that I use consistently and other vendors don't have them. I, too, resisted her sale this time. Last month I bought $80 worth of stuff at PTI and then won the $150 gift certificate, which took me no time at all to spend - plus another $50. I'll hold off for a few months now before spending any more.

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  9. ... and that is why I decided to start making my own sentiments (digital) I just can not justify buying a stamp to say what I need to say on a card. Love reading your posts Joan!

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  10. I go for the free shipping offer if I spend 50.00 or more, depending upon where I'm buying from, however I always have a friend go in half with me or I do not buy. I have gotten cheaper in my old age. :)

    Mary

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    1. splitting with a friend is smart!

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  11. Enjoyed this topic. So very relevant. I used to be a 'slave' to the sales- not satisfied to order something I knew I needed or wanted, but had to look through all the categories to see if anything caught my eye. After totally losing control I have finally learned a way to control my impulse buying. I use the 'wish list' option on the buying sites when I see something that I think I 'must have' due to seeing it used in blog land. When a sale comes up at the site, I revisit my wish list and see if I can remember why I added it and if I remember how I saw it used. If I can't, I delete it. This has really helped weed out the impulse buys. I look forward to your future posts on this subject.
    Lu C

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    1. I use the wish lists the same way. Most of the time I forget why I wanted the item so badly!!

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  12. You are so right! I am definitely guilty of trying to take advantage of sales too often. Great post!

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  13. I enjoy your posts on this subject as well. Lots of great tips and suggestions in the comments too! I have cut back to spending nothing in the last few months. The last thing I did order was a limited kit from PTI but did a split with a lady so that worked out really well and I have specific purposes in mind for what I did order which will actually re-coup some cost as I will be able to sell most of the cards I make using it. Being on stamp design teams has helped me a lot in not spending as I get my fix for "new" frequently and I love actually using all the new products so much more thoroughly. I also have changed how I look at new releases going on with companies I follow. I look at the new things through eyes of what do I already have that is similar or similar enough that I can just use the inspiration to pull it out and actually use what I have. One thing that helps me so much in this area is creating and keeping current my stamp index and my die index. I stamp and die cut every single set I have and keep them in a binder. I refer to it so often and am often amazed at how much I have already!

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    1. I do not have an index but it is a great idea! I've heard mixed things about being on DTs and whether it saves money so I am glad to hear about your experience.

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  14. I like one commenter's suggestion of making a card with stuff she had similar to what she wanted to buy. I'm going to have to try that.

    I will say given the title of this post I thought this would be more like tips for stamping on the cheap--like using cereal boxes and the like instead of purchasing chipboard.

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