The more I thought about this, the more I realised that this same thought could be used for other things too, so here are some ideas to help save you some money, without limiting your creative process!
- Join a group
There are plenty of online and 'real-life' groups you can join. Connecting with a group of like-minded people is a great way to get some new ideas and make new friends. Some groups participate in swaps which can be a great way to get different products without having to buy them first. This is a great way to 'try before you buy'!
- Swap with friends
You don't need to join a group to participate in swaps! Organise your own swap with a group of crafty friends! Decide on a theme, and then go for it! Or, have an 'open house' - decide on what you really don't need, or won't use, and ask your friends to do the same. When you get together, layout what you've collected and then 'shop' for free! You'll be helping each other as well as yourselves!
- Don't double up, unless you need to!Borrowing is just as good as swapping! Especially for things you can use again, like stamps, ink and tools. Papercrafting, like most other hobbies can get very expensive, especially if you want to buy one of something for just one project. If you know a friend has the same product, ask if you can borrow it. Be careful to treat their product better than you would your own - you want them to lend to you again! Distress-D (being so clever and brilliant) has made up two little 6x4 photo albums in which she's placed paper that's been stamped with all the stamps she owns. She keeps one album with her (it's small enough to fit in her handbag, so she can take it shopping with her), and the other one she's given to me. Looking through the album is just as good as going shopping - I look through it before I start a project to see if there's something I could borrow from her, rather than buying it myself. Whenever she buys a new set of stamps, Distress-D stamps two sets of papers for the album - one for her, and one for me. This way, the albums are always kept up to date!
- Use Colour Charts
Colour Charts are little grids designed for you to stamp your ink colours into. These are really handy when colour matching your projects, but can also double as a way to remember which ink colours you have. I have all my colour charts in a folder I can grab when placing an order. It makes ordering easy as I can see at a glance what colours are missing from my chart. I can also mark on the chart any colours I want to buy next time round!