Thursday, September 30, 2010

Navigating a Fabric Store

Much has been said about the strategies used in the supermarket to keep the budget intact. I really do pretty well in that area except for an occastional Reeses’ Peanut Buttercup not on the list. But fabric stores? Not so well. Part of my sabbatical from sewing/crafting was an abstinence from fabric/craft stores for the most part. My budget never felt so good. Why? Because, unlike the supermarket, I had no guidance, no advice on how to keep on track. I was basically on the prowl for what ever caught my eye which I usually bought and then some. I like to think I’ve gotten smarter over the years. One can have a very productive, fulfilling craft/sewing life without going overboard. Things can add up fast when you go into one of these stores. Use some of the same strategies used in your supermarket each week and save yourself from too much stuff that cost too much money that you don’t have time nor the space for. Believe me when I say that you will have much less guilt and frustration in your creative life.

Watch the ads and plan your projects around the ads. Feel in the mood to make jammies for Christmas? Watch the sales and buy flannel/patterns as they come on sale. NEVER pay full price for ANYTHING! Wait. Be patient. Sales rotate in and out all year round, not to mention seasonal sales.

Take an inventory of what you already have on hand before you go. Build your projects around what you have on hand already, buy only what you are lacking.

Use coupons. Most fabric/craft stores offer coupons, often as much as 50% off, to draw in your business. Search them out and use them. The savings really add up. Get on mailing lists, e-mail lists, check online. They are there.

Make a list. Buy only what is on your list. Remember, you have checked the ads, you have checked your stock and you know exactly what you need and what price you are going to pay and you have our coupons in hand. You are a prepared, knowledgeable shopper who can easily resist impulse buying.

Take advantage of loss leaders. Yup.  Even fabric stores have them.  These are designed to bring you into the store with the hopes of getting you to buy stuff to go with them. Patterns are a great example of loss leaders. When you have made a plan using the strategies already mentioned, you can take advantage and save some big bucks.

Sew Happy,

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