With the economy in the shape that it is, everyone is looking for ways to save money on things they need. If you’re an artist, you need to know how to pay as little as possible for your art supplies, especially when money is tight. Here are six quick tips for finding art supplies at a discount.
1. Buy in bulk. One of the easiest ways to save money on art supplies is to buy in bulk whenever you can. Artist supply companies may give you a price break (sometimes as large as 30 percent) if you buy in large quantities. You may have to do some searching and asking around to get the best deal. Once you have established yourself as a repeat customer, the supply company may be more inclined to offer that discount.
2. Shop auction sites. Look for your favorite art supplies on auction sites such as Yahoo Auctions, eBay, or WeBidz, where you may able to find brand new art supplies for much less than retail prices. Some sellers may even have them listed well below wholesale.
3. Buy local. Check out local art supply or crafts stores, which generally have sales throughout the year, especially when new items are being added. Pay attention to unadvertised, in-store sales. If the store has a mailing list, make sure to sign up because the merchant will often announce special sales to newsletter recipients. If the store has a website, make sure to sign up for online newsletters and check for online coupon codes before you buy, as well.
4. Shop yard sales and estate sales. Quite often people will purchase art supplies thinking they’ll enjoy a particular craft. When they actually start the hobby they find they don’t like it after all and have spent quite a bit of money for supplies they’ll never use. You can often find some really good deals on art supplies like this.
5. Don’t throw out the Sunday advertisements. Larger national chains will often place coupons in Sunday’s papers because they know more people read newspapers during the weekend. Some coupons can be as much as 40% off a regularly priced item.
6. Make your own art supplies. You may be able to make art supplies cheaper than you can buy them. For example, make your own finger paint with unflavored gelatin, cornstarch, sugar, cold water, food coloring, and dishwashing liquid. Make your own modeling clay can be made with cornstarch, water, and baking soda. Search online for “homemade art supplies” and you’ll come up with a number of websites offering recipes, often using materials you have in your kitchen cupboards.
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