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Old 12-25-2012, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default This past year's money saving experiment

I know I will not stop buying anything . I tried that last year and it didn't work for me. So I tried an experiment and it saved me hundreds of dollars. I added up what I spend this year compared to the year before and I spend nearly 70% less with my experiment.

I stopped going to or buying anything because of a sale. I paid full price for what I wanted at the time and only bought what I needed at the time. If an item I needed was on sale or I had a coupon that was a bonus .

For example a couple of months ago I went to Hobby Lobby for grey card stock and ribbon. I bought 2 sheets of grey card stock ( one for my card and one incase I made a mistake) and 1/2 yard of grey ribbon by the yard. I spent less than $3

When paper or ribbon is on sale it is too tempting to buy 8 or more sheets of paper or stock up on colors that end up in the storage box and some how they are never what I need. I bought DP by the sheet and again only what I would use for the project I was making. I wanted a stamp of a pine tree. I bought one stamp of a pine tree . I used a coupon but I didn't wait for a sale and buy 4 or 5 more stamps because they were on sale . I also only went to HL , or Michaels when I was doing other shopping or going to the bank in that area

When I bought on-line I just bought what I needed and paid the shipping. I didn't try to "find" enough so I get free shipping.

The only Black Friday sale I took advantage of was at the Silhouette store for my new Cameo and then I restricted my spending.

The only things I bought that I didn't use immediately were a few SU disks with digi paper from the Clearance rack . I didn't buy one thing from the last clearance rack additions. If I didn't want/need it when it was in the catalog I don't need it now because it is cheaper

I know it looks crazy to say I saved a bundle by not shopping sales or adding things I may not use just to get free shipping.. However, I have the proof that I spent much less by paying full price or the shipping .

Plus I don't have more things laying around wondering what to make with them .
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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Good for you Barbara. You have accomplished what most of us have a difficult time doing. You have some great suggestions in there. I too have learned before I buy I must think of a practical use for it. One thing keeps us from buying is storage issues. If I can't think of how I'd use it I don't buy it. In the beginning I bought anything I thought was wonderful. Now I am selective. If I am missing a color of paper I need I create it in digital software or ink it up. Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:04 PM   #3
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I found that even when I think of a creative way to use sale paper, stamps or such that didn't mean I would actually do it LOL
When I only buy things for a project that is under construction I know it will be used
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:03 PM   #4
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That's really great. I don't think I will be able to be as disciplined as you but I am going to give your strategy a try. I'd like to cut back on my spending and really make an effort to use the "mountain" of stuff I already own!
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:40 AM   #5
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Barbara Jay- Your post was so inspiring. I am frugal to the core but I buy things full price too because a lot of times I save tons of money buying full price over sale. I don't have the added clutter in my home either.

I am tweaking my spending habits too. My Michael's is in my weekly shopping area. DH & I have been so bored, lol. We went to Michael's out of habit. We were not spending hardly anything at the store because there was nothing to buy and all of those items were boring. It was like going into your craft room every week and not getting inspired.

What is funny I have a Hobby Lobby in my shopping area too. I never went. I figured out why. DH & I shop late at night. Hobby Lobby closes early so I actually have to make plans to shop there. When I do I was so much happier with my purchases.

I have my studio just the way I want it. I am picky about what goes in my studio. My studio is my inspiration. I want to keep it that way.

I am only shopping at my craft stores this year when I need something. I also think I will save more money. The coupons are an added bonus. I use to shop at craft stores before the coupons and I did save a lot of money. I had to think outside the box too. I was a young college age girl so I couldn't afford a lot of those expensive things in the craft store. I remember walking out with what I could afford and I was so proud of it. Now, I can afford to shop and I am not proud of my purchases. I want that proud feeling again. I remember how creative it use to make me.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:03 AM   #6
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What a great thread! I've been seriously considering giving up this hobby because I've felt so uninspired! Upon reflection, though, I decided that the problem was overwhelm - there's just TOO MUCH in my space! I have two daughters that have recently expressed interest in stamping, and a friend who recently joined in the fun, so I'll be shifting a lot of stuff their way, then selling other things in the B/S/T forum and sharing with Goodwill and/or Salvation Army...

I'm pretty sure that I'll be VERY selective about what else I add this year (the ONLY thing I can think of that I'm missing right now is sympathy stamps), and that'll save A LOT! I think I'll also follow Barbara Jay's lead as far as ignoring sales and just getting what I want/need at the time. Great suggestions, and thanks for sharing the results of your "experiment"!
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:42 AM   #7
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I, too, have become very selective about what I add to my space. It's getting close to capacity and I really have to love it and have a use for a new item for me to purchase it. I also found that throwing away coupons has helped me save money. No temptation about going to a store to use a coupon!
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:59 AM   #8
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Great thread. I finally realized this year that free shipping is very expensive. So I no longer fill the shopping cart up in order to receive free shipping. I found that (most of the time) the things I added to the cart to receive the free shipping are the things still sitting unused. Now I order just what I need/want and pay the shipping cost. I also spent the time to organize my stamps in categories. Now, before I order, I make sure I don't already have a stamp set that would work.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:49 AM   #9
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That's really great. I don't think I will be able to be as disciplined as you but I am going to give your strategy a try. I'd like to cut back on my spending and really make an effort to use the "mountain" of stuff I already own!

I agree! Am going to make a stronger effort to JUST use supplies I have (a small Michael's store of my own in my craft room!) ha! THAT should save some money!
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:55 AM   #10
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I, too, have become very selective about what I add to my space. It's getting close to capacity and I really have to love it and have a use for a new item for me to purchase it. I also found that throwing away coupons has helped me save money. No temptation about going to a store to use a coupon!
I agree with this! My mind used to say, "I have a coupon! I must find something to buy!" I had to "change the channel" in my brain and start tossing coupons if I really didn't need something for a project.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:58 AM   #11
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It's impossible!

I sold boxes filled with stuff. I gave away even more. My stash that used to take up a full room and walk in closet now fits in half of a standard closet. I bought less than $100 of additional "stuff" last year and used it immediately on a project. Even with what I have left, I would be willing to purge more to get it to fit into 1 or 2 rolling totes and use the closet space for something else.

That something else is what makes this impossible.

While I spent less than $100 on paper crafting supplies, I made up for it in fabric. The fabric stash is quite small, and I usually complete and outfit within 30 days of buying the supplies for it. But oh my gosh did I make a few costumes last year and have already cut out 4 more.

And if that wasn't enough, I re-stocked my nearly depleted supply of embroidery thread since working on handstitched borders, ribbon, etc. I know the colors are only about a quarter a piece, but I found myself insanely "needing" every color DMC makes just so I can exactly match the fabric on the outfit I just made.

It's total insanity I tell you!
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:33 AM   #12
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I have a plastic sweater box full of pretty ribbon I bought on sale and yet most times when I am making a card I don't have the color I need.

I could have paid $5 a yard for what I needed and I would still have come out ahead
Same with card stock. I could have spent $5 a sheet and still spent less than buying much more than I needed because it was on sale .

My new storage arrangement is to leave things at the store and go to get them when I need them LOL
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:55 AM   #13
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Barbara Jay, thank you for sharing! What good "food for thought"! I'm an "online" shopper and you're right, it would save money not to worry about "free shipping" and just purchase only what I was looking for. I'm definitely adding that to my process ...

Someone posted last year about getting off mailing list to avoid coupons and that helped me this year too. I do like Archivers but find I can go in and out w/o buying so I didn't worry about that one. I completely stopped buying Items to Alter as it seemed those took up the most space and sat in my stash the longest. I now have 1 draw of stuff to finish & it's not growing.

I just did a Major Organization/Purge of my Stamp/Scrap/Office by selling a few things and donating the rest to Senior Center. I love the feeling right now of how organized it is and the fact the bins aren't overflowing. I think like "Gregzgurl" posted, I was overwhelmed. I've still got pictures to sort for scrapping but it's coming together.

Thanks for the Inspiration
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:00 AM   #14
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Interesting topic, Barbara.

I found I was mindlessly buying stuff. A new color of CS came out and I bought all the matching pieces (buttons, ink, ribbons, whatever). I find that I am not using buttons or ribbons much so I have stopped buying them. And chances are, with my selections of ink, I have something that matches already.

I'm trying to stop buying 6x6 pads and instead look for a single 12x12 sheet of patterned paper in the right scale for cards. I can make 6 cards with the single sheet and have no leftovers. There will always be pretty new paper to buy.

I try to use Michael's/Hobby Lobby coupons only to replenish tape runners or pop dots or some other consumable. That, admittedly, is a work in progress.

Now if I can just take your suggestion and resist the urge to add more to my cart to get free shipping. As someone said, those added things often end up being unused.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:19 AM   #15
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There are some stores I just don't visit. Michael's, Hobby Lobby and Joanne's are across town, so I'm not a frequent shopper there. I found that when I did go "with a coupon in hand", I'd buy stuff I didn't even really want or need. Better to just avoid the stores all together.

I have an Archiver's in town, but I don't go that often. When I do go, it's usually for a specific item.

I do purchase from favorite online companies. I can get exactly what I want, and not be lured by the impulse purchase that a brick and mortar store will try to make me buy.

When it comes to stamps, I've purchased a lot this year from the BST forums for great prices. They're new to me stamps, and they really jump start my creativity!
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
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My new storage arrangement is to leave things at the store and go to get them when I need them LOL
Excellent perspective!
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:43 AM   #17
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I'm enjoying this thread....and seeing myself in every post. I vow that 2013 is my year to organize. This will also mean stopping the inflow of stuff and using the stuff I already own. You are inspiring me.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:59 AM   #18
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I'm enjoying this thread....and seeing myself in every post. I vow that 2013 is my year to organize. This will also mean stopping the inflow of stuff and using the stuff I already own. You are inspiring me.
Ditto !!! Well-stated

----------------
Thanks for sharing the results of your experiment, Barb - very insightful !
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:56 AM   #19
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I have tried very hard not to let a sale or coupon motivate me adding to my craft supplies, but it has not always worked. I have told myself the time I spend shopping I could have made a card or completed a few scrapbook pages that I'm so behind on.

It's this time of year that I look at all I have and realize that I have not even used some of the stamps and paper that I just had to have.

Thanks for reminding me that I have way too much already!
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:25 PM   #20
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I just finished organizing my holiday craft stuff, and I have two underbed totes completely empty. Yes, totally empty. I dug in this year, scrounged, embellished plain gift bags for Christmas, created tags. I came up with teachers gifts out of my stash. It's a good feeling to be able to purge. I am going to store some fabric in the totes, get my room less cluttered.

Now let's get ready for Valentine's Day
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:39 PM   #21
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I like it. Buy only what you need.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #22
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My big thing isn't the buying so much as the being afraid to use it (or craft hoarding) I'm learning to use it with positive feedback from many sources from the recipients to my own household! I do think I will make more considered purchases in the future with many things I "collected" in the past but I am determined to use my stuff either for us or for gives.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:59 PM   #23
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My big thing isn't the buying so much as the being afraid to use it (or craft hoarding) I'm learning to use it with positive feedback from many sources from the recipients to my own household! I do think I will make more considered purchases in the future with many things I "collected" in the past but I am determined to use my stuff either for us or for gives.
I was hoarding DP and embellishments too because they were discontinued and I would not be able to buy more of them when they were gone.

I solved this by buying digi paper so I can print as many sheets as I want and making my own paper flowers with punches or dies.

Now I use my favorite DP or flowers without concern . I can always print more DP or make more flowers. And I can have the flowers in any color I want.

I found that HP 32# Brochure printer paper is nearly the same weight as SU designer paper .

Works for me
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:48 AM   #24
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Barbara Jay- Thank you for sharing the HP 32# tip. I have been wanting to print off my own DP too. I want to start printing off my own designs. I have a whole portfolio on my computer of beautiful DP's that I have designed over the years. I use to make e-mail stationery and web backgrounds. My DH just bought me a beautiful Epson printer to replace my old HP that finally kicked the bucket.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:22 AM   #25
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like your thread......
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:58 AM   #26
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Quote:
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I know I will not stop buying anything . I tried that last year and it didn't work for me. So I tried an experiment and it saved me hundreds of dollars. I added up what I spend this year compared to the year before and I spend nearly 70% less with my experiment.

I stopped going to or buying anything because of a sale. I paid full price for what I wanted at the time and only bought what I needed at the time. If an item I needed was on sale or I had a coupon that was a bonus .

For example a couple of months ago I went to Hobby Lobby for grey card stock and ribbon. I bought 2 sheets of grey card stock ( one for my card and one incase I made a mistake) and 1/2 yard of grey ribbon by the yard. I spent less than $3

When paper or ribbon is on sale it is too tempting to buy 8 or more sheets of paper or stock up on colors that end up in the storage box and some how they are never what I need. I bought DP by the sheet and again only what I would use for the project I was making. I wanted a stamp of a pine tree. I bought one stamp of a pine tree . I used a coupon but I didn't wait for a sale and buy 4 or 5 more stamps because they were on sale . I also only went to HL , or Michaels when I was doing other shopping or going to the bank in that area

When I bought on-line I just bought what I needed and paid the shipping. I didn't try to "find" enough so I get free shipping.

The only Black Friday sale I took advantage of was at the Silhouette store for my new Cameo and then I restricted my spending.

The only things I bought that I didn't use immediately were a few SU disks with digi paper from the Clearance rack . I didn't buy one thing from the last clearance rack additions. If I didn't want/need it when it was in the catalog I don't need it now because it is cheaper

I know it looks crazy to say I saved a bundle by not shopping sales or adding things I may not use just to get free shipping.. However, I have the proof that I spent much less by paying full price or the shipping .

Plus I don't have more things laying around wondering what to make with them .
Bravo!!!! Brilliant. Free shipping with a minimum purchase and sales can be very expensive.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:41 AM   #27
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Great thread ! Thanks for sharing your tips.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:43 AM   #28
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I always took a coupon if I had one when I went to the store to buy something, However, IF I found what I came to buy was on sale I just said Whoo Hoo and I DID NOT look for something else to use the coupon on.

I found I have a completely different mindset when I am paying full price.
I had no desire to stock up on anything . I bought what I needed

At first I choked at paying $4-5 to ship one stamp, but then I realized I only spent $14 rather than $50 +
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:56 AM   #29
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Great tips in this thread.

Last year I stopped going to Michaels & JoAnns just to "browse", coupons only get used if there is something I need, and no stocking up just in case. Also, no more hoarding for that special project because I now think of all my projects as special. ; )

My downfall is that I go to an annual retreat and one shopping road trip with my stamp group. These two trips are shopping heaven but this year I only bought half of what I normally would buy. I find that since I have less guilt because I didn't over buy, I enjoy what I have even more.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:14 AM   #30
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I don't feel pressured to use a coupon anymore - I give them away in the store if I can't use them.

People are always so shocked and thankful we you do. If no one is around I just leave them in the cart for the next lucky shopper to see if they can use it.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:28 AM   #31
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This past year I did not deprive myself of one thing I really wanted. I just didn't buy things because they were on sale or to meet a free shipping minimum.
I added nothing to my stash because I used what I bought and enjoyed it while spending so much less.

I still have a stash of supplies from my former way of doing things and little by little those things are being used.

I also didn't buy things because my favorite designers use them . I admired their cards, made note of a technique or idea they used and I moved on

This hobby doesn't need to be a money pit!
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #32
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What strikes me from reading this thread is how different craft shopping is in the UK. a) we do not get money off coupons for craft shops (except very occasionally for Hobbycraft) and b) how much more accessible your craft shops seem to be. While some parts of the UK have a number of craft shops others have none at all and so we have to make special expeditions to go to a craft shop or cunningly plan holidays around what looks like a good shop, so I can 'accidentally' stumble across it when with the family! So when we do find a good shop we have to buy whatever we think might ever be useful because we cannot go back and buy it when needed.

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Old 12-27-2012, 08:53 AM   #33
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This past year I did not deprive myself of one thing I really wanted. I just didn't buy things because they were on sale or to meet a free shipping minimum.
I added nothing to my stash because I used what I bought and enjoyed it while spending so much less.

I still have a stash of supplies from my former way of doing things and little by little those things are being used.

I also didn't buy things because my favorite designers use them . I admired their cards, made note of a technique or idea they used and I moved on

This hobby doesn't need to be a money pit!
So true!

I've also learned to sell off the things I'm no longer using. I don't want a lot of unused items taking up precious real estate in my craft area. I don't have sentimental attachment to things now. Sometimes, you just need a fresh dose of product to inspire you again. When I feel that need, I sell off the old to make way for the new.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:03 AM   #34
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What strikes me from reading this thread is how different craft shopping is in the UK. a) we do not get money off coupons for craft shops (except very occasionally for Hobbycraft) and b) how much more accessible your craft shops seem to be. While some parts of the UK have a number of craft shops others have none at all and so we have to make special expeditions to go to a craft shop or cunningly plan holidays around what looks like a good shop, so I can 'accidentally' stumble across it when with the family! So when we do find a good shop we have to buy whatever we think might ever be useful because we cannot go back and buy it when needed.

Ruth
So very true. I remember when I started my hobby when living in England. It was either home shopping telly, art supply shops, discount shops (The Works was good but I think that is gone now), or getting lucky at WH Smiths for me.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:28 AM   #35
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I'm actually feeling the opposite. I've gone so frugal for so long that it's taking the fun out of shopping altogether. I'm now trying to find the joy in getting new stuff again to spice up what's become a tad boring. Perhaps what we're all seeking isn't one extreme or the other, but balance. Healthy balance.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:07 AM   #36
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I don't feel pressured to use a coupon anymore - I give them away in the store if I can't use them.

People are always so shocked and thankful we you do. If no one is around I just leave them in the cart for the next lucky shopper to see if they can use it.
I do that also....40% just isn't worth that to me at Michaels anymore....I do use 50 on copics but have finished adding to my large collection...I look forward to using them every chance I get in 2013
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:29 AM   #37
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Also, no more hoarding for that special project because I now think of all my projects as special. ; )
I need that mindset. Thank you for sharing. I tend to hoard some of my stash because it's rare, antique or way over the top expensive. I keep forgetting all my projects are special too.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:35 AM   #38
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I don't feel pressured to use a coupon anymore - I give them away in the store if I can't use them.

People are always so shocked and thankful we you do. If no one is around I just leave them in the cart for the next lucky shopper to see if they can use it.
I give my coupons away. When I use to shop at JoAnn's frequently the staff would even ask me if I had extras because I carried so many on me. I always carried so many because I knew they would ask me. A lot of people that shop at my JoAnn's are out of town so they don't realize there are coupons. It's a huge gift for them. I remember somebody gave me a coupon for 50% off my Cuttlebug one time. I was so grateful to them. I always think of that when I use my CB.

My DH has all the smart phone apps for our craft stores. I usually get my coupons that way. I always do try to carry extra. If I can't use them coupons I will lie them by the products like 15% off Copics. I do that in the regular stores too for products.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:34 AM   #39
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Giving up my demonstrator status will be a BIG money saver for me this year.
I plan on giving up my cell phone when my contract expires also...then putting all that including the stamping savings towards paying off my car in 2013.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:09 AM   #40
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Giving up my demonstrator status will be a BIG money saver for me this year.
I plan on giving up my cell phone when my contract expires also...then putting all that including the stamping savings towards paying off my car in 2013.
Let me tell you, Pearl, I saved a boatload of money the year I finally dropped my SU demoship. Never again!
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