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-   -   Cold turkey -- Mid Year Review (https://www.splitcoaststampers.com/forums/general-stamping-talk-f17/cold-turkey-mid-year-review-t531879.html)

lutheran 07-01-2011 03:56 AM

Cold turkey -- Mid Year Review
Exactly six months into "cold turkey" on craft spending, my total is $762. That sounds like a lot but, believe me, it is a cutback from last year and a huge drop from the unchecked spending I did for years until I was put on a budget.
Lessons learned:
1. Vowed to stay out of scrapbook/stamping stores and I did! Lots of impulse buys happen in those lovely places.
2. Each purchase is thought and rethought. Will I use this? Every item purchased became like gold to me and got used and loved. No inked stamps at my house anymore!
3. As a hobby SU! demo, trying to spend less lit a fire under me to clean my
house and have a workshop of sorts. Not a huge sale but it was that much less of my own money I had to use to meet the minimums.
4. Just because Michael's sent me a coupon doesn't mean I have to use it!
5. Writing down each and every purchase made me aware of exactly where the money goes. It felt good to manage my money better!

How is everyone doing? Did you track your spending? Use up some of your stash? Avoid temptations that are out there?

Total up those receipts and check in here!
Mary Beth

cheermom 07-01-2011 04:10 AM

Congratulations Mary Beth!! I say you have done GREAT!! I have also been watching my spending but haven't kept a total. If I had to guess how much I have spent in the past 6 months, I would say maybe $200 ($99 was for the A Muse starter kit) and $100 for additional A Muse things I had to have. I have not been in a stamp store in ages!! I also am not using coupons at M's, ACMoore and HL just to use them. I think I will keep track for the next 6 months and see how I do ...

maryrose 07-01-2011 07:33 AM

Great thread, Mary Beth!

I've been tracking every purchase I make for everything (even that Starbucks coffee!) for the last two years. It was easy to look up.

Here's my stamp/papercraft related total for the past six months: $272.99

Here's my needleart related craft total: $121.80

I've cut way back in the past few years, and here's how:

*I gave up my SU demo status. It was just too tempting to add a little something for myself to an order, or bump up an order to another level to get hostess benefits. Now, my purchases are very carefully planned out, and most of the time, I find I can make do without.

*I stay out of Archivers, Mike's, Joann's, and Hobby Lobby. They never really have what I want anyway, but it seems impossible to leave empty-handed when you have a coupon.

*I limit what companies I purchase from to my top five favorites.

*When a company releases a new stamp set that I love, I try to see if I can come up with something similar from my twelve year stash!

*I splurge a little on cheap expendables like paper and buttons and ribbons, but think a long time about adding another stamp set to my collection.

If money was not an object, I'd be signing up today to be a demo again!

sdscrapper 07-01-2011 08:59 AM

OK. I've been a faithful reader of the the thread, but never really started until recently. So starting with today, July 1, I'm going to keep track. I've already really cut back and have stopped my monthly kit which I miss, but until I can see a huge difference in my stash, I must stay away. Some months the CC bill was a really big eye opener. I could pay it off, but really? Did I need it all? No way!
So way to go all of you who have been keeping track and spending less! I love to see read the posts and read of others successes and even having to get back on the wagon! Inspiration to me!

ozarkstamper 07-01-2011 10:36 AM

This thread caught my eye, and I stopped to consider and calculate to the best of my recollection what I have spent on paper crafting/stamping this year. Without having kept receipts or kept track, I came up with an average of just under $40 per month. That in itself is an eye opener for me, as I limited myself to $25 a month when I started stamping in 2002. The most recent sum of money spent this year was for evelopes and clear covers so that many of my cards can be prepped for display to be sold as a fundraiser toward helping support the backpack blessings program in the school district in which I work. I hope this effort becomes a productive way to multiply the blessings that can be shared with others.

russnzella 07-01-2011 10:58 AM

Love this thread! I haven't kept track of how much I have spent this year - but will for the rest of the year. I love the "things I've learned" and agree whole-heartedly! Staying out of the stores has done wonders for my craft budget. Seems like when I'm in the craft stores those little items just jump right off the shelf into my cart/basket! LOL!!

Lmn 07-01-2011 05:20 PM


Originally Posted by maryrose (Post 18476597)
Great thread, Mary Beth!

*I limit what companies I purchase from to my top five favorites.

MaryRose, what a great idea! One more way to manage spending. I didn't exactly keep track but do want to look back now. Definitely need to start as it's too easy to do multiple mini-purchases which really add up.

crafty1021 07-01-2011 07:34 PM

I haven't been keeping track but I do know I have been spending way less than I have in the past. With this being the first day of the second half of the year I am going to start keeping track. I have really learned to be careful with my purchases and I have all of you to thank for that lesson. So, thank you!!

jennik 07-01-2011 07:43 PM

Ohhh good for you Mary Beth!! I have not been keeping track of my spending, but I do know that I have cut back. I suppose you are numbers girl and have all the spending on an excel (or some sort ) of sheet.


babydal57 07-01-2011 08:10 PM

I have not kept track, and I never planned to go "cold turkey." More like eating left overs instead of stopping at a restaurant. ;)

But I have to say that with a VERY few exceptions, I have kept my promise to myself to think about purchases before actually purchasing. Impulse buys are a weakness of mine.

Soooo...... I have sat on all my SU orders for at least a week, if not a month, before placing them. This has cut down both the amount I spent on an order and the number of orders I made. I've also really cut back on my PTI orders. My only large order was in Feb and that was planned to be that way. I also thought about an Amuse order for almost 3 months before actually placing it, and that was because I got a 20% coupon and I knew I'd order later at full price if I didn't use it.

I've also stopped going to Joann's, Michaels, ACMoore, etc for the most part. I still do go when I need something and it's on sale (or I have a coupon), but I don't go just to go.

I still go to and buy from my LSS's. I've gotten very picky and I'd rather buy one of what I want from them than 5 things of lesser quality from Michaels.

Anyway, I'm fairly happy with how I'm doing. Now to keep it up. But I don't know that I have the guts to actually keep track for the next 6 months. "Making our Christmas cards" is used to cover a multitude of sins, LOL~

Kate Stamps 07-01-2011 08:19 PM

You people have made a believer out of me. I haven't done the keeping total and just decided (as I've read this) that I'm going to keep an envelope in my purse and keep each receipt I get. Then I'll keep a total of it on my computer. I know I spend way too much. Now I'll have to face just how much I do spend... or learn to cut back (which I could easily do). It will be interesting to see how the next six months go.

Kathyc 07-02-2011 07:42 AM

I read this thread with interest as I've recently decided I have to cut way down on spending too. I REALLY need to use what I have and agree, that many times when you see a new set that you love, if you think about it, you can probably find something in your stash on the same idea! Staying out of the stores is my goal for the summer!

BTW, did anyone notice the coupon for Michael's at the bottom of this page? I will not click on it, I will not click on it, I will not click on it!

flash&rusty 07-02-2011 08:01 AM

As of June 30th, I have spent $326.43 on supplies. Not the cold turkey I had hoped for, but certainly on a huge diet! Of that amount, $210 was spend in June. But what I am most committed to is using up my stash. To date I have made almost 100 cards, and every single one of them has old papers, stamps, embellishments, etc. My commitment to myself was to shop my stash extensively, purge and donate unwanted items, and NO MORE PAPER PURCHASES until I had used up (or at least seriously depleted) my own! I started a gallery this past week, and most if not all of the cards have been shopping my stash. I did 2 separate purges and donated to my son's school, and although I did buy some new paper, they were very specific (graduation, hockey and football) that I did not have and couldn't find something else to substitute.

I did kind of fall off the wagon in June and slipped into some old habits - reading about a great sale at M's on word stamps, sale bins on embellishments - but have vowed to get right back on that wagon. In fact yesterday, my whole family spent the day shopping in the States, and even though my family all asked several times if I wanted to go in, I avoided Joanns & Archivers (we don't have those in Canada so are a real treat) and Michaels (the US Michaels are so much bigger and better stocked than ours in Canada) completely.

So, the first 6 months were good, but not perfect, and I expect the next 6 will be great, not perfect. But as other posters have said, what this has done is to make me really THINK about my purchases, curb the impulse buying and really search for alternative within my own stash before I go out to purchase.

Mindykid 07-02-2011 09:02 AM

I sold off almost all of my Quickutz dies and got rid of half of my printed papers and 3/4 of my embellishments. I am down to 1 drawer of stamps (from 5) and about 20 ink pads. I have 1 container of 12x12 cardstock and about 12 colors (1 pack each) of A|Muse cardstock for card making.

NOW I can see all that I have, and feel more like using it!!!

I think I have spent less than $200 since Jan 1 and another $100 on crop fees (and didn't buy a single thing while I was at them!).


CndnStamper 07-02-2011 09:15 AM

I used to belong to a stampers 10 and inevitably I'd spend more than the minimum. I now put my $25 a month in a separate account and then spend it as a lump sum during Sale-abration to get the most bang for my buck. I then keep a running wish list all year. Paper must be bought first since I keep only a limited number of colours and then any stamps come out of the remainder. It hurts to make that $325 order so sometimes I even spend less. It's worked for me since I really think and dream about what I want.

I also tend to enter a lot of blog challenges. Receiving a little bonus in the mail often goes a long way to slowing down the "need" to have something new in my stash.

Asingh 07-02-2011 06:00 PM

Lots of good ideas here. I too need to focus more on using what I have and not buying more things just because they are cute! For example, I do NOT need any more ribbon. Holy smoly! I could make cards for years with all the ribbon I have and probably still never use it all.

weims 07-03-2011 06:40 AM

While I haven't kept track, I haven't made very many stamp related purchases at all this year. I did need VV and WW cardstock, got a much-needed sympathy set, and I bought a pink ATG gun, but other than those I haven't gotten any new stuff. I, too, am trying hard to use up what I have instead of buying more. That said, I have a nice little list for my demo this month as I love the new colors! But I'm buying things to USE not just to have. That's a big difference!

Siberian Stamper 07-03-2011 07:31 AM

I started off strong and did well until the tax season came... Fell off the wagon, bought a lot of new paper and some stamps... Started Dave Ramsey's program and stopped buying stamping/scrapping supplies altogether... I'm doing well and using a lot of my stash... Do I get tempted by all of the new releases? Sure! Do I give in? No way!

Stamper for fun 07-03-2011 09:17 AM

Good for you, Anna. Sounds like you are doing well with the craft budget. I've spent far less than I did last year (year-to-date). I knew I was not going to stop buying but I've become a lot more selective.

sempermom 07-03-2011 02:12 PM

my spending is way down too. i havent kept a journal but i wish now that i have, maybe next Jan i will start one, LOL. but i do know my purchases are much smaller.

and, i agree about the coupons and discount codes, just cause we get them shouldnt make us feel we hafta to use them! in fact i delete alot of emails w codes before i even open them, less temptation that way.

i also have only subscibed to 2 mags, instead of the 5 i had coming in. and one of these 2 will not be renewed either. this way i can buy just the issues i really like.

i dont think i will ever go cold turkey, but i do know i can resist, LOL................

sempermom 07-03-2011 02:15 PM

another great way to buy for less, is on the BST forum here ;)

i have made lots of trades, and bought things for way cheaper prices than barnd new in the stores..................... and each transaction was handled with awesome results......... no flakers here!

gmagabby 07-03-2011 06:19 PM

A couple of years ago I made the decision to go with only StampinUP and Creative Memories and to stay out of the craft stores. Too many impulse buys when I would go to Archiver's, JoAnn's, and Michaels. Don't know how much money that I have "saved" but so far it is working for me and I feel like I have high quality stuff! I really think about my purchases before I buy. My craft room is no longer overly stocked with stuff that I don't use, but liked when I bought it!

Takinmytyme 07-03-2011 07:01 PM

I have a friend who is a Hobby Demo out of state. I buy from her. She would let me keep buying from her without paying her from previous orders. So when I would finally pay her it would be more than I anticipated . Orwhen she buys cello bags and clear boxes from Yahoo group. I would end up splitting with her orders. I have so much stuff I've never used or used only once. It's hard not to want what's New from Stampin Up. Wish I could sell some of my old SU stuff (and other old companies). Its Split Coasts fault (seeing what people do with new SU stuff). I think we would save a lot more money if we didn't see amazing stuff here (and on blogs). I'm always learning something New here at SC.

dogzruleca 07-04-2011 11:15 AM

Well, I've had three out of six months with large purchases and three that were $0, $25, and $50 respectively. I track exercise and stamp to spend, but often have overspent. The numbers so far this year are: earned $177, spent $627.85, so I overspent by $450.85. This is still not bad for me, especially since I invested in several sets of nestabilities. I expect my spending to go way down now as many of these purchases would have been spread out over the year, but ended up being bunched together because I am quitting my job and won't be able to purchase them without money coming in. I do plan to start making cards to sell, so with any luck, I will "get my money back". I guess I'll see how that goes. I'd keep my fingers crossed, but then I couldn't make any cards! :rolleyes:

liannallama 07-04-2011 04:05 PM

You are all doing a great job! I thought I was ok but then I added up the numbers and I think I need to work harder! I think I will follow your lead and write everything down as I buy it!

My downfall is the place that I am on the DT for--I have been careful not to go too much over my monthly allotment when I order but then when I go for classes and to drop off cards it is too easy to buy extra stuff each time! Those $20 purchases sure add up!

But in any case, I am still doing way better than I have in the past so I should celebrate my achievement!

flash&rusty 07-04-2011 07:58 PM


Originally Posted by liannallama (Post 18486188)
But in any case, I am still doing way better than I have in the past so I should celebrate my achievement!

I think this is an important point to remember - although we may not have gone completely cold turkey, we have all taken steps to make ourselves more in control of spending, and that in and of itself is a significant alteration in our spending habits. We should celebrate that achievement - change comes very hard for a lot of people (myself included) - for me, it has taken a lot of mentally hard work to step away from all the temptations!

maryrose 07-05-2011 01:47 PM

I got the new SU catty this week. It's so hard to stay frugal when there are so many pretty shiny things, isn't it? I'm challenging myself to use my 12 + year stash to come up with cards/stamps/accessories that are similar in the new catty. This way, I can talk myself out of purchases that I don't really need. I'm even putting them up on my blog to inspire others. (By the way, you'll all love the photo I took of a very funny sign recently...it's posted on my blog today!)

Barbara Jay 07-05-2011 04:22 PM

I keep all receipts for everything including groceries in an envelope and I keep them for one year. If I have to return something it is a problem without a receipt.

I thought I was doing well on the spending side since I have decided against buying numerous things both in stores and on-line

I went back and tallied all of my craft purchases from the receipts and my CC statement.
I spent quite a bit more than I guessed. :shock: When I went over my budget one month I would tell myself that I would deduct it from next month's budget, but I didn't do that .:(

Plus the little $3-5 purchases some how slipped my mind. They really add up !

So-o-o-o I now have a little 2 & 1/2" x 4" notebook in my purse and I will note every purchase "as I buy them" so I can see at a glance what I have spent.

I have all the basic equipment now so I have set a very low craft budget. I don't plan to completely stop buying , but I need to be "much more" disciplined and stay within budget .
This thread is great and a real eye opener as to craft spending.

wanda50 07-05-2011 05:44 PM

I keep telling myself...the new SU catty last a year...I don't have to get everything I want all at once. It's working so far. Summer CHA is coming...that will be the true test. LOL...Conventions too....Whew!!! Held off on ordering from Release night last month from PTI...doing good!!!

pixxiewacorgi 07-10-2011 04:11 AM

I haven't done as well as I wanted. I've spent way too much, because as I create I feel like going out and buying more. Restocking, I guess. I have used up LOADS of white card stock. Almost all of a 150 pack of Georgia Pacific. But then I went and bought two packs of 12x12 textured white for $5 each at Walmart. In a way, I need it because I can't scrapbook my 12x12 albums with letter-sized paper. That is why I had bought here and there a few assorted packs of card stock in the 12x12 size. Still, one pack should've been enough. And to top it off, I bought a black pack as well. I figured buying a pack for $5 instead of paying 80 cents a sheet would pay itself out. It does, yes, but the remorse! I wish our supplies weren't so costly!
As to what I have done: just finished overnight a complete 8x8 scrap book. I think it has 20 pages total (10 front and back?). Hopefully I'll get paid for it, if the person likes it enough. I've made about 50 cards in a month. A family member needed loads of thank you cards and on top of the 18 I made, I went and got inspired and played a lot with my stuff. Made wedding cards, even! As in, those you give to a newlywed couple ;) And, so far, I've been scrapping for myself as well these past few nights, so that's a total of eleven 12x12 scrapbook pages. There's a few more to go, as I took some pretty awesome shots at the beach that I want to have developed and finally give use to a collage frame I had bought on clearance ages ago.
So, in short- overspent by WAY loads, but yes, have USED the purchases to the most and also gone on a huge plunge into creativity!

MonicaR 07-10-2011 05:09 PM


Originally Posted by maryrose (Post 18488701)
I got the new SU catty this week. It's so hard to stay frugal when there are so many pretty shiny things, isn't it? I'm challenging myself to use my 12 + year stash to come up with cards/stamps/accessories that are similar in the new catty. This way, I can talk myself out of purchases that I don't really need. I'm even putting them up on my blog to inspire others. (By the way, you'll all love the photo I took of a very funny sign recently...it's posted on my blog today!)

Mary Rose,

I just read some of your blog! It really hit home. Why can't I use what I have and make do. It reminds me of a short poem I heard once..."Make Do, Use it up, Make it last or go without" (or close to that!!)

I haven't been on SCS forever but stumbled across this post and I've been reading with earnest. I have to use what I have and make do with it to make almost like the new cattie and other things I see. It's really a simple concept. I did buy some stuff at the scrapbook store on Friday and then I bought some stuff at Michael's today but that's all I'm buying unless I run out of glue or card adhesive - creativity is going to be my middle name!

Love your blog. Very inspiring!!

uncbballfan 07-10-2011 09:20 PM

Use it up; wear it out; make it do, or do without!

dianneo 07-11-2011 10:20 AM


Originally Posted by uncbballfan (Post 18507858)
Use it up; wear it out; make it do, or do without!

That's an awesome quote.

We've been on Dave Ramsey for awhile now (almost debt free, yay!) so I've had to cut back a lot the past few years.

I have stopped myself from buying all magazines. I love them, but they add up and you can't sell them for much at all anymore.

I've also stopped buying Cricut cartridges. I have more than enough.

Those are two areas I've found I can do without.

CSC 08-05-2011 08:42 PM

Been looking through the SU! catalog and making wish list. This Cold Turkey thread is the greatest help. I haven't kept track of what I have spent but can tell you one thing - it is definitely much less than before I found all of you. Don't even go to M's, ACMoore, or JoAnn's just to use those wonderful coupons (that will SAVE me money) anymore. That is because I found this thread. Some of the reason for my stash is just that idea of having to use a coupon to save money. What a joke on me! No more thanks to the encouragement you have all given.

I do plan on keeping track of my spending for the rest of the year. It will be neat to see the results. Knowing I am going to write it down in a book will be another reason to stop and consider before buying.

I am so glad you put the question out on how we were all doing. It came just in time for me to put the brakes on with the new SU! catalog. I just tore up my wish list! Thanks, one and all. Please keep the thread going. It is a lifesaver.

snowcountry311 08-05-2011 08:46 PM

if this was a test-i would fail!

sprtchick 08-05-2011 10:34 PM

I was going to try this...but I would have failed miserably...just this week I have gotten OVER $7000 worth of stuff from: Verve, Heartfelt Creations, Papertrey, and a vendor where I can buy a bunch of stuff. I am going to open a webstore. It was so much fun opening all the boxes. Oh..and I still have several more coming...lol

snowcountry311 08-05-2011 10:38 PM

bet if you open a webstore-we would come!

sprtchick 08-06-2011 09:58 AM

I am working on it now...but as much a I would love to have you all come...you are trying to save $$$ by not purchasing...I did ok the first little while but I am a lost cause now. It amazes me how well so many of you are beating the urge to shop. I am sure buying craft supplies is an addiction...what do you ladies think>?

kphorse 08-06-2011 05:58 PM

Amber, you open, we shop!

LindaBabe 08-06-2011 06:16 PM

Our LSS has been out of business for 4 years now. So, I spend when I get near an LSS in my travels - like once every 3-4 months. Maybe $30-$40 on my weaknesses - Basic Grey and Graphic 45.

I belong to a stamp club - so that's $25 minumum per month by the time I add tax and shipping. ON the other hand, that's my only social outlet too, so I think of it as entertainment money as well as acquisition. No unused stamps or paper here! I never buy cards, and give scrapbooks or minibooks as gifts. So I guess my expenditures could also come out of my gift budget?

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