Some Money Saving Tips.. Stamping related, of course :)
With the economy in such bad shape here and in the USA, I thought I’d share some of my tips for saving money with stamping supplies. They are in no particular order, I thought that it might be helpful to know what I did and didn’t do right when I started stamping.
1) Only buy what you LOVE.. yes, I know, trends come and go, but, in all seriousness, don’t just buy because it’s trendy. Buy that stamp, ink colour, whatever it is because you LOVE it, and can’t live without it. I did NOT do this when I started stamping, and I can’t tell you how many stamps I have that I rarely, if ever, ink up. I have gotten so picky, that not only do I have to LOVE it, I need to think of at least 5 different ways to use it on cards/ATCs before I’ll buy it.
2) You DO NOT need to own every ink out there. I got caught up with buying a ton of pigment ink, which, 6 months later, went out of fashion, stampers opting instead for dye ink. I was smart enough to keep the pigment inks I loved, and store them so that I can still use them. I then went and ignored tip #1, and bought the at the time trendy SU inks. Then, the inevitable happened. I got some Distress Ink as a gift, and once I learned how to use that, I was hooked. I sold all of my SU inks, and solely use Distress Inks as my dye inks. Yes, I know they don’t always give a crisp detailed image, but I don’t use Distress ink for my detailed images, I use Versafine, which is my favourite pigment ink 🙂 Unless there is a colour that isn’t a Distress Ink that I NEED to have, I won’t buy any more dye inks. There’s no point in having a ton of inks I never use.
3)Try before you buy. This is especially true with inks. I know there are lots of pretty colours out there, but, in all honesty, I don’t use every colour, and, I want an ink that is versatile. I would never have invested so much money into SU inks if I had been able to try the Distress inks when they came out in 2005. I am blessed, as I have a stamping group that meets weekly, so I have opportunity to try out other inks to see if I like them before I buy. If you can, watch a demo at a LSS or YouTube, and see if the ink is versatile enough to meet your needs.
4) Avoid trends. Yep, as much as I love my stamps, ink and paper, I have bought items that were trendy at the time, thought I’d use them, and it’s sitting in piles.. or binders, never used. As I said in tip #1, if you buy what you LOVE, and ignore what’s trendy, you’ll end up much happier with the product you have, and be able to use it in more than one way. This being said, if something you love is trendy right now, bonus, you’ll have more selection to choose from 😀
5)Buy cardstock at the printers shop. I have been doing this for a few years now, and the MOST I pay is $0.30/sheet 8.5 x 11 inch cardstock. And that’s for the fancy, textured stuff. My white cardstock is about $0.12.5 a sheet. Yes, I know it often won’t match an ink exactly, but unless you need to have that exact colour, buying from a printers shop can save you a lot of money, especially in cream and white.
6)Buy clear and unmounted stamps. I know some places have their UM’s at 50% of the wood mounted price, so if you can invest in acrylic blocks (or a Fiskars Stamp Press), you can save money and space buying the clear and UM stamps. I know some companies make it so that if you want a particular stamp, you HAVE to buy the wood mount, but when you can, go for the flatter, easier to store stamps 🙂
7)If you don’t have the right image, borrow from friends. I know this sounds obvious, but even online, if you need a particular image, and you know someone online who has it, ask if they can stamp the image for you, in exchange for you stamping images for them. If you’re as blessed as I am, and have a stamping group that meets up, if you need an image, say of a pansy, ask the members of the group to bring their pansy stamps the next time you meet. You can have your image, and not spend the money on stamps 🙂
Well, that’s it for now. I’m sorry my blogging has been so off recently. A close friend lost a child, and I’ve been making myself available for her for the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, after the memorial this weekend, I can find a little more time to stamp. 🙂