Kids love doing arts and crafts. Art supply companies love charging through the nose for the materials that you need to supply for your kids to do those arts and crafts. Luckily there are things that you can do to make sure that your arts and crafts budget goes as far as possible all year long.
Start a stockpile of arts and crafts supplies. It’s okay to use your credit cards to help fund this initial stockpiling of paints, paper, etc. Check around to find out where the best prices in town are offered and then go to town to help build up the things you know that you are going to need to have on hand all of the time, like construction paper, watercolors, crayons, etc.
Set up a savings account for the more extensive arts and crafts projects (or times of year when these types of projects happen more often, like the winter holidays). Compare savings account rates to ensure that you get a really great rate on the money that you squirrel away. This way your money will earn money and you’ll have more on hand when your kids set their sights on a project that needs a lot of very specific (and rarely cheap) materials.
Raid the sales. Back to school sales are a fantastic time to really stock up on the basic things at really great prices. For the best deals, wait until the first week of September. This is when the stores get desperate to get rid of all of the supplies they stockpiled (but that didn’t sell in time) in order to make room for the Halloween stuff. Colored pencils, markers, crayons, drawing paper, construction paper, erasers, etc…all of them go on super sale at this time and you can get as much as three times the amount of products for what you’d normally pay at any other time during the year.
If you like having high quality materials on hand, buy them in smaller amounts over time, whether or not you actually need them. For example, if you buy your markers individually, always buy a black marker with whatever color you went into the art shop to buy. You go through black markers more than any other and this way you’ll build up a good stash of them. Another example of this is simply tossing a packet of construction paper or stencil set in your shopping cart when you go grocery shopping.
Buy specific supplies in the off season. Buy Christmas cookie cutters in January. Buy the heart shaped stencils and rubber stamps in March. This way you save money and you’ll already have them on hand when the holiday rolls around again so you won’t have to worry about dealing with the crowds or hiked up prices that come with buying in-season supplies.
These are just some of the things that you can do to save money on your arts and crafts supplies. Put them to use and see how far your budget can stretch!