Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How To Survive A Trip To The Fabric Store

With the price of cotton on the rise I have found a new need for bargain shopping my fabric store.  Here's what I have learned:

You gotta prepare, people!
I don't ever pay full price for anything at my craft store.  Ever.

First and foremost, sign up for the craft store's mailers and sign up everyone in your house.  I receive weekly coupons and sale alerts under 4 names!  I signed up for myself, and then again with my new last name when I got married.  I signed up my husband, and my best friend who lived with us for like a month... I still get her coupons ;)  Also, I signed up myself and my husband for their weekly emails, and downloaded the stores app on both of our iPhones.  So I generally have over 20 coupons in my possession at any time, and usually they are for 40% to 50% off any one NON SALE priced item.  Which leads me to my next point:

Figure out what never goes on sale.  For me it's zippers.  I can always count on zippers being full price, so if I need nothing else I buy zippers with my coupons so they don't go to waste (My new Zippered Pouches have been a big hit, so I will always need zippers ;) ...how about I say zippers a few more times...)

Not all coupons can be combined.  If they have the same bar code then they will have to be used on separate transactions.  Watch out for this one; if you are buying fabric you will need the fabric cut on separate tickets in order to separate your coupons.

Shop sales!  If you get your craft store's mailers you know when a great sale is happening.  At a recent trip to the fabric store they were advertising 50% off Home Decor Fabric (which is what most of my bags are made from) AND in the mailer they had a 10% off your total purchase INCLUDING sale items!  So I stocked up on indoor/outdoor fabric which at $19.99/yd regular price is completely out of my reach.  I paid roughly $8.99/yd.  What?!

Buy remnants!  Every fabric store has a remnant bin, and they should be scoured regularly.  I am often able to find pieces of fabric that I normally buy, but since they are smaller than 1 yard, they are 50% off!  When you are buying fabric look for the bolts that are almost empty.  Usually fabric stores will re-order before they entirely run out, so if there is less than 3 or 4 yards on a bolt I will pick that one and ask for the remnant.  The associates at the cutting table will usually give you up to the last 35" at remnant price since it is less than a yard.

These tips really are common sense, but if you use them together and prepare for every shopping trip you can score some amazing deals.  I would never be able to sell my handbags at their current prices if it weren't for these things I have learned.

For example, this particular Market Bag is for sale at $15.  Had I paid regular price for everything included I would need to sell it for $27!!!

Do you have any other tips for saving money at craft/fabric stores?  I would LOVE to hear them :)

1 comment:

veronica.lynne said...

Great article Rita. Thanks for all of the tips. Seamstress, Entrepreneur, Photographer and now Journalist. Wow. You are multi-talented.

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