Part of my "A Real Family, Saving Real Money" series.
Recently I had someone ask me how I get all my bargains. Well, today I'm going to share a little secret to getting art supplies for cheap.
I love art, we have a wide range of interests, so saving money is always helpful, plus I'm much more willing to let me 5 year old experiment with my supplies since I only pay a fraction of the cost. For instance pad of water color paper can cost $15 for 12 sheets making each sheet of paper $1.25. I picked up a "Used" pad of watercolor paper for $2, one sheet was used so I got 11 pieces for $0.18 each. My child gets to experience how it feels to use watercolor paper and it doesn't break the bank.
Are you ready for my Secret?
Creative Reuse Stores. What is a Creative Reuse Store? It is a shop that sells discarded art supplies for a low cost. Some of the things we have found in the past are:
cases of bottles – which Hub's used for bottling Mead and Beer
Industrial Felt Cut Outs – All the scraps from a felt factory, in cool shapes
recycled canvases – stretched canvases used from recycled muslin and wood
movie film reels – who knows why I bought them – I'll find something to do with them
Beads, brushes, sketchbooks, paints, glitter, rubber stamps, and more.
I found my first store about 7 years ago in Detroit called Arts and Scraps. My husband was less than thrilled when I filled the car with re-purposed craft supplies on our Vacation but it was totally worth it.
Now living in PA, we have visited The Resource Exchange and Lancaster Creative Reuse.
This past weekend we hit the Lancaster Creative Reuse and we scored BIG!
We picked up a brand new watercolor set, retail is $24, I paid $6. Watercolors are a big part of the year long art class that I am taking so that was one of the items I focused on when I was shopping.
They had tons of brushes as well for only $0.50 each – those can range in price at the art store from $2 – $20, some brushes can be as expensive as $80!!! So, picking up a couple on the cheap is totally worth it!
I think I'm most excited about the Merino Top Wool Roving they had. It was only $1.50 an ounce!!! Most of the time it run anywhere from $2.50 – $4.00 an ounce, so this was a huge bargain and it's gorgeous. (Yes, I spin yarn so I didn't just buy it because it was a deal – I can't wait to spin up some beautiful yarn this week! )
We also picked up miniatures for my daughter's Fairy Garden, glitter (lots of glitter) and vintage 1950's dress patterns (that actually look like they will fit me!!!)
Here is a great directory of Creative Reuse Stores all over the country and world! Start saving money and saving the environment while you recycle, reuse and renew!
This week I'm going to share more of our money saving ideas, so check back all week and save:
4/7/14 Buying Glasses – Because I need to see, but don't want to spend $400.
4/8/14 Buying Art Supplies – Because I am a huge crafter / Artist and supplies are not cheap!
4/9/14 Buying Clothes – Just because I'm frugal doesn't mean I look it.
4/10/14 Buying Food – You gotta eat.
4/11/14 Saving on TV – Let's be real – The TV is on almost all day. I can't say I'm proud of it but I like white noise.
4/12/14 Earning Free Stuff – It's nice to get a treat every once in a while.