Cutting ... cost

And you thought I was going to say corners. Nope. All of us have a budget and trying to stick to it is important. As mothers we will definitely buy bread before we buy scrap goodies (although the tought has probably crossed our minds to leave the bread). So what can you do to scrap cheaper????

Use your scraps, leftovers, bits and pieces. Whatever you call them, we all have them. But how?
1.  Make tags, tiny envelopes, matchbooks, paper flowers, little frames and other small goodies that you would normally spend your precious pennies on. All you have to do is invest in a couple of templates and get rid of those odd bits.
2. Cut letters, especially from cardstock. I you are like me, you can never have enough letters. If you are lucky enough to know someone with a cutter (cuttlebug, sissix, etc.) ask them to cut alphabets from your scraps.
3.  Patchwork. And yes, you can even pull your sewing goodies closer. Why not use off-cuts to make a 'patchwork quilt' as a background. You can use your white inners from your page protectors as a base to work on.
4.  Cover your letters. Any chipboard letters will look all dollied up and expensive if you cover them with left overs. To add that extra touch, seal the letter with dimensional magic. Nobody will know that it is home made and not shop bought.

Coming back to the kids ... they scrap as hard as we do. Instead of spending a bundle for them give them your scraps. They will come up with very creative ways of using it.

Share your tools. I do not necessarily mean lend them out but rather crop with a couple of friends and use templates or tools from each other. I have heard of groups that get together at least monthly, entry fee - a plate of snacks and a new non-consumable. A template, new pattern scissors, punches, anything that does not run out or gets used up. If you are like me you are probably sharing it with your kids in any case, might as well share it with a friend.

Invest in good quality. Rather get a tool you know will last than something that you know you are going to have to throw away after a couple of uses. Some of my tools are eight years old and still going strong.

Catalogue your stash. Yes I have mentioned it on other pages as well, make a list of what you have got, some things you really do not need more that one of. Make a list and expand your goodies, do not duplicate them. Many of us have smart phones with fancy apps, download an inventory one and add all your non-consumables. Yes it is going to probably take a while but will be worth it. I am tackling it one category at a time, and am still busy but making progress.

Make your own templates. If you enjoy using shaped paper you will know it can become quite costly. Create your own templates for these papers that you can re-use. Trace it onto firm cardstock or x-ray (sure that you won't need that one again) that can be used over and over again. You can also cut that favourite piece of paper into a pattern of your choice using these templates.

Shop around. You need to know where to find stash at the best prices. Different shops offer different things at low prices, get to know your shops and get the item when you start running low and you happen to stop at the one that offers the best price.

Attend shows. Not only is it a great please to get an idea of new items on the market you might also find something you have been looking for at a reasonable price. Why try and get to all the shops when they can come to you in one central location :-) Be careful who you choose to go with, no non-browsers or persons with a watch.

Look out for sales. But be very careful, a bargain is only a bargain if you actually use it, if it is going to be sitting in the cupboard for all eternity it was a waste of money.

Invest in a cutting system (Cricut, cuttlebug, spellbinder). With cardstock in a variety of colours and a xyron sticker maker you will never run out of alphabets again (and it is much cheaper than buying stickers all the time).

Organise your stash. You know you have it but is so unorganized that you simply can't find it so you end up buying it again, just to discover it next week. All been there and done that. Save money and organise, according to theme or colour or both.