Once you know what you want, now you just need to find it, and on a budget too.
Know what things cost: Figure out how much things cost for how much at a variety of stores. That way if you find a deal, you know it, and can take advantage of it. It also helps you avoid what you think might be a great deal but isn’t.
Coupons and store circulars: Sign up for the coupons and circulars in your frequently shopped stores. Know how often certain sales are and use that as a judge on how much you should stock up when there is a sale.
Garage and Yard Sales: I found a four tier bead holder (with the beads, brand new!) at a garage sale for $10. I probably could have negotiated down, but $10 was such a deal, it would have been over $50 in the store. My father once found me 200 packets of Kool Aid for yarn dying for $2, and at the same sale my step-mom got be a gallon zip lock bag of wool roving for free, FREE!
Estate Sales: Estate sales are also a great place to have someone else’s stash become your stash. I went to a sale that literally had about 50 little Styrofoam birds. Buttons, yarns, and other supplies can be found in great quantities and at a bargain.
Around your home: Never donate, throw away or rag bag a single item without thinking what else it could be. Buttons can be cut off garments that are too warn to donate. That table cloth that doesn’t fit your table- it could become great yardage for a project. A large glass jar can become storage for your buttons. A vase or bowl that is too big can become a plant terrarium. A chipped tea cup can become a small planter. Too small wool sweater- felt it!
Thrift stores: Check out thrift stores for wool garments to felt. Be picky and make sure it is on sale. There will always be another sweater. Table cloths, table runners and place mats make great yardage. Remember those Morse bags I made? 69 Cents for a large table cloth, practically new!
The girls and boy’s section is where adult felted sweaters go to die, so don’t forget to check that isle too.
Be sure to check out the bins or bags of randoms. Some have yarn and other donated stash items. I found about 12 OZ of red alpaca yarn, some of it frogged for under $3.00. The jewelry section makes a great place to find beads to un-string and stash. I found a little girls purse for .60 that had beads all over it. The purse was stained so I cut off all the beads and washed them. Perfect!
Online stores: Oriental trading company is one of my favorite online craft stores, but you have to be careful, sometime stuff isn’t what you think it will be. They are my go to place for ribbons, rick-rack, buttons and piggy banks. They have a whole collection of piggy banks, pig banks, robot banks, elephant banks, etc. I get these by the dozen for my son to decorate as Christmas gifts. There ribbon, rick-rack and buttons are the most affordable I have found and of reasonable craft quality. Just be sure to sort the buttons once you get them, if you have them organized you will be more willing to use them.