One of my favorite way to save a little money on alphas (Thickers, ghost letters, etc.) is to use them as stencils and make my own. It's a great way to make sure you always have the right color, pattern, or size for your layout. I trace whatever letters I need with a pencil, cut them out with scissors and then embellish them however I want.
Ideas for embellishing your homemade alphas are~
~doodle around the edges
~ink or distress the edges
~add ribbon, flowers, or buttons to them