1. Learn how to make things on your own. For me, I am working on learning how to make different flowers. I also use my own mists on everything.
2. Buy ugly clearance chipboard and embellishments that you can paint or cover to whatever color you want.
3. Use coupons!!! Watch for sales!!! (bring your husband/ kid/ sister/ friend to use another coupon for you)
Buy plain gold brads at the dollar store and use nail polish to paint them the color you want. Buy silk flowers tare them apart, then layer them the way you want. Save any cards you get, cut out the shapes or make tags out of them.. Keep and use any buttons you have laying around...
Edited by debby_westbrook on 02-08-12 06:14 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
Save money for the stuff you really want. I used to buy clearance all the time but I never used the stuff I got!! Unless you know your going to use it don't but it!! Coupons for ac moore and micheals are great!! Also try ebay for cheaper stuff. I like scrapbook.com for things I cant find any where else and once or twice a month they have free shipping and I save up for that!!
Use your computer as much as possible: free printables for journaling cards and tags or print titles reversed on the back of cardstock for hand-cutting (though you would need to invest in sharp tipped scissors for this unless you are really handy with an exacto knife). Before I got pse software I would still download free digital elements if they were in jpeg format because you can open and resize them in word or publisher and then print.
Another thing, don't purchase all the premade embellishments. So many of them can be made with a little time and patience; yoyo flowers from fabric scraps, pleated flowers from minimal paper, felt flowers hand-cut from a $0.25 sheet of craft felt.
If there is a Scrapbook Expo near you, it might be worth checking out. They usually have dollar item bins at several vendors, sometimes $2 or $3 a piece. For example, I have been able to get an entire package of chipboard for $2 or $3 - the same ones selling at my local scrapbook store for $8- $10. I've stocked up on brads, chipboards, thickers, flowers, embellishments all for deeply discounted prices. Those items may not be the latest and greatest, but it's great for building up a stash.
I would also see if local scrapbook stores have garage sales. None near me do, but I will drive over 100 miles to one in San Diego's North County. I love that store so I also buy their stuff on the same trip. I bought several great big packs of paper for $9 or less. There are often tons of machines, dies, stamps, etc. for amazingly low prices. I have a group of friends who scrap and we will have an "exchange" about once a year of supplies we no longer need or want. I've bought thickers just for one image and given the rest away on those nights.