Rijacki Design

Building Up the Stash

20150125_104904There are two schools of thought: A. Buy items only when you specifically and directly have a project you’re working on. B. Build up a stash of supplies with project potential so when you’re working on a project you already have the items on hand and don’t need to go out to shop. A sinks less money into things which are stored and not immediately used, but A also means you’re generally paying full price for everything and not taking advantage of sales making each project more expensive. B sinks a lot of money into supplies which sit and wait and into methods to store all those supplies. Most crafters, myself included, fall more into the B than the A. It’s always a good idea to buy things with a project in mind, but it’s also good to buy things while they’re on sale.

I spend most of my crafting budget at online retailers. The selection is often better (and more organised) and I have a wider range of options for bargain hunting: Places I shop.

The picture is my oh so tiny and perpetually messy workroom with storage containers chock-a-block full of various types of supplies.



Beadaholique’s Newsletter sign-up

Sign up for the newsletters from the shops (online and offline ones), if they have one. If you don’t want to risk getting spam, sign up for a free email account on Gmail or Yahoo or wherever and have that be the place the newsletters are sent to. Just be sure to check that box regularly. This will give you advance notice or even just notice of sales going on. Some newsletters will also give handy tips and tricks, too, so they’re a good bargain, free *grin* If you’re on Facebook, you can also “like” many of the sites and shops as well to get sales notices and other similar things to the newsletters. With the way Facebook chooses to populate your news feed, it’s much better to get an emailed newsletter that you know you will get every time. Additionally, some sites will give you a one-time coupon or a discount on every purchase for being a newsletter subscriber.

Get familiar with the sales schedules. Some sites or stores run their sales from Tuesday to Monday, other sites or stores may run sales Monday to Sunday, and others Friday to Thursday. Note not just the ending day of the sale but also the ending time. Don’t just assume that your location or the shop’s location will govern the end of day for the sale. As an example, Beadaholique is in California, Pacific time, but its sales end at midnight Eastern Time which is 9pm Pacific time.

For those sites and stores that always or almost always have a weekly sale, it’s best to check them at least once a week to see if the type of whatsis you’re running low on (or want to try working with) is the thing on sale. If there isn’t anything particular in the sale that you need, walk on by! Don’t buy things on sale just because they’re on sale, even though that’s one of the fastest ways to build a sizable stash (and yes, I am still working on this bit of mantra myself). Just wait for the next sale. If a site has a “wish list” you can save, use that to digitally store the things you want so it will make for faster selection when they go on sale.

Quantity Discount

Several of the sites and shops have “bulk” sales schemes. For some it is is on the individual item, buy more of one item and the price goes down per piece. For others it’s cart-based, buy more items overall and the price for all will go down. For the cart-based discount, it can be either on the amount spent or the number of items being bought. This is on top of whether or not the shop/site prices on individual pieces or groups them into packages.


If the price changes based on the number of a specific item being bought, think about how many you’ll be using now as well as might use later. If it’s possible you will be using more than one and it fits into your budget to buy a higher quantity, this can be a good way to reduce the cost of that item each time you use it. But, don’t just go for the highest amount for the best discount, think about how soon you are likely to use the item. The example picture is from Shipwreck Beads. Some sites with bulk item discounts don’t have the discount available on all items. The quantities for the discount can also vary from item to item.

QuantityCart2For the cart discounts, if the by-item discounts also count sale items toward your total you can sometimes gets discounts on regular priced items by filling your cart with cheaper sale items. BUT, be sure the sale items are also things you actually want and will use or you could be paying more for the non-sale item than you would if you had bought it without a discount. The other type of cart discount is on the total dollar amount of your purchase. For those, items on sale actually hurt your discount amount since you would need to buy even QuantityCartmore to go to the next price break. Cart discounts can sometimes lure you into spending more than you intended, just so you can hit that next discount point. The image on the left is from Firemountain Gems the image on the right is from Club Bead Plus. Shipwreck is by item, Club Bead Plus is by dollar amount.


CouponCoupons and Coupon Codes can be your friends. They can be a great way to reduce the prices of the items you’re buying, get free shipping, or even get a “free” gift. For most online sites, you can only use one coupon code at a time. For shops, you might be able to use more than one coupon to get discounts on a variety of things in your cart. In addition to sales announcements, you sometimes can get coupon codes for signing up for newsletters, past purchases, following a shop or site on Facebook, and various other types of interaction.  For some sites, most of their sales require entering in a coupon code to get the reduced prices. If you forget the code, even if you buy the items in the sale time, you won’t get the discount. Double check your cart before checkout to be sure you’ve got the coupon code applied. Example picture is from Cool Tools. Etsy sales are often by coupon code.

20150125_103414aIf a sale for a site doesn’t require a coupon code, for some sites you can use a coupon code for an additional sale. Example: When ArtBeads has a % off sale (such as 25% off all tools) and you have a coupon code for previous purchases (included as a card in every shipment, 10% sitewide), a $235 Beehive kiln gets knocked down to $158 so you can chew on your lip and ponder the splurge with much more angst.

Loyalty Points

LoyaltyA few sites will give you points for every purchase, referring friends, etc. to have those points redeemable for discounts, gift certificates, special gifts, or other such. These can also be a helpful way to grow your stash on a tight budget as long as you remember to redeem them.

Sales Tax

In the US, for some states, if you are ordering items online from a website that also has a walk-in store (also called a “click and mortar”) to be delivered in the same state, you’ll have to pay sales taxes on the items. In Canada, if you’re buying from a Canadian site to be delivered to a Canadian site, you’ll have to pay sales taxes. Buying items in a walk-in shop, if your state, county, and/or city requires sales tax, you’ll have sales tax tacked on. If you have a business license and/or tax id, you may be able to mitigate the sales taxes because you’ll be charging taxes on the items you sell so the government agency will only get tax payment once and not twice.

If you’re getting items sent to you from an International site (i.e. to Canada from a US site), you may have to pay customs on the purchase. This charge will frequently be added as CoD (cash on delivery) when it crosses the border.


stampLiving in Canada and doing most of my shopping online, this has become a major consideration for me.

Many of the online shops offer Free! shipping to destinations in the continental US. Alaska and Hawaii may get lumped with the higher priced International shipping. Some have a low flat rate to the US and Canada. Others have a “cheapest option” to the US or International. The free, low flat rate, and cheapest option are usually sent via standard unregistered postal mail without a tracking number. This is also the slowest method. The majority of the time, this method is perfectly acceptable for most of your shipments. Since there is no tracking number, if there is a mail issue, and your packages are taking an extra long time to get to you, it can be fretful (was the package lost or just horribly delayed?).

Using different courier methods will increase the cost of the package but will also give you a tracking number which can be peace of mind for a very expensive purchase (like a Beehive kiln for nearly $160).


I have an incredibly small space to both store everything and work. I’m always struggling for a way to keep everything managed. But, I think I’ll leave my take on storage solutions for a future day. Instead, I’ll leave it with someone else’s take on it. The Frugal Crafter has a small series of going through the storage of her stash. Thankfully, her stash makes mine look like I have hardly anything at all, but.. mine grows almost daily *laugh*

2 Responses to Building Up the Stash

  1. Joy Handly says:

    Interested mainly in snap jewelry and education on this.

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Handmade Jewellery by Kate Ledum