5 Tips for Cost Effective Digital Scrapbooking

When I started digi scrapping, I was sure that I was going to save boatloads of money not buying ridiculously expensive scrapbooking papers, and all the tools I needed to put together a decent scrapbook page. Funny thing is, shopping for digi is a lot easier than running to Michaels to pick up a few things. I can shop whenever I want. It’s not a big deal to pick up one thing that I need right away. I can shop multiple times in one day. It’s so easy, in fact, that I usually find myself painfully unaware of how much money I am actually spending on digi supplies.

I won’t scare you and offer you numbers, but I can tell you, I scared myself. Digi was costing me WAY more than paper scrapbooking ever did! Changes needed to happen, and they needed to happen quick (mainly before the wife found out HOW MUCH money was being spent!). These are five tips for cost effective digital scrapbooking that I try to abide by.  Try.

  • Buy basics – I often shop for stuff that I know I can use over and over again without it looking the same each time. I feel that if you have a good set of basic materials, you are able to flesh it out with some more fancy stuff as you go.
  • Shop sales and New Release days – It sounds simple, but it was hard for me to stick to. I often would be in the middle of a layout and find myself shopping for the “perfect” alpha to go with what I was using. Now, I try to stick to the days that the products are on sale, unless it’s a digimergency.
  • Subscribe to newsletters and “Like” Facebook Pages – These two forms of communication are the best way to stay on top of deals from your favorite designers. Some designers even offer exclusive discounts to newsletter subscribers or Facebook Fans. You can sign up for my newsletter HERE or “Like” my Facebook Page HERE.
  • Buy kits you can stretch – when I am shopping for kits, I often look at the papers and elements to see if I can use the kit beyond it’s intended theme. For example, when I picked up Kristin Cronin-Barrow’s Hippity Hop, I knew that I would be able to use the kit beyond Easter layouts.  In fact, here’s a non-Easter layout I did with the kit:

A Dream

  • Set a budget….and stick to it – This is where I most often fall down, but it’s one of the most important tips I can give you.  You have to set a budget from the beginning and stick to it.  Maybe it’s monthly, or weekly, or yearly – it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that you are staying within your pre-determined limits.

What are your tricks for saving money when digital scrapbooking?  What cost effective digital scrapbooking tips can you share with me?  I need all the help I can get!

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11 Responses to 5 Tips for Cost Effective Digital Scrapbooking

  1. So so true – I have found that each morning I get these emails from the store telling me the new great products and its so tempting to purchase and as you say so much easier than going to Michaels. A limit on weekly spend its going to be what I have to use. All these $1 purchases on the specials add up that before I know it I’ve spend way too much. There again at least with digital supplies I can use an item more than once

  2. Anonymous says:

    I can’t help but wonder what a ‘digimergency’ is for you? The word sound so funny! 🙂 But it sure is true, before you know it, you spend loads…. I have the same with Irish/St Patrick’s day kits… If I see one I like, I buy it, if I see 2, I buy them and so on… Bad I know but that is one of my weaknesses. Thanks for this article Aaron 🙂

  3. Stfne says:

    Don’t forget re-coloring! You stretch the supplies you already have and make them look different by adjusting the hue/saturation.

  4. Rebecca (ReboScraps) says:

    I totally laughed when I read the word “digimergency.” Hilarious!

    I totally agree with the idea of buying basics that you can use again and again.

    The other suggestion I would have is to work towards organizing your stash in some way that works for you so you can FIND that cute white flower with the red heart button center when you want it! I’m trying to take a break from buying right now simply because I have an IMMENSE stash of stuff that is not organized, and I know if I do a better job of managing it, I will spend less in the long run. Of course, two of my favorite stores are having big sales this week, so that self-imposed break may not last long…. 😉

    • This is a *great* tip! Half of the time, I feel like it’s easier to buy something new, just because I don’t want to sort through everything I’ve already purchased… :O Organization is key to cutting down on costs for me!

  5. Anonymous says:

    These are great Aaron! I especially love “digimergency” totally LOL.

  6. Jenn says:

    My best tip is to mine your stash. A good organizing system like ACDSee or Windows Live Photo Gallery (FREE!) can help you get more out of your stash. Even if you don’t tag, you can scroll to browse through all your stuff, and chances are you have that perfect alpha…. somewhere! It makes mixing kits so much easier too – when you need a blue bow and can type in blue and bow and see 100 blue bows!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Another tip: try to be on the CT of (some of) your favourite designers! This will give you free access to their newest stuff and if you’re lucky, like me, you will get to play with their older stuff as well 🙂 (But I understand that having CT obligations is hard when you also design)

  8. Pingback: Weekend Reading for April 1, 2011 | Simple Scrapper

  9. Ava-j says:

    The day I stumbled on Craftcrave was the day I struck digiscrap gold! I’m a newbie to the fun, crazy, inspiring world of digital scrapbooking and didn’t have the budget to spare for supplies. But just following along on one of the industry’s search engines has dumped over 125G of freebies into my stash.At first, I downloaded everything in sight, but after a while, I’ve gotten more discriminating, bypassing the ones I know aren’t really my style, and will not ever use in the future. Right now I’m organizing everything into Lightroom, following Kayla Lamoureaux’s awesome class, so it’ll be easier for me to call up the perfect element for a LO. Subscribing to newsletters and “following” designers also work for me since they also offer RAK’s…and I’ve gotten some really gorgeous full kits that way. 🙂

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