Art supplies are so fun! They are literally the best part of art – well, other than making the art itself. When I’m shopping for art supplies it reminded of happier, and simpler times of my childhood. Do you remember the thrill of shopping for school supplies as a child? It’s something similar to that wonderful feeling.

Maybe that’s why art supplies have suckered me in over the years. I tend to spend more than I should. If you’ve felt similarly, then here’s what needs to be done to curb the art supply spending.

  • Make an itemized list of supplies
  • Compare prices, discounts, and shipping charges
  • Buy in bulk, but don’t get carried away

Make an Itemized List

First of all, write down what you actually use and how much of it you’ll need. I’ve got an entire closet full of art supplies, do you think I use all of them? Art stores are designed to make you feel like you’re going to craft ‘til you drop, and that feeling makes you want to buy a bunch of supplies you don’t really need. Just like making a list for the grocery store before you head out the door, it’s a good idea to make a list of art supplies before you hit up the art store.

Compare Prices, Discounts and Shipping Charges

This is a huge one to save you money! Check out the prices at your local art store and then look up the same products online at places like Blick Art Supplies and Jerry’s Artarama. You will see a huge difference. The online stores sell at a deep discount. If you can wait a week or so for shipping, you will save much more by shopping online.

Of course, I’m never satisfied with good prices, unless there’s free shipping or at least an additional discount applied. Most major art sites like Blick and Jerry’s offers free shipping over a certain amount and they give additional discounts on full price items. If you’re not ready to commit to a huge purchase, wait a couple weeks and see if the offers change. They usually change every few days to offer different ranges of free shipping and discount offers. I prefer to wait until I have enough supplies accumulated to get the free shipping. Sometimes they even offer you a gift card if you spend enough. However, don’t get carried away, only buy as many supplies as you need.

Buy in Bulk

Since I make and sell artwork for a living, I have the luxury of buying my supplies in bulk for even deeper saving. I wouldn’t recommend doing this if you’re not completely sure that you will use all of the supplies. Currently, I purchase my paints, hardboards, and frames in bulk so that I can get additional discounts.

Hopefully you’re able to use the wisdom of this article, to help curb your art supply spending habits. However, I won’t blame you if you slip and buy a truckload of goodies on your next trip. We’ve all been there before… the first step is admitting you have a problem!

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