Let’s face it – your kids are going to be more bored than usual for a while. And while boredom often begets creativity and innovation, hearing “I’m bored” 1,000 times a day is not at the top of any parent’s wish list. Rather than racking your brain for clever activities day after day, load up on crafts. That way, the kids will have something to do when lessons are done for the day or they are bored with backyard games.
Here are some easy ways to save money at three of the nation’s biggest craft store chains, Michaels, JOANN, and Hobby Lobby.
To save at all three:
- Use browser extensions like CouponCabin.com, Rakuten, Slickdeals, or Honey for coupons and cashback opportunities as you browse online.
- Use money-saving apps like Ibotta and Slickdeals for coupons or cashback as you shop in-store.
- If you’re buying holiday-themed items, the closer you are to the holiday, the better the prices will be. After the holiday is the very best time to buy (if you have room to store things away for next year!).
How to Save Money at Michaels
Michael’s craft stores can be found in most states as well as in Canada. They also recently purchased the A.C. Moore chain of craft stores, so they will be even more accessible. They have a website where you can buy supplies and access free crafting tutorials for every age and skill level.
Here are some money-saving hacks for Michael’s:
- Peruse their weekly ad, which you may receive in the mail, but you can also access it online.
- Their app is a convenient way to shop and a convenient source for coupons.
- Sign up for promotional text alerts by texting JOIN to 273-283
- Join the free Michaels Rewards program for receipt-free returns, a birthday coupon, and exclusive savings tailored to you,.
- Sign up for their newsletter for exclusive savings.
- When you shop in-store, check your receipt at the bottom for coupons or a survey that allows you to earn savings.
- Michaels also accepts competitor coupons – even valid ones printed from competitors’ websites.
- You can use multiple coupons in one transaction, but they can’t be applied to the same product and they cannot be combined with sales.
- Follow Michaels on Facebook and Twitter for last-minute sales and exclusive deals.
- Teacher’s Discount: Save 15% off your entire in-store purchase with valid i.d., including sale items.
- Senior Discount: Customers 55+ can save 10% off your entire in-store purchase with valid i.d., including sale items.
- Military Discount: With a valid i.d., military members, veterans, and their families can save 15% off in-store purchases.
- Michaels price matches AND takes an extra 10% off the top if you find a better price on an identical item elsewhere – just show the ad or printout at check out.
- Michaels doesn’t just have one clearance section – look all over the store to save. Check end caps and look among regularly priced items.
- I’ve heard that orange clearance tags signal the best deal and weekly sales start on Sundays.
How to Save Money at Hobby Lobby
According to their website, Hobby Lobby is the largest privately-owned arts-and-crafts retailer in the world. They have over 900 stores in 46 states. You can also shop on their site, where you can access lots of free DIY videos.
Here are some money-saving hacks for Hobby Lobby:
- Some items are on sale much of the time, including furniture, which is 30% off, potted trees and floor plants, which are 30% off, and frames, which are 50% off.
- There also seems to be a schedule, where certain categories – like Home Decor, Floral, Frames and Art & Art Supplies – are 50% off. If you’re a frequent shopping, pay attention to what’s on sale when you visit and plan subsequent visits accordingly.
- Coupons are prominently displayed on the Hobby Lobby site. You can also access their weekly ad here.
- Sign up for their emails to receive their weekly ad in your inbox, along with special promotions and ideas for projects.
- If a coupon discount is greater than a sale price, you can opt to use the coupon instead of the sale price.
- You may be familiar with their 40% off coupons. They say, “one per person, per day,” but you can always bring an older kid or friend with you to check out separately to use a second coupon.
- Like with many stores, a red sticker = clearance. The sale price may fluctuate, but the red sticker usually means that the item will never return to full price.
- Online shipping fees increase with the amount you spend, so if you’re ordering a large number of items for a party or occasion, in-store is a better bet. You can order ahead and pick up in-store for no extra charge.
- If you’re in-store and find a damaged item, you can often get an extra discount just by asking an associate.
- Hobby Lobby offers rain checks on sale items that are out of stock (Michaels and Jo-Ann’s do not).
How to Save Money at JOANN
JOANN has been around for nearly 75 years and has more than 865 stores across 49 states, as well as online. For crafting tutorials, you can join Creativebug, which for $7.95 per month, gives you access to thousands of online classes. Get two months free here.
Here are some money-saving hacks for JOANN:
- You can find coupons at Joanne.com/coupon. I’ve heard that new coupons are released on Sundays.
- You can use multiple coupons on multiple items in one transaction, as long as the coupons are from different sources, i.e. one from an email and one from their app, etc.
- You can also use “percentage-off” coupons on sale and clearance items, which isn’t the case at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.
- Coupons can be used twice: once in-store and again online.
- You can access the weekly ad here.
- Download the app for exclusive access to 60% off any one regular-priced item and other coupons, too.
- Sign up for email, mailers, and text in one place. You’ll get a coupon for 20% off your total purchase when you sign up for emails and a coupon for 25% off your total purchase when you sign up for texts.
- If you’re buying supplies to make items you plan to sell, you can sign up for Joann+ and save an extra 5%.
- I was told that yarn is discounted 25-35% in the spring and fall, plus whatever coupons you can stack on top.
- If you only need a small amount of fabric, check their remnants bin where fabrics are 50% off.
- Military, costume designers, teachers, 4-H, and Girl Scouts can all save 15% by enrolling in the discount program.
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