I (Katie) am not a shopper. The thought of going to the mall and trying on clothes is right up there with a trip to the dentist for me. Shoes are even worse. I’m a bit unusual that way. Shopping is just exhausting for me. You have to wade through so many choices, and even though I can easily walk a few miles in my neighborhood, a jaunt around the mall just makes me tired. Digi shopping is an entirely different matter though. Give me a mouse and an internet connection and I can have some serious fun!
Shopping for digital scrapbook supplies is especially rewarding for me because I know I will use my purchases to create works of art, as well as works from my heart. Even when I go on a bit of a digi shopping spree, the damage isn’t too bad either because the prices are very reasonable. I shudder to think back on my paper scrapping days when a trip to the local scrapbook store would cost a small fortune. Sadly, many of those paper supplies have never even been used. Anyone who complains about the price of digital scrapbook supplies probably was never a paper scrapper. The greatest benefit of using digital scrapbook goodies is that they can be used multiple times. Incredibly, many are even free!
What’s the downside of digi shopping? It is easy to spend all your free time surfing and shopping (and downloading and unzipping) and never really have time to actually create anything with all your purchases. It is also possible to spend way too much money. If your budget doesn’t allow for it, any dollar amount can be too much. Nothing is a bargain if you aren’t really going to use it or simply can’t afford it.
I’ve been an all digital scrapper for 4 years now and I have learned a lot of tricks along the way to make the most of my digi scrapping budget. I’ve also learned how to minimize the time I spend on shopping so that I have more to spend on actually working on pages.
- If money is tight, be sure to set a budget. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy anything at all, it just means that you need to be extra wise about your purchases. There was a time in our life when we literally had no extra wiggle room in our bank account. When I needed to pay for photo prints or supplies I cut back in other areas to find a little money to use. Shopping smart and looking for sales will help you stretch that money even farther.
- Besides setting a budget for the money you spend, it is just as important to set up a time budget for shopping. If you are spending your days in the forums looking for enabling threads, you might find some neat kits, but you will also use up a lot of hours that could be spend on journaling or putting together special pages. Your family won’t gather around the table and “oooh’ and “ahhhh” over your great digi stash on your hard drive, but they will treasure actual pages and albums of their precious memories!
- Decide when and how much time you will spend on digi shopping. For me, I use the time as I check my email and do my “rounds” each morning. I do my shopping as I work through these tasks and then I’m done with it for the day. I don’t shop every day but more importantly, I don’t shop ALL day.
- Pick your favorite few stores and bookmark them. These should be the stores that you regularly buy from. Don’t worry about the others right now, I have some suggestions for those in the next section.
I created a folder right on my toolbar called digishop. (I use Mozilla firefox thanks to Janet’s recommendation but any browser should let you do this)
as I bookmark each site to go in this folder, I make a note next to the site name that tells me what day they have sales if there is a regular schedule.
I do shop at other stores as well. These are just the ones I seem to frequent on a regular basis. I really worked on paring down the list so it was manageable. Most of these sites have regular sale days. For example; notice that next to Designer Digitals I put “Thurs Sunday” which means they always have sales on Thursday and Sunday. You can edit the name of each bookmark to say whatever you want by clicking on “properties”.
There are other ways I keep track of the places I shop so you might wonder why I keep this folder on my browser bar. If I feel like shopping I simply go through the list in this folder. Depending on the day, I check certain sites. More than anything, it reminds me to shop the sales and look for deals. I find it to be very useful.
- Take some time to visit each store and each designer that you like to buy from. Make sure you are subscribed to their email list if they have one. Or you can follow their blog or twitter account. This may add to your email inbox load but it will keep you in the know about all the sales going on. This is the best way to get high quality freebies from designers you already love. Almost all newsletters have valuable information and links to sales or special deals. If they don’t, then you ought to unsubscribe.
Reading newsletters or blogs is the method I use for the bulk of my digi shopping. I see something great in a newsletter and I just click on the link and make a purchase. I love how quick the whole thing is!
- Find a good enabler (someone who shows you the good stuff and makes you want to buy it). My Mom and I send each other links to previews of kits we like. This got to be such a regular practice that I decided to just post everything I buy on my facebook page and in my twitter account. This may seem silly, but it keeps me accountable on what I spend since I know a lot of people will see it, and I’ve had a lot of people actually thank me for this service. There is A LOT to wade through out there in digi land and so many wonderful things to buy that it can be overwhelming. Find someone who seems to pick out the kind of designs you like and pay attention to what they are using. As you look through galleries and blogs, there will be supply lists included with layouts that tell you what items they used to put together the layout. That is how I continue to discover new (or new to me) designers and stores. If I see something that I like, I will make a point to look for it. You can save yourself a lot of time by relying on the good taste of others. It just means more scrapbooking time for you!