Anyone who has ever had to buy Sunday school supplies for Sunday school lesson crafts or other church events knows the frustration of working with a limited budget but needing certain supplies to really drive a message home to young people.
Specialty craft stores will often offer a lower price on many of your craft staples, including construction paper, glue sticks, foam cutouts, felt, glitter, and more. Because these are the only items this type of store offers, they will generally give you a better deal than many superstores. This is not to say that you should not shop around before buying, however. You may find that one superstore will offer cheaper glue and a specialty store will sell cheaper glitter and beads.
Another benefit to buying from a specialty store is that they sell things in larger quantities. Because larger superstores do not make much of their money from craft supplies, they are less likely to offer different sizes in the same product. Their selection will also be much more limited. This limited selection and quantity will make prices increase.
When you shop at specialty stores, ask an associate if there is any discount for purchases made by an organization such as your church. These stores may offer incentives for purchasing large quantities of the same thing or may work out a special deal for your particular church. Ask to meet with a manager to find out what possibilities exist to help you save money. Generally, business owners love to help non-profit organizations in exchange for a little free advertising, such as putting a thank-you message to the specialty store in each of your weekly bulletins. It can be something as small as, “Lakefront Church would like to thank Joe’s Craft Supplies for their continued support of our youth programs.” This type of exchange will keep the stores, and your wallet, from feeling cheated!
Examples of major craft stores to look at include JoAnn’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Hancock Fabrics.