Monday, January 14, 2008

Swapping On a Budget

So, you want to join a swap, but money is rather tight? Everyone loves getting anything in the mail besides junk mail and bills. Participating in swaps in one way to be sure that you will receive a nice little package every few months.

Cost of Swap
First you have to determine the total cost of the swap with shipping figured in. That way you'll know right away if you can afford to ship internationally or not. With the HSKS swap the spending minimum is between $30 to $40 over a 2 1/2 month period, which is about the price tag for most substantial swap. I know that the Secret Pal swap is around $60 over a 3 month period. You have to be sure that you can pace your spending over the duration of the swap. If you are able to purchase everything in the beginning - great! If not, that's okay, but make sure that you budget your money as well as your time so that you'll be sure to send before the deadline.

Goodies for the Box
Some people think that the little extras that go in the box have to be expensive - they don't. You can visit your local 99 cent store and find some very valuable little extras to go in the box. Michael's also has several $1 bins with notepads, calendars, pins, and sometimes even cute little tin boxes to put your stitch markers in. If you don't have a Micheal's near you try another craft store in your area. Purchase a little something every pay period or every couple of weeks. Before you know it you will have several things to add to the box. Another place where you will find neat trinkets is at your local fabric store. I participated in a Felted Bag swap a few months ago and besides the bag I also included a cute little novelty turkey, and two small flower starter pots. I also sewed a matching needle roll to compliment the bag.

Also, think about sewing the bag instead of knitting a bag. Many times you can find fabric on clearance that will suit your needs. For U.S. swappers patterns purchased at Wal-Mart are always 50% off the sticker price.


Ferula's Fen said...

Thanks for the tips!
Ferula Vector, 1st year Ravenclaw

Esmerelda Beanswallow said...

And tasteful re-gifting. A book you no longer need, a pattern you have already knit and don't plan to use again, etc. Probably not appropriate for the main items like the bag, needles & such, but great "extras".

Jennifer said...

Just stopping in to say hello to our Hufflepuff professor. I'm enjoying your lesson and taking lots of notes.