I have two modes when purchasing yarn for projects: budget or binge. Usually binging wins out and I end up with way more yarn than what I need. I end up buying too much because I but it online. One of my favorite resources for all things yarn is http://www.knitting-warehouse.com/. When I get on the website to order the color and quantity I need for a new project I end up getting distracted by all the other colors available. I think to myself, "Well, that's a really pretty color and I can always use that in another project."
Well, now I have ended up with 6 bins overflowing with various yarn - some colors I have never used. So I still end up binging, but I have made myself practice discipline when it comes to new projects.
Are there situations where it is actually good to binge? The answer is yes. I am constantly re-ordering my neutrals. White, Cream, Tan, Camel, Light Brown fly out of my bins faster than anything in my hobby room. I also make baby blankets so colors like the softest shade blues, greens, purples, pinks, and yellow are good to have on hand in larger quantities. Crochet is one of my most participated in hobbies so I do dedicate more of my hobby spending money and organization space to yarn. I still order my neutrals and baby blanket colors online when I am running low and order large quantities of them. I have been mid-project and lost steam to finish it because I needed more of a color. However, I have started practicing budget when it comes to special projects and non-typical colors.
One thing that really undermines my budget mentality is when I go to the store, they don't have the yarn I need, and I have to go online to order it. My binge temptation is always online, but yours may be when you go in the store and see all the lovely colors and types of yarn. Know your weaknesses and try to use avoidance as a method of dealing with it. If you can be disciplined online then don't drive to the store or stay away from the yarn section when you are there for something else. If online shopping makes it too easy for you to order en mas then drag yourself out to get supplies for the project that you are starting. (Project planning helps with sticking to your budget - post on this topic coming next week.)
When to budget - when your spending money is tight. To help budget:
- Plan out your project.
- Look at your inventory - can you adjust your plan to use something you already have?
- Shop around - don't just go to Michael's: look for prices online (don't forget to add shipping into the price/skein), think Walmart, and use coupons (http://www.michaels.com/ always has 40% coupons).
- Only buy what you need.
- When you have extra cash on hand.
- When you have a need for yarn (some of you standard colors are low/gone in your inventory)
- There is a sale on yarn.