25 Hobby Lobby Savings Tips and Tricks (Never Pay Full Price)

April 23, 2024 by Kyle James
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Hobby Lobby is a haven for craft enthusiasts, offering a wide range of supplies for everything from scrapbooking and painting to home decor and seasonal decorations. However, frequent trips to this wonderland can quickly add up, so savvy shoppers need to know the best ways to save. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of tips and tricks to help you maximize your savings at Hobby Lobby.

Hobby Lobby Savings Tips and Tricks (Never Pay Full Price)

1. The Famous 40% Off Coupon is Gone…BUT

Hobby Lobby was well-known for its perpetual 40% off coupon, which they offered until 2021.

Although this specific coupon is no longer available, the store frequently releases similar high-value coupons.

Always check their website Weekly Ad or the top of your store receipt before shopping to see if any such coupons are available.

These can be applied to the highest-priced item in your cart, providing significant savings.

2. Familiarize Yourself with the Sales Cycle

Hobby Lobby’s sales cycle is predictable, which can be a MAJOR advantage if you know how to use it.

Most categories go on sale once every three to four weeks. Home decor items might be 50% off one week, and the next week, crafting supplies or fabric might be on sale.

By understanding this cycle, you can plan your purchases around when your needed items are likely to be discounted.

3. Shop Seasonal Clearance Sales

One of the best times to save at Hobby Lobby is during seasonal clearance sales.

After major holidays, leftover seasonal items are typically marked down 50% off the day after the holiday, with discounts increasing to 75% or even 90% off over the following weeks.

This is an excellent opportunity to stock up on supplies for the next year.

4. Price Matching Policy

Hobby Lobby will price match items from a competitor’s printed ad, provided the exact same item is in stock at their store.

This means if you find a lower price at another store, bring in the advertisement to claim the same price at Hobby Lobby.

Note that they do not honor competitors’ percent-off ads or coupons.

5. Take Advantage of Online Sales

Shopping online at Hobby Lobby can also lead to significant savings, especially if you live far from a store.

Online sales are often different from in-store sales, so you might find better deals or unique items not available at your local Hobby Lobby.

Also, online orders sometimes offer free shipping promotions, adding to your savings.

See Also: Hobby Lobby Employee Discounts, Benefits, and Perks

6. Follow Social Media and Email Newsletters

For the most dedicated deal-seekers, following Hobby Lobby on social media and subscribing to their Weekly Ad newsletter can provide early notifications about special promotions and coupons.

These platforms sometimes offer exclusive deals that are not advertised through other channels.

The best platforms to follow them are Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

7. Utilize Discount Gift Cards

Purchasing Hobby Lobby gift cards at a discount is another clever way to save.

Websites like Gift Inventory or Card Cash sell gift cards for less than face value.

Buying these discounted gift cards ahead of your shopping trips can save you an additional 5% to 10%.

8. DIY with Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby not only sells craft supplies but also provides countless free DIY project ideas and tutorials on their website and YouTube channel.

Utilizing these resources can inspire you to create something truly unique while also being cost-effective.

Sometimes, making something yourself with simple materials can be significantly cheaper than buying the finished item.

9. Watch for Daily Specials and Limited-Time Offers

In addition to the regular sales cycle, Hobby Lobby occasionally offers special daily discounts or limited-time promotions that aren’t widely advertised.

These can include deep discounts on specific product categories or flash sales available only for a day or two.

Checking their website or signing up for push notifications through the Hobby Lobby app can keep you informed about these timely offers.

10. Benefit from Holiday Hours and Special Sales

Hobby Lobby often extends its hours during the holiday season and may offer special shopping events and additional discounts.

These extended hours provide more opportunities to shop after normal business hours, which can be helpful during the busy holiday season.

Plan your shopping trips during these times to make the most of the additional hours and potential extra discounts.

11. Explore the Clearance Aisles

In many Hobby Lobby stores, there are dedicated aisles for clearance items where products are deeply discounted to make room for new stock.

These aisles often contain a wide variety of items, from home decor to crafting supplies, at significantly reduced prices.

Regular visits to these aisles can lead to finding some hidden gems at a fraction of their original price.

12. Consider the “Less Than Perfect” Section

Some Hobby Lobby locations feature a “Less Than Perfect” section where items with minor imperfections are sold at a reduced price.

These items may have slight defects or damages that do not affect their overall functionality.

Shopping from this section can save money, especially on items where appearance is not your primary concern, such as materials for practice or experimentation.

See Also: How to Negotiate a Lower Price on Things With Slight Defects

13. Participate in Store Events and Competitions

Hobby Lobby occasionally hosts events and competitions that can involve discounts or prizes.

These might include crafting contests, seasonal promotions, or DIY workshops where participants may receive discounts on their purchases during the event.

These are not only fun ways to engage with the crafting community but also great opportunities to save.

14. Educator and Non-Profit Discounts

If you are an educator or purchasing for a non-profit organization, inquire about any available discounts.

Hobby Lobby offers a discount for teachers and non-profit organizations, which can be used for buying supplies in bulk for classrooms or various projects.

This requires providing appropriate identification or documentation, so be prepared with the necessary paperwork.

15. Plan Projects Around What’s on Sale

For regular crafters, planning projects based on what materials are currently on sale can lead to significant savings.

If you have a flexible timeline for your projects, wait to purchase materials until they fall into the sales cycle.

This proactive approach ensures you’re buying materials at their lowest prices.

16. Check Out Competitor Coupons

While Hobby Lobby no longer accepts competitor coupons, being aware of competitors’ sales can still be beneficial.

You can use this information to anticipate potential price matches or to decide when it might be better to shop at a competitor based on their promotions, especially for items that rarely go on sale at Hobby Lobby.

17. Make the Most of Returns and Exchanges

Understanding Hobby Lobby’s return policy can save you money if you ever need to return an item.

Keep your receipts and be aware of the return window to ensure you can return products that are not suitable.

This helps manage your budget more effectively by preventing money from being tied up in unused items.

18. Leverage After-Christmas Sales for Crafting Supplies

Post-Christmas sales are not just for holiday items.

Hobby Lobby often includes a range of crafting supplies in their after-Christmas clearance sales.

This is an excellent time to stock up on ribbons, fabrics, and decorative items that can be repurposed for projects throughout the year.

These items can often be found at discounts of 70% or more.

19. Revisit the Basics Section

For basic crafting supplies like paper, glues, and tools that you use frequently, keep an eye on the basics section.

Hobby Lobby periodically offers discounts on these essential items, and stocking up during these times can save you money in the long run.

These sales are ideal for buying in bulk, ensuring you never run out of your most used supplies.

20. Check End Caps for Deals

End caps—the displays at the end of aisles—often feature discounted items and special buys.

These are placed prominently to catch shoppers’ attention and can sometimes offer the best deals in the store.

Products on end caps might be overstock items, last season’s products, or new items promoted at an introductory price.

21. Use the Hobby Lobby App

The Hobby Lobby app is a convenient tool for accessing coupons, checking the weekly ad, and tracking the sales cycle.

Additionally, the app can simplify the shopping experience with features like barcode scanning to check prices and availability, making it easier to plan your shopping trips and ensure you are getting the best deals.

22. Shop Off-Season

Purchasing seasonal items off-season can result in significant savings.

For instance, buying summer crafting materials in the fall or winter holiday items in January.

Hobby Lobby reduces the prices on these seasonal goods to clear out inventory, which means you can get them at a fraction of the cost if you’re willing to store them until the next year.

23. Join Crafting Classes

Hobby Lobby hosts classes and workshops that sometimes include discounts on supplies purchased for the class.

These sessions can offer not only new skills and a fun experience but also savings on materials used during the class.

Keep an eye on the store’s events calendar to join a class that interests you.

24. Optimize Your Fabric Purchases

When buying fabric, always check for remnants. Ask an employee if you can’t find them.

These are pieces of fabric left over after cutting and are usually sold at a lower price.

If you need smaller amounts of fabric for projects like quilting or crafts, remnants can provide high-quality material at a reduced cost.

25. Be Strategic with Custom Framing

Custom framing can be expensive, but Hobby Lobby frequently offers sales of 50% off custom framing or free upgrades like UV glass or matting.

If you need items framed, wait for these promotions to make the most of your investment.

By using these tips—ranging from leveraging coupons and understanding the sales cycle to shopping clearance sales and using a rewards card—you can significantly cut costs. Always stay alert for new promotions, be strategic about your shopping times, and enjoy the process of creating and decorating with all the supplies you can get at a fraction of the cost.

Ask the Reader: What’s your favorite way to save money at Hobby Lobby? Let me know.

By Kyle James

The 23 Worst Things to Purchase at Costco (According to Shoppers)

Updated April 23, 2024 by Kyle James

Costco is renowned for its bulk purchases and substantial savings, a haven for budget-conscious shoppers everywhere. However, not every bulk buy is a win for your wallet or your storage space. So I set out on a mission to talk to a few dozen Costco shoppers and get their opinion on the worst buys. The results were awesome and definitely worth an article. Here are some items that you might want to think twice about before loading up your oversized shopping cart with.

The 23 Worst Things to Purchase at Costco

1. Oversized Condiments

While it might be tempting to purchase that gallon of mayonnaise or a colossal bottle of ketchup, unless you’re hosting a community BBQ, these giant containers can prove impractical.

These products often have a limited shelf life once opened, leading to wastage if not used in a timely manner.

2. Fresh Produce in Bulk

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk might seem like a cost-effective choice, but perishability is a significant factor.

Unless you’re running a restaurant or have a large family that consumes a lot of produce quickly, you’re likely to end up throwing away spoiled items before you can eat them.

See Also: Costco Employees Drop the Knowledge on the Best Time to Shop

3. Giant Packs of Baked Goods

Costco offers tempting deals on baked goods, selling them in massive quantities.

However, unless you have a plan to freeze them or you’re entertaining a large group, these items usually cannot be consumed before they stale.

This makes large packs of croissants, muffins, or bagels less ideal for an average family UNLESS you can freeze them.

This one definitely rings true to me….I can’t count the number of stale Costco muffins and dinner rolls that I’ve fed our goat over the years (no joke!).

4. Supersized Snacks

It’s easy to be lured by the giant bags of chips or snacks, thinking you’re getting a great deal.

However, not only does this encourage overeating, but it also poses a challenge in terms of storage and freshness.

Once opened, the snacks need to be consumed quickly, which isn’t always practical.

5. Specialty Appliances

While that high-tech juicer or the latest espresso machine might catch your eye during a Costco run, specialty appliances can be a risky purchase.

Often, these items are used infrequently and take up valuable counter space.

Unless you’re certain you’ll use them regularly, it’s better to avoid the temptation.

6. Bulk Dairy Products

Unless you consume a large amount of dairy quickly, buying it in bulk might lead to wastage due to its short shelf life.

Products like milk, cheese, and yogurt can spoil before they’re fully used, making smaller purchases more sensible.

See Also: Costco Bakery Hacks You NEED In Your Life

7. Clothing in Multipacks

Costco sometimes sells clothing in multipacks, and while the per-item cost seems low, you might end up with more than you actually need or want.

This can lead to unused items cluttering your wardrobe.

8. Large Quantities of Cleaning Supplies

While buying cleaning supplies in bulk can be cost-effective, storage becomes an issue, especially for those living in smaller spaces.

Additionally, if you like to try new products or scents regularly, you might be stuck with a large quantity of a product you no longer prefer.

9. Excessive Quantities of Spices

Spices lose their potency over time, and while the giant containers might seem like a steal, unless you’re cooking in high volumes regularly, you’re likely to end up with stale spices.

Smaller quantities ensure fresher flavor and less waste.

10. Large Packs of Paper Goods

While stocking up on toilet paper and paper towels might seem practical, they require a lot of storage space.

If you live in a smaller home or apartment, storing a year’s supply of paper goods isn’t always feasible.

11. Bulk Beauty Products

Buying beauty products like lotions, shampoos, or skin creams in bulk might backfire if your skin or hair doesn’t respond well to them.

Also, the efficacy of many beauty products can diminish over time, so having too much on hand can lead to waste.

See Also: The Costco Warranty: All The Products They Stand Behind

12. Oversized Pet Food Bags

While bulk pet food can offer significant savings, purchasing a massive bag can have downsides.

If your pet is picky, has special dietary needs, or if the food has a nearing expiration date, you might end up with a large amount of pet food that goes unused.

13. Big-Ticket Items Without Prior Research

Costco often offers deals on electronics and appliances, but these items should always be purchased with careful consideration.

Make sure to compare prices and check reviews to ensure that the model offered is still relevant and competitive.

Often, these items may be older models being cleared out at a discount.

14. Seasonal Decor

Large packs of seasonal decor might catch your eye during the holiday season, but storage for the rest of the year can be a challenge.

Additionally, buying in bulk might lead you to have more decorations than you actually need, contributing to clutter.

My wife and I ran into this problem last year when I bought a large Christmas light pole…it’s REALLY cool but now I’m not sure where to store it because it’s SO tall.

I’m going to have to take it apart every January and store it in my attic which is gonna be a pain in the butt.

15. Books and DVDs

While the selection may be tempting, many people find that books and DVDs bought on impulse remain unwatched or unread.

With digital streaming and libraries offering easy access to these media, it might be more space and cost-efficient to rent or stream rather than buy in bulk.

16. Pre-Packaged Salad Mixes

While the convenience of pre-packaged salad mixes is undeniable, their shelf life can be surprisingly short.

Large bags can be impractical for small households and might lead to wastage if the salad wilts before it can be consumed entirely.

17. Frozen Meals and Entrees

Buying frozen meals in bulk can seem like a time-saver, but taste fatigue can set in quickly when you’re eating the same dish repeatedly.

Also, these meals can vary greatly in nutritional value, and frequent consumption of less healthy options might not align with your dietary goals.

See Also: Read This BEFORE You Buy Meats from Costco and Save Money

18. Scented Candles in Bulk

Purchasing large quantities of the same scented candle might seem like a soothing idea initially.

However, scents can become overwhelming or simply less appealing over time.

Take it from me on this one, diversifying your “aromatic options” in smaller quantities is usually more satisfying.

19. Bulk Baking Ingredients

For those who don’t bake frequently, buying ingredients like flour, sugar, or baking powder in bulk might lead to spoilage.

These ingredients have a limited shelf life and can attract pests if not stored properly.

20. Fitness Gear and Equipment

While the low prices on fitness gear and equipment can be tempting, these are items that should be chosen based on specific fitness needs and preferences rather than impulse.

Overstocking on gear that doesn’t align with your actual workout habits can lead to clutter and unused equipment.

Personal experience on this one…I have an elliptical machine that I bought at Costco that’s currently holding a few hoodies.

21. Large Containers of Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are healthy snack options, but their shelf life can be shorter than you might expect.

Once opened, large containers of nuts and seeds can go rancid quickly if not stored properly, potentially leading to both food waste and a loss of money.

22. Exotic Juices and Beverages

While exotic juices and beverage varieties in bulk might catch your eye with their health claims and unique flavors, their appeal can wane after a few servings.

This could leave you with more juice than you can—or want to—consume before it expires.

23. Office Supplies

Buying office supplies like pens, notebooks, and binders in bulk can lead to overstock and underuse, especially in small home offices.

Before buying, assess whether the quantity aligns with your actual usage to avoid unnecessary accumulation.

Final Thoughts

Costco’s bulk buys can be a boon for the right items, but shoppers should approach with caution.

It’s important to assess your actual consumption needs and storage capabilities before giving in to the allure of seemingly great deals.

Remember, a bargain isn’t a bargain if it ends up unused or in the trash.

Ask the Reader: What’s the one big ticket item you bought at Costco that you regret purchasing?

By Kyle James

Employees Tell Me Clever Ways to Maximize Your Savings at Goodwill

Updated March 26, 2024 by Kyle James

I have a love/hate relationship with Goodwill. I love the deals I can find, but I hate having to rummage through other people’s junk to find the hidden gems. So when I set out to write this article, and find some insider ways to save at Goodwill, I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to discover. But I was VERY happily surprised with the shopping hacks that Goodwill employees gave me, some of which you won’t find anywhere else. Happy savings.

Employees Tell Me Clever Ways to Maximize Your Savings at Goodwill

Look for Student, Military, and Senior Discounts

Sure, Goodwill is pretty cheap, but try not to pay full-price if you can avoid it by using one of these discounts.

The strange thing about these discounts is that I rarely see them posted in the store.

Instead, they make you ask about them and probably hope you won’t inquire and just pay the full asking price.

Student Discounts

One employee told me to ALWAYS ask about a student discount.

She said it does vary a little bit by Goodwill store as some locations have a 15% student discount good for every day while some offer a 25% discount only on Sundays.

She said all you need to do is flash a high school, college, or even a trade school I.D. card.

Military Discounts

Another discount that the vast majority of Goodwill stores offer is a military discount.

Some stores offer 25% off all donated items on Tuesdays and some offer the discount on Wednesdays.

I was told by Jenny at my local Goodwill that they’ll give the discount for both active military and veterans. All they ask for is a driver’s license or valid I.D. with the Veteran or Military designation on it.

Senior Discounts

Those 55 or older will also get 25% off senior discount at Goodwill.

The discount is typically early in the week, on either a Monday or a Tuesday, just ask about it.

You’ll just have to show your I.D. showing your age, kinda like getting carded at the bar when buying a beer.

Not all offer 25%, my local store only offers 10% to seniors, but they offer it every day of the week.

BONUS: Other discounts at Goodwill to ask about include those for teachers, nurses, and first responders.

Look For Mismarked Items and Negotiate

So full disclosure here…I sell stuff on eBay that I find at a discount at thrift stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army, garage sales, and stuff around the house that we don’t need anymore.

One of my favorite tips is to look for items that have the wrong price on them and ask an employee to reprice it.

So, for example, if Goodwill has 3 identical Pyrex bowls and two of them are priced at $9.99, and one is at $14.99, politely ask an employee if they can mark the more expensive bowl down to $9.99 and you’ll buy all 3.

I’ve had several thrift store employees happily do this for me and they usually tell me it’s not a big deal at all.

Also, if the price tag is completely missing, ask an employee to put a tag on it and grab the cheapest similar product as the “example price”.

Show the lower price to the employee and there’s a great chance they will put that price on the unmarked item so you can buy it on the cheap.

See Also: Tips to Learn How to Negotiate at Big-Box Stores and Not Feel Cheap

Look For a Coupon BUT Don’t Always Use It

Goodwill coupon

Be sure to do a Google search for “Goodwill in YOUR TOWN” and hit up their website and sign-up for their emails and they’ll send you a monthly 20% off coupon on your $20+ purchase.

Doing some quick math, the coupon basically gets you a minimum $4 discount. So if you’re only buying $15 or $16 worth of stuff, it’s worth it to grab another item to put you over $20 as it’ll be free.

BUT with all of that said…keep in mind that you cannot stack coupons or offers at Goodwill so only use it when you CAN’T take advantage of a 25% off discount like the student, military, or senior discount mentioned above.

Ask About Price Tag “Color Days”

Goodwill color price tags

Almost every Goodwill has a day of the week where they choose a certain colored price tag and sell it for 50% off the original price.

My Goodwill does it every Sunday.

They’ll pick a price tag color and let shoppers score even better deals on those items.

Ask about it at your local store because they usually don’t advertise it anywhere in the store, YOU GOTTA ASK.

At my store, the black tags are the more expensive items so whenever they offer “Black” discount Sunday I’m there EARLY to find the deals.

Shop in Affluent Neighborhoods or Smaller Towns

The best deal I ever got was at a Goodwill in Lake Tahoe, one of the richest areas in the country known for their winter sports.

About 10 years ago, I walked away with an almost-new Burton snowboard and boots for only $50. They would have cost me over $300 new at the time.

Affluent areas will always have better brands, typically in better condition, because many folks will just donate stuff rather than trying to sell it at a garage sale or on Facebook Marketplace.

These Goodwill locations are great for golf clubs, ski/snowboard stuff, name-brand purses, designer jeans, and like-new shoes.

I literally could go on and on but I think you get the point.

Tip: When on vacation in an affluent area, always hit up the local Goodwill, you’re guaranteed to find some gems.

Also, if you have the choice between a Goodwill downtown in a city, or in a smaller town, ALWAYS opt for the smaller town location.

The prices in cities will almost always be more expensive than at your Goodwill stores in smaller towns.

Don’t Ignore the Goodwill Return Policy

Goodwill receipt

I was checking out recently at Goodwill and asked what their return policy was, figuring everything was probably final sale.

Tonya told me, “NO, definitely not final sale. Just bring it back and get a refund or store credit. Just make sure you have the price tag still on it and it hasn’t been like 2 years.”

So you might be wondering so what? It’s all used stuff, what’s the big deal.

Well, many folks, myself included, don’t want to try-on used clothing in-store. So bring it home, wash it, try it on, then reattach the price tag and return it if you don’t like it.

You can either put the price tag back on with a safety pin, or buy the tool that reattaches them for you for $10.

Know the Quality Brands If You’re a Reseller

If you’re a flipper, or considering reselling stuff on eBay, Goodwill provides some great opportunities, BUT ONLY if you know the brands and products that are easy to resell for a LARGE profit.

As someone who has dabbled in this, here are the BEST brands to look for, especially when it comes to clothing brands, housewares, and even electronics.

– Men’s Clothing Brands: Polo Ralph Lauren (Made in the USA), Howler Bros, Pendleton, Patagonia (especially vintage), Levi’s, Rock Revival jeans, True Religion jeans, Ariat jeans, Carhartt jackets, Rhoback, Arcteryx, CC Filson, Faherty, and Ben Silver.

– Women’s Clothing Brands: Alemais, Dale of Norway, Frank & Eileen, Nili Lotan, Veronica Beard, Doen, Rails, Love Shack Fancy, Moussy Vintage, Retrofete, St. John, AYR, Margaret Howell, and Issey Miyake.

– Kitchen and House Stuff: Pyrex, Lodge, All Clad, Le Creuset, Corelle, Duralex, Libby, vintage RevereWare, Tupperware, Heritage Rock, Pampered Chef, and Reidel crystal.

– Electronics: Anything classic Nintendo, PlayStation console, some Wii games, old controllers in good condition, Bose, Bose power cords, VCRs in good working condition.

Ask the Reader: Do you shop regularly at Goodwill? What’s your favorite tip to maximize your savings? Let me know in the comments.

By Kyle James