|"Why yes, I did use|
coupons! Thank you for
websites. But when you want to buy costume materials, and you have only a few coupons at your disposal, what should you use them on? Or, what should you wait for a coupon to buy? After many years of experience shopping at these retailers, many of whom mark things up so they can always have "sales", I can offer some insight!
Fabric is usually the biggest expense for any costume. At places like Joanns, fabrics go on sale on rotation, usually 40% off of a given collection or material at one time. If you are buying smaller quantities of fabric or less expensive fabrics, a sale is a bonus, but not necessary. Use your big guns on large quantities or specialty fabrics: 50% and 60% off coupons. Remember you usually can't stack coupons with sale items; if you have a 60% off coupon, but the fabric is on sale at 40% off, wait to buy the fabric until you can use the 60%. Just make sure the dates line up!
2. Molding, Casting, and Modeling Materials
These are pricey anywhere, but the nature of them can make them difficult or impossible to buy online due to restrictions in shipping hazardous materials. If not hazardous, they are still typically heavy, and mostly sold by smaller retailers who don't run a lot of sales or deals, and don't offer free shipping. Use your coupons at craft stores to buy their (indeed overpriced) materials. You can usually get Claycrete (or similar), paper clay, resin for casting, basic mold-making materials, latex, and oven-bake clays at most national chains. With a good coupon, you can get it down to a regular price, or with any luck, a little better.
3. Spray Paint
Enough said? Usually at least $7 per can. Craft stores tend to carry a nicer selection for cosplay use (including my favorite DesignMaster paints) than home improvement stores do, and spray paint hardly ever (or never?) goes on sale, so use your coupons with abandon!
BONUS! 4. Notions
Okay, I just had to add this one. I'm talking snaps, straps, hooks, grommets, and everything else on that tightly-packed pegboard. You know the one. A lot of closures can be pricey (magnet closures are about $6 for one or two; snaps and grommets are at least $4 a pack). There are also sometimes coupons for anything on the notions wall, so look for those, too!
I hope I've helped you narrow your couponing focus. Any money saved is great, but sometimes you have to pick what to save on! And remember, you may have to make multiple trips to make the most of your coupons; decide whether that's worth it to you for the money you will save. Check online, where you can usually use the same discounts.