How you and your wallet can love your hobbies

Even if you're collecting or need special materials, you can indulge your chosen pastimes without paying too much. Here's how:

How you and your wallet can love your hobbies

Antiques and collectibles

  • When starting up a collection, don't head for big auctions. Instead, browse the classified ads in your local paper, or visit garage sales and house contents auctions.
  • Collectors generally love to talk about their finds. Connect with any number of groups online that specialize in collecting everything from World Fair mementos to thimbles.

Stamp-collecting bargains

  • Besides asking friends and relatives for used stamps, particularly those with contacts abroad, ask anyone who sorts the mail in an office — large, international companies are ideal.
  • There are groups that can help you collect stamps economically, and many offer youth and beginners sections with a free stamp offer and information to help you identify bogus stamps.

Sewing and knitting

  • Search in second-hand clothing stores for unusual textiles for cushions and throws. Flea markets and discount fabric outlets are another inexpensive source.
  • Keep a note of how much fabric you need for your favourite patterns so you can buy the right amount.
  • Look in second-hand stores and garage sales for stitching books and dress patterns.
  • Many embroidery and knitting patterns, for items such as cable-knit sweaters, don't go out of style, so search online for vintage patterns.
  • Visit needlecraft shows, advertised in stitching and craft magazines, where you find many suppliers with special promotions.
  • Most quilters are "fabraholics," unable to resist a new fabric treat for some future project. They also have lots of scrap fabric from past projects. Join a local quilting club and someone may have that perfect fabric for you.

Read more for less

  • For a wide range of books try second-hand bookstores. Many have their own websites and online catalogues.
  • For new books and second-hand titles, search the big online suppliers. You may reap savings of more than 50%.
  • If you're a regular reader, it may be worth joining a book club. Check online for a variety of book clubs offering everything from audio books to mysteries.
  • Form a reading group, or join an existing one, and assemble a private library. All members have access to a wider range of reading material than their own individual collections.

Hobbies needn't cost a fortune, especially with the many resources we have at our fingertips. By connecting with people who love what you love, you could find ways to enjoy your pastime without spending a lot of money.

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