Saturday, September 06, 2008

Quilting in a recession



Hands up any of you who have had even a single passing thought along the lines of ,"Uh-oh, if this recession/ credit crunch/ inflation continues, am I going to be able to continue to afford my quilting materials?"

Yup, thought so. This is on my mind too, not least because The Great Northern Quilts show tomorrow is presenting shopping opportunities fast on the heels of Festival and my shop hop. Well here are my methods for getting the large conglomerates to pay for all that fabric temptation.

1. Acquire a credit card with benefits. My business card gives me Airmiles. I use this to buy petrol at Tescos which is the nearest and cheapest station to me. So driving enables me to fly for free at some point in the future ( Maybe to Eindhoven for the European Quilt Championships!).

2. But also when paying use a Tesco's club card. This will give you points and every month vouchers will arrive for money off.

3. Take the vouchers to Tesco Extra. ( as a bonus, this is near enough be a nice walk and so I can get some exercise in). Buy products that are on offer in the sale. At the till get an extra discount with the vouchers that give money off specific products - e.g today since these already reduced price raspberries were over a pound still I got another 25p off.

4. Then, pay for the whole bill with the vouchers you get for the points you collected. The haul at the top of the post (plus some humus I forgot to photograph) after reductions cost £9.82, of which I actually paid £0.82 pence. That's £9 saved for fabric tomorrow. I also got 9 more points for 'buying' the food and showing the Tesco card and 1 for reusing a plastic bag. (Actually from a different supermarket but it does not seem to matter!)

5. Also shop wisely. So the (reduced price) Oreos are for snacks for Lesley and I tomorrow so we don't have to pay show prices for a cookie with our tea. But also I know that The Shuttle will sell fabric for as little as £3.50 - £4 per meter - great for sourching backings. So Tesco's bought me 2 metres of fabric. Maybe 2.5 when you add in the saved cookie money.

6. When I shop at shows it goes on my personal credit card which of course has benefits - this time a 1% cash back paid to the card in January. So far this year I have £122 acquired already. For nothing. (And actually a litte bit more because of course the card is paid off each month so there is no interest to pay but the direct debit goes out on the very last minute of the interest free period.The cash is in an interest bearing account pending payment ( because I never use the credit card unless I actually have the money to pay in cash) and so if you save the interest up, you get compounded interest on the interest you got. Fab.

7. This cash back gets earmarked for the Nantwich sale in January, when it is rare to find fabric for more than £4 - £4.5 a metre. ( If this is not impressing you Americans bear in mind that full price is about £8.99 - £10.99 here. I also buy a big roll of wadding which is cheaper and more convenient than geting individual pieces. Because you cut to length exactly there is less wastage. And for the rest of the year you don't have to spend precious quiting budget on such a boring item.

8. And of course at the show I pay with the cash back card so I get cash back on the stuff that is free because the cash back paid for it. And we drive to Nantwhich so I pay for the petrol with the Airmiles card and use the Tesco card...


Now I know that somewhere someone is frowning in disgust that I am not shopping at a local farmers market. If there was one here I would. I love them. But we don't have one.

And probably someone wants to point out that Tescos are collecting data on me. Well, yes. But given the ammount of personal details about myself I splash over the Net I am not really bothered that they know I buy petrol ( work it out - I own a car!) - and lemon and coriander humous.

And yet another person tells me I should not be driving. Well, if the train goes and goes conveniently and if I do not have luggage that is not transportable by train, I do use it. But I pay for the ticket on a card with benefits .......

6 comments:

Quilt Pixie said...

and the key, in the midst of this is that you pay off the credit card balance each month.... in the end, however you fanagle it, its really a case of living within your means.

Margery said...

And if you have e-on as your energy supplier, you can sign up for extra Tesco points (lots of them)!

Kristin L said...

I'm impressed.

Gina said...

Look on the Tesco clubcard site to see what you can swap your vouchers for. You can make some great savings on Magazine subscriptions etc. That's what I use my vouchers for.

Love and hugs Gina xxx

Shasta said...

I just love to take advantage of the offers retailers and credit card companies (and any other business) give you. And like you, I use them smartly by paying off in full each month, etc.

Margeeth said...

Helen,
Please reconsider using your airmailes for flying to Eindhoven for the European Quilt championships. I probably should not say this, being dutch, but I think its a shame that they dare to call this show that. It is a not a big show, much smaller than Birmingham, organized by a businesswomen, who as far as I know has just claimed the name "European quilt championships". The show is nice, but European quilt championships is a name that is several sizes too big.

When I was in Birmingham I spoke with some English quilters who went to Eindhoven and felt really very disapointed.