How To Save Money On Art Supplies And Design Tools

How To Save Money On Art Supplies And Design Tools

How To Save Money On Art Supplies And Design Tools

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are genuinely mine.

Contrary to popular belief, being an artist/designer is NOT cheap.

You’ll need paints, canvases, sketchbooks, pencils, computers, software, tablets, cameras…the list goes on depending on your chosen medium.

You’d also want to stay on top of your game, so you’ll need to pay for education like art school (if you choose to go that route), online classes, art books, conferences, and workshops. 

And of course you’ll want to earn back your investment, so you need clients. And to get clients, you’ll need some form of marketing. There goes the bill for a domain name, web hosting, website theme, Facebook ads, business cards, exhibit fees….

And what about an investment of YOUR TIME to learn new techniques, practice your craft, promote your work, seek out clients and opportunities, write blog posts, shoot and edit speed art videos, etc etc.

So…NO. An art/design career does not come cheap. But I’ve figured out a few ways to save some cash on art supplies and design equipment, and I’ll be sharing them all with you in this post!

How To Save Money On Art Supplies And Design Tools by Jeca Martinez

1. Sign up for membership and newsletters

It’s often free and easy to sign up for membership to a retailer, or at least an account to their website!

In exchange, you’ll be updated about their latest deals and sales, earn points with every purchase (which you can redeem as discount codes), and maybe even receive bonus discount codes on your birthday, or for just being a loyal customer!

On a related note, get to know about the retailer’s policies. For example, Best Buy has a Price Match Guarantee Policy where they will match the price of a product if you can find a cheaper one sold by a qualifying online retailer! I’ve used this trick recently and saved $13 on an external DVD drive (score!)

You can also sign up to newsletters for art and design websites. These emails sometimes include exclusive discounts for design equipment and software.

2. Compare deals

I highly recommend that you take the time to compare deals between stores and websites. This will help you know which store will get you the most bang for your buck. 

This is exactly what I did when I was about to invest in my Macbook…I even have a spreadsheet comparing prices and specs between laptop models and retailers, and this helped me save over $250! And yes, I’m one of those people who uses spreadsheets to make life decisions haha! 😂

…no, really. 😐

3. Wait until sale season

Yes, I know you’re excited about that new *thing* you want to buy, but if you’re not in a hurry, then wait until it goes on sale! Patience is a money-saving virtue 😉

Retailers like Best Buy also have daily deals, so one option is to check everyday and wait until the item you’d like to buy becomes of the deal.

If you’re not from the US but you buy online, watch out for Black Friday Sales around November because that’s when you can get the BEST deals on electronics!

4. Buy used

Not only is it good for the environment, but it’s good for your wallet! I personally like to buy used animation books from Amazon and Ebay. As long as the content is still intact, I don’t mind if the book is a little scuffed up.

Speaking of Ebay, try to consider getting used (or sometimes new) things there at a much cheaper cost. It’s a great way to see how you’d like something like cameras or tablets before spending on a brand new one. 

Or if you have a friend/relative who is looking to invest in new equipment, try to buy (or even ask for) their old one from them. That way you’d really know how much the item has been used, and if it was well taken care of by the previous owner.

Lastly, stores like Apple and BestBuy offer good-as-new refurbished products at a fraction of the cost.

5. Search for coupons and promo codes

This is a fun little trick that I lovvveeee to do!

Your next discount could be a simple Google search for promo codes away, but keep in mind that not all codes are real. It frustrates me when a promo code I’m excited about turns out to be a dud 👎🏼

To make things easier for you, I highly recommend that you check out Groupon Coupons

They have LEGITIMATE working promo codes, sales, and offers for a bunch of stores such as Canon, Target, Joann Fabric and Crafts Store, Michaels Craft Store, Best Buy, Quill, and a whole lot more! 

And it’s so easy because all you have to do is search for promo codes for your chosen store:

How To Save Money On Art Supplies And Design Tools by Jeca Martinez

Copy or print the code:

How To Save Money On Art Supplies And Design Tools by Jeca Martinez

…and either paste the code upon checkout at the store’s website, or present the printed coupon at the cashier:

How To Save Money On Art Supplies And Design Tools by Jeca Martinez

Hello discount!

How To Save Money On Art Supplies And Design Tools by Jeca Martinez

You can also follow Groupon on Facebook or Twitter to stay updated on the latest deals.


These tips can be applied to things from art supplies (like paints and sketchbooks) to electronics (such as laptops, camera, and tablets). I really hope this post has given you some ideas, and somehow helped you out! 

Now Your Turn!

  • What tools and supplies do you invest in the most for your career?
  • Do you know of more ways to score deals on these tools and supplies? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

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4 Comments

  • Karla April 17, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Great tips! I love buying used art books on Amazon and at the Salvation army!

    • Jeca Martinez Author April 20, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing Karla 😀

  • Allie Morris July 20, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Honestly, Groupon is the best! That’s seriously where I buy passes for any workout
    class I attend. If I’m ever going to an event I ALWAYS check there first. They have some cool art products listed, but I also love Amazon, etsy, and goodwill for craft supplies!
    Allie – http://www.allieways.com

    • Jeca Martinez Author July 20, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Thanks for your comment Allie! And YES Goodwill is AMAZING for DIY projects also! When I was in LA I was blown away by how cheap the thrifted furniture was and I was so tempted to try to bring some back home 🙁 I wish we had Goodwill in the Philippines! 😀

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