Crafting is typically a costly hobby, at least, if you get your supplies by running to the nearest chain crafting store to buy full-price supplies and tools. Fortunately for all you crafty folk out there, there you don't have pay full price.
* Shop the sales. Most items will go on sale at some point. Buy then; and, in fact, stock up! If your favorite type of yarn goes on sale for half price, buy enough for the next few projects. If card stock is on sale for 25% off, buy a little extra.
* Shop secondhand. At my favorite thrift store, I frequently find bags of yarn for $2 with three skeins in each bag. I don't have choice of color, but it forces me to be more creative in finding ways to use it up. I also find tools, cross-stitch patterns and rubber stamps.
* Use coupons. In the Sunday paper, the major hobby/craft stores offer a coupon for 40% off of one item. Use that coupon wisely and you can save significantly.
* Re-purpose thrift store items. Look at clothing, curtains and sheets as materials rather than items. Perhaps that hideous shirt has amazing buttons. Those curtains are too obnoxious to hang at the windows, but could make vibrant ties, scarves or skirts. Any knit sweater with yarn that hasn't felted can be unraveled and used to knit or crochet new items.
* Scavenge. Using trash for craft is a great way to save money while making some pretty cool stuff. Make beads out of magazine pages, earrings out of floppy disks and wall art from computer parts. You can create unique crafts while reducing the amount of material going to the landfill.
* Check out books from the library. I love leafing through crochet pattern books for inspiration, but never go back a second time. I stopped buying books and now check them out of the library. Most libraries have extensive crafting sections, and you can request on inter-library loan any book you can't find on the shelf.
* Create items that you would usually buy. Crochet washcloths instead of buying and you'll have a few extra dollars for yarn. Make your own beaded earrings and you won't have to spend a lot to accessorize, which leaves plenty of extra money for bead shopping. Knit warm fuzzy socks and not only will you save money by not buying socks, you can turn down the heat in winter for savings on your gas bill.
* Buy bulk lots online. Ebay is a great source of bulk lots of yarn and other crafting supplies at steep discounts. Buying pound skeins of yarn usually yields a lower price per yard than smaller skeins. Buying a package of a dozen crochet hooks will usually mean a lower price each than purchasing individually.
* Venture into nature. Pine cones, stones, shells and wild grasses can all be used in various crafts and can be acquired for free.