Note: this is part of a series. You need to scroll down to the bottom. The first entry is entitled "Tales of a Soon to be Former SU Demo" Internet stores, local craft stores, chain stores, drug stores, the grocery store (baby wipes, double sided tape) -- every time my eyes opened I was buying something related to stamping and paper crafting. I had hundreds of stamps, dozens of lines of paper, inks galore, embellishments everywhere! I was literally drowning in tons of wonderful stuff. Nothing wrong with this approach -- IF you have the skill to pull a little from this line and a little from that, and the fortitude to log onto the computer without pulling out the credit card. Unfortunately, I don't have a terribly bright creative light burning inside. I need assistance to turn out something in which I can take pride. A little browsing on splitcoaststampers' galleries full of SU stamp sets, and I realized that if I stuck to that company's line, at the very least, all my stuff would coordinate. Was I willing to walk away from Hero Arts, Outlines, Penny Black (sigh), Paper Insprirations, etc. etc.? YES. If it meant I could save money. So I sold almost all of my non SU stamps and the adventure began. As an SU demo I had to sell (buy) $300 worth of stuff every quarter. Demonstrators get a minimum of 20% off of the catalog price, although we pay shipping and tax on the full price. This basically came down to approximately $23 a week. I figured that was WAY less than what I was already spending. Even if I sold to no one else, I'd be saving money. Plus, SU has a very sneaky and effective way of getting a few more stamps or other catalog items into a demo's house -- there are incentive programs -- buy/sell more, earn a larger discount, earn points towards products, etc. It looked like a win/win to me. No more stopping by Michael's with a 40% off coupon and leaving with $67 worth of stuff that I'd never use. I've now been a demo for one year, and with a few exceptions, I've managed to stick to SU -- I bought some background stamps from Cornish Heritage Farms, an order from TAC to help out someone who helped me out, a clear A Muse polka dot alpha bet (which I've never used), a Cricut (I mean, HELLO??), a few other items using amazon.com dollars earned simply by using our amazon credit card, and some super nice ribbons that SU simply doesn't sell. That's pretty much it. Speaking of that credit card, every time I sold or bought something with SU, I used the card -- racked up a lot of amazon dollars that way! So, I accomplished my first goal -- I got a handle on the spending --not 100% successfully, but I consider it a success. NEXT: DID SU HELP MY STAMPING IMPROVE? YOU BE THE JUDGE!!