When you go into any hobby, I don't know about anyone else, but I like the thrill of the 'hunt'. I like to go through the stores hunting for this and that and the thing I should buy because one day I might need it or could use it for the hobby I want to do.
I usually hunt for things I can use with other hobbies. Lace goes well with cards, scrapbooking and crazy quilts. Stamps, stickers and papers, go well with art journalling, scrapbooking, cards and any other mix media project. Beads can be used in crazy quilting, making charms, stick pins and so on...
There's all manner of things I find that eventually end up in one craft project or another. While some items do need quality over quantity and paying less isn't always the best thing to do for some craft items,
There are a few ways to spend less and have more. And if you are a collector like me, you will find eventually all those odd bits can be used in a variety of ways to make more things than say if you went down to the shop to buy them.
If you can't make them your self there are plenty of very talented people on youtube showing you how to make all sorts of things. You'll find them there and will learn to make your own things too!
In the end there is nothing like a day well spent sorting through all those bits and packaging them up for rainy day projects. I've sorted through things to find enough for three cards and probably a scrapbook page. I also made flowers and pins for plenty of other projects too. There is even a butterfly to go with the flowers. So like cooking, crafting can be done from scratch too. The main thing from all of this is to enjoy what you have and make the most of it.