Claire has worked with crystals and many other aspects of paganism for over 14 years. She has also studied reiki up to master level.
In recent years, the popularity of paganism and its magical practices has been growing steadily. This has lead to an increase in the availability of items associated with magical or pagan practices. Most towns have a pagan or witchy-type shop stocked with a wide range of items, including crystals, wands, candles, tarot cards, and incense. These shops can be a great source for tools and materials, and they are also ideal locations for meeting like-minded people. The downside? They can be expensive. For those who are looking for ways to get the tools they need on a budget, we will cover 10 easy ways to save money on pagan and witchcraft tools.
Ways to Save Money on Tools for Witchcraft and Pagan Practices
- Buy and reuse small, cheap candles.
- Shop at charity or thrift shops.
- Grow or trade for herbs.
- Look for tools in nature.
- Buy tools in bulk when possible.
- Purchase high-quality products.
- Recycle and reuse jars and bottles.
- Request tools as gifts.
- Forage for items outside.
- Create crafty, homemade tools.
Ten Tips for Witches on a Budget
1. Buy and Reuse Small, Cheap Candles
If you wish to use candles in spells or on your altar, they do not have to be specific spell candles (also sometimes known as chime candles). Any candle is fine, but since most spells state that candles should be left to burn down, it is worth considering the size of any candle you buy. Large pillar candles are good for general burning or lighting for fragrance, but not as suitable for spell work as they take many hours to burn down. Tea light candles and birthday candles can be good cheap options and can be bought in many shops including some supermarkets, homeware stores, and discount shops such as Dollar Tree or Poundstretcher.
If you burn candles outside of spell work and rituals, any leftover wax can be saved. If the candle contained herbs or any other decoration, remove these and the wick and store the wax in a dry container. Once you have a decent amount of wax, this can be melted down and used to make new candles. The easiest way to do this is by placing a new wick into a glass container and then pouring the melted wax in. Wick can be bought in one long continuous length or as individual wicks cut into pre-set lengths. The ready-cut wicks often have a small metal wick holder attached that makes them easier to use. You can affix these ready-cut wicks into the bottom of the jar with a little melted wax before the rest is poured in around it. When cutting your own wick, you can attach the metal holders yourself or suspend the wick in the container by tying it around a pencil balanced across the top.
2. Check Out Charity or Thrift Shops
These can be great sources for a range of items including candles, incense, jars, candle holders, and cloths for use on your altar. Many also sell glassware and plant pots, and most have book sections that can be treasure troves filled with books of all kinds. What items you can find varies from store to store—and even day to day—depending on what has been donated. This can make visiting this type of shop more like treasure hunting—sometimes with great success. Another great aspect of going to charity/thrift shops is that you will be reusing items that otherwise may have been thrown away by their original owners. Repurposing and reusing items helps to protect the environment by preserving resources and reducing waste and is a great way to engage in care for the earth. Buying from this type of shop is also helping to support charities and organisations that in turn support others. If you wish, you could choose a shop that supports a cause close to your heart or connected to your craft. For example, if you are a green witch you might select a nature-based charity, or if you are a kitchen witch perhaps you would prefer a food bank.
Don't Forget to Cleanse!
When bringing items home for your craft, it is important to cleanse them to remove unwanted energies. Each item encountered many people and places on its journey—some not always pleasant. It is therefore especially important to cleanse secondhand items since you don't know what type of environment they were in previously. Cleansing can be carried out simply. For example, you can bury items in the ground, soak them in clean or salt water, or use smoke from a smudge stick or incense.
3. Grow or Trade Herbs
The herbs that you use in your spells and other craft-related activities do not have to be bought from specific witch/pagan shops. Many herbs and spices can be bought at much cheaper prices in other stores such as supermarkets. Rosemary, thyme, parsley, cloves, cinnamon, and poppy seeds are a few herbs and spices you can often find at a regular store. There is also no reason why you cannot use herbs that you already have in your kitchen at home. For less common or non-culinary herbs, you may need to seek out a dedicated shop or website. Alternatively, you could research the herb's magical correspondences and substitute it with another that fits your need. For example, bay, caraway, mint, rosemary, and violet all have healing properties and can all be used in workings of this type.
Many herbs can also be grown at home—even if you only have a small amount of space available. For example, herbs can be grown in pots on a windowsill, patio, or balcony. Choose herbs that you use often as this helps maximise the benefit of growing your own plants. You can also look into harvesting and drying these homegrown varieties if you want to take your homemade materials to the next level.
4. Look to Nature for Natural Tools
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find items for free at local parks, woodlands, beaches, and other open spaces. Nature can be a source of many items such as:
- Pine cones
However, these should be collected mindfully and without harming plants and wildlife in the area. If you wish to collect plant material, you should try to select from what has already fallen to the ground whenever possible. Do not take large amounts from one plant or area, and don't take more than you need.
5. Buy in Bulk
Although this option will cost more in the outset, it can be a good way of saving money in the long run. In most cases, it is cheaper per item to buy a larger packet of an item than to buy two smaller ones over time. It may also be possible to find bargains in bulk/wholesale shops or online. Some of these will sell to individuals as well as businesses. Those that sell to individuals often try to make their merchandise accessible by setting small required minimum amounts for their orders. Larger lots of items such as crystals, candles, and herbs can also often be cheaply found on eBay and are good if you use them regularly.
6. Aim for Quality
In many cases, it is worthwhile to pay more (if you can) for a higher quality item—they will likely last longer. Very cheap versions may save money at the time of purchase. However, if they do not last long you will need to then pay again to replace them—or continue on without them. For items that get a lot of use or are more long-term purchases (such as divination tools), it is worth saving up to buy a quality item even if it means waiting a little longer to buy.
7. Recycle Jars and Bottles
Save any glass food containers from things such as baby food, drinks, cooking sauces, condiments, and sandwich spreads. Once the contents are gone, thoroughly wash and dry the containers, and then you can use them in many ways! Use these repurposed containers to:
- Store herbs.
- Hold crystals.
- Store candles.
- Serve as witches bottles/jars.
- Use in jar/bottle spells.
- Create magic charms (such as house protection bottles).
You can also save and reuse jars and other glass containers from many other items including candles, stationary supplies, or health and beauty products. If the container originally held a candle, then it may be suitable for reusing as a candle holder or for making your own candles in. However, care must be taken when using other glass containers with candles—some may crack or break from the heat.
8. Request Tools as Gifts
If you are able, ask for items that you need or want as birthday or holiday gifts. Another option is to trade items with other witches in your area. For example, if you have several crystals of the same colour or candles of the same scent it may make sense to swap with others who are looking to trade. For people who are unable to be open about their pagan beliefs or witchcraft practices, a good option can be to show an interest in items that aren't ONLY connected with paganism or witchcraft—that way you don't have to directly mention what you are using the items for. IF you wanted to collect crystals, for example, you could borrow books on geology and crystals from the library, or research them online, without creating too much suspicion from those around you. From there, you could start to buy crystals and display them at home. The same applies to candles (especially scented) and incense—many people use these without any connection to paganism or magic at all.
9. Forage Outside for Natural Tools
As followers of nature, it is great to be connected to the energy, plants, and wildlife that live in your local area. One way to do this is to learn what lives and grows nearby. The next time you are out in local parks and spaces, or even just walking along the street to work or school, pay attention to the plants and trees that you see along the way. You will surprised by the variety of things that grow even in the busiest cities.
If you are not familiar with identifying plants, there are many reliable guides that are available to buy as well as websites and apps. One example is the Woodland Trust Tree identification app (UK). This can be used to identify trees by various features such as leaf shape, or fruit and bark type. The app can also be simply used to browse or read information on a huge number of tree species. This knowledge can further develop your practice by helping you to safely forage for plants growing in the wild. Similarly, it opens up the option to collect items such as horse chestnuts, acorns, and various fruits and berries that grow wild in many areas. It is very important to be certain of the type of plant before picking, especially if it is to be eaten, burned, or used on your body in any way. Some potentially dangerous plants look very similar to safe varieties, or are only safe for use in some ways. As with collecting items from nature, do not take too much of one plant or item or cause damage to any that are growing nearby. When collecting nuts, seeds, fruits, and berries it is also important to ensure that there is plenty left for the animals and birds that live in the area to eat.
10. Craft or Create Your Own Tools
There are many items that you can make yourself at less cost than buying them, even if you are not particularly artistic or crafty. Plain candles can be carved with sigils and symbols that represent your intent. They can also be heated slightly and rolled in herbs to empower them. Magical oils can be made using plain plant oils, herbs seeds, and other items, and it is also possible to create your own loose incense blends using herbs, resins, and other plant materials. If you enjoy art or crafts as hobbies, there are many ways that these can be incorporated into magic and paganism. When you are making your own items for use, they can be infused with your intent during the creation process, making them personal to only you. Many people actually believe that this enhances an item's power in your work. Some creative ideas you could try include:
- Painting or drawing pictures of your deities.
- Cross-stitching relevant designs for decoration, placement on your altar, or use in spells.
- Sewing small bags for spell/mojo bags or protection items such as tarot cards or runes.
- Carving a wand from a fallen tree branch.
- Drawing your own set of tarot cards.
- Creating a set of runes using found stones, wooden shapes, or sliced branches.
- Using airy drying clay or Fimo/Sculpey to create model figures, candle holders, or element representations.
- Making crystal, pagan, or magic-themed jewellery.
Increased Accessibility of Common Tools
Thankfully, there are many frugal options for acquiring witchcraft supplies for anyone who wishes to save money. Many everyday shops sell items that can be used with witchcraft or incorporated into many pagan paths. For example, candles, essential oils and incense have become more widely by people in general and so are stocked in more places now than in the past. A huge variety of herbs are routinely used in cooking and so are easily bought in any supermarket or are already kept within the home and these have many uses for those practices magic.
This more widespread availability of many items not only makes them more accessible but has also helped to blend them into everyday use and culture. These days, many people enjoy burning scented candles or incense at home purely because they enjoy the fragrances. Essential oils have also gained popularity with mainstream audiences since the introduction of electric diffusers. For those who need to hide their pagan path from the people around them, the generalizability of these tools can be a great benefit. It means that some items are no longer viewed as being unusual, weird, or only as part of some dangerous occult practice or godless belief.
Pros and Cons to Shopping at Pagan Shops
Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to shopping in metaphysical and pagan specific shops. We've noted that they can be expensive. For some people, this can be very restrictive and make it difficult for them to practice how they would like or as often as they wish.
Many shoppers may also think that they need to purchase all of the items available to buy at a metaphysical shop in order to practice magic. They may feel they are not a good enough witch because they do not have every tool or are lacking a huge range of coloured candles or crystals. However, this is not true at all. It is important to remember that no tool will make you a better witch or more dedicated to the gods and goddesses you follow. The true magic and dedication is found within you—in your intent and how you live your life—rather than in the items that you own or the money that you have. Visiting dedicated shops can also be difficult for people who want to keep their pagan beliefs or practices private. It could even potentially be harmful for anyone who must keep their true beliefs hidden due to the views of others around them. Sadly, there are still a great number of witches and pagans who must follow their path undercover due to misconceptions or risk of persecution from other people.
Fortunately, many of these shops benefit from having experienced staff who can offer individual guidance or who run classes or groups you can attend. And if they can't help you, they may know of other people that do. Pagan and witchy shops can be a great source for altar tools and decorations and may stock books on a wide range of topics such as spells, divination, reiki, crystals, and various branches of practice—for example, Wicca, green witchery, kitchen witchery, or Norse paganism. For many people, it is a bonus to be able to find all of the items they want or need in one place, especially when they are offered choices of various brands and are not restricted to one option. For those who don’t live close to this type of shop, the internet offers a huge number of online stores to suit every taste and all beliefs.
© 2019 Claire
Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on February 08, 2019:
Thank you, it is much appreciated. Yes, cleansing is very important. I am going to add a note on that for those newer to the craft, just in case.
Dale Hyde from Tropical Paradise on Planet X on February 07, 2019:
You have done an excellent job of sharing on how to save some money whilst practicing the craft! We, in our household, apply all that you have mentioned and have for years. No matter the source, we always do remember to cleanse any and all prior to using them in the craft. Cleansing immediately upon bringing them into the home is the best way to not forget. There are some very simple ways to do this that works very well. We use salt most of the time.
Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on February 07, 2019:
I definately agree on that and I find that often it's not just money that is saved, but resources and so our planet too. Can save us time too if we can find a way to use what we already have.
Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on February 07, 2019:
Thank you :) Every penny saved helps.
Gemma Newey from United Kingdom on February 05, 2019:
Fantastic post. Great idea. Most witches are on a budget in this day and age.