This article is aimed at giving you some advice and ideas for gathering your materials and doing spellwork. First and foremost is that doing magic shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. You shouldn't have to spend $50 on ingredients to do a money spell that you need to do because you are short on your rent payment. You should be able to look around your home, inside but also outside too, to find what you can use for your spellworking. The witches of old didn't have a local pagan store to pop over to to gather expensive or hard to find items. They used what was on hand, either in their home or out in their garden or even in the local field or woods. And believe me, their spellworkings were very effective despite the lack of fancy items. So here are some ideas as to what you can do to save money and yet have what you wish to have to do any kind of spellworking you wish. Just don't crowd your home with all sorts of items to use eventually for spellworkings. A few of each is usually all you need.
First let’s look at bottles and jars. Many spellworkings call for jars or bottles. But you don't need to spend a lot of money on these. Any kind of jar or bottle will do if you can fit your chosen items into it and close it up so that it won't spill out. While my daughters are having babies, I've been collecting some of their used baby food jars. Glass ones, as I prefer glass and glass usually last a long time and usually have good tight fitting lids. Old medicine bottles can work though most are plastic and I simply don't like plastic when I can avoid it. Glass jars that food comes in like jam jars are very useful. Also you can use canning jars. Those can sometimes be found in your local thrift or second-hand store but also in your grocery store. New lids can be bought separately for the canning jars at any store that sells canning jars. Remember that your jars generally don't need to be very large. Small is usually all you need for most magical workings. Just remember that you usually need jars and bottles with tight fitting lids. Jars and bottles with tight fitting corks work well also. So yes, save a wine bottle or two as well as those jelly jars they just might come in handy. You don’t need fancy jars for storage. Any jar that seals up tight will work just fine.
Next, it would be good to buy up or save up some cloth materials to use to make bags and poppets and other items. These generally don't need to be yards and yards of material of one color or another. Just a foot or two of each color is usually all you need. Buy it when you've got a few dollars to spare or better yet, when that shirt or other clothing item wears out, save some of it to use. Old bed sheets make great charm bags and such. Don't save everything but do keep a bit that you might find useful. Same for ribbons and cords. The local fabric store should have sales on some of their cheaper cloths and ribbons from time to time or they might have a remnant table or box with leftover materials or ribbons and cords. Many inexpensive ribbons comes in spools that you can buy very cheaply. Remember you don't need to have all the colors of the rainbow on hand. Some extra white and black is always useful and then other colors that you think you might use more than others. Thrift and second hand stores also offer up a source of cheap materials. Don't spend a bunch of money on these items. You can also get with your friends and buy in bulk and then split it up.
Paper is always useful as well as writing pens. They can almost always be found cheaply. Parchment is nice but can be expensive so unless you've got the extra money, don't bother with it. There are many spellworkings that calls for you to write something down and do something with it. Again, don't gather up a ton of paper and pens for your spellworkings. Yes, they can come in all sorts of colors and that can be nice for specific spellworkings but white paper is always good when you don't have anything else and as for pens, black or blue always works. But whatever you have will work. Construction paper or art paper can be useful but not really necessary. Use what's on hand.
Now, stones are very useful and pretty. But you can't always find many of them without going to either a pagan/metaphysical store or a rock shop. However, the stones that you see laying on the ground near your home or in or near the water can be just as useful as what you buy in a store. The key to remember is that just like the fancy ones, these found stones are of the earth and have earth energies in them. Pick one up and concentrate on it and feel it's energies. Does it feel like it would be good for healing or for protection? Then use it as you wish. Clean it up and charge it and it's ready for use. Note I didn't say cleanse it. If you found it on or in the ground or water, then it's already cleansed. You just might wish to wash off the dirt. There are many types of stones and crystals that you just might find just lying about on the ground. Do keep your eyes open when you go outside for that hidden treasure. Also, if you do choose to buy your stones then check out what is available at a low price. Many stones cost you only a dollar or so and are just as useful as the more expensive ones. Remember that most stones can be used for several different types of spellworkings.
Herbs are another item that are used quite often. Yes, there are many fancy and hard to get herbs from far away, but you can simply go to your kitchen and find all that you need. Or go to your grocery store if you wish. The fancy herbs are nice and very useful but so are the herbs and spices and even foods that you have in your kitchen and you generally don't need a lot to do a spellworking. Also, remember that herbs are plants and they usually grow outdoors. Look around outside in your yard or in the nearby woods. You just might find what you need there and it’s free. Many witches have herb gardens, some indoors and others outdoors. I do suggest that you store you herbs and spices in glass jars as plastic breathes and your herbs and spices won't stay fresh as long if they are in plastic. But again remember those jars I talked about at the beginning of this article? Well this is another use you can put them to, storing your herbs. Whether for magical use or cooking, I simply prefer to store my herbs and spices in glass with tight fitting lids. And believe me, I'm not spending a bunch of money on jars to store them in either.
I didn’t mention resins here because generally speaking you will need to find them in your pagan or metaphysical store. Though sometimes you can find them in an herb store. This is an item that will cost you a bit. But you don’t really need to have resins for your spellworkings. They are nice and are called for in many spells but if you just can’t afford them then don’t worry about it. There are plenty of inexpensive or free herbs that will work just as well.
Next are oils. Many witches use essential oils for anointing their candles or other object including themselves. This is fine but essential oils can get quite expensive. An alternative is to make your own herbal oils and blends. This is quite simple to do and you don’t need to spend a lot on it. First off, olive oil is an old-time favorite for just about anything and you don’t have to blend it with herbs. But if you want you can put your chosen herb in a jar and then fill it with olive oil or any other carrier oil (note: some carrier oils can be expensive so choose carefully.) Then seal up the jar and let it sit on a shelf out of the sunlight for about a week or two and then strain out the plant matter and you have your oil. I do suggest that you get with your friends when you do this and each make one type of oil and then when you have it made you can each share between you some of the oil you made. You really don’t need a cup of a chosen oil and they will go rancid with time. By sharing between you and your friends, none of you have spent much on the project and yet you will have a nice selection of oils for next to nothing.
Next are charms and other items. Many spellworkings calls for some sort of a charm or token or such as part of the list of items to use. These can be charms that you can find in a jewelry store or, better yet, a thrift or second hand store. Even better, what about that old jewelry you have sitting about that is broken. They just may be useful. Believe it or not a broken silver or gold chain can be very useful in a spellworking that calls for some gold or silver in its list. Same for charms from a charm bracelet or necklace. I'm not saying to save back all of your broken jewelry but you might have a use for some of them. Also, there are websites and of course your local pagan or metaphysical store that sells small charms really cheap. Remember that anything can be used as a charm so look around and see what you've got just lying about. As I've stated before, I don't like plastic, but that's a personal preference and has nothing really to do with what will work in magic. Your charms or tokens can be made of any kind of material, metal, plastic, glass, bone, stone, wood, polymers or clay or anything else. You can buy them, make them or find them around your home or even someone else's home, if they will let you have their broken jewelry or items. This is another item that shouldn't cost you much of anything at all. So yes men, ask your mother or sister or aunt or significant other if you can look through their broken jewelry. They may think your strange but then again, they probably already know you’re a witch so it shouldn’t be something new to them.
Next, I wish to talk about candles. Candle magic is quite popular and can be very cheap. Any kind of candle can be used. You don't need to spend a lot on your candles. Those fancy ones in the shape of a man or woman or cat or whatever are nice but not absolutely necessary. Cheap candles that you can find in most any store can be used. I really like tealight candles but votive candles are good too. And of course, there are a wide variety of tapered candles. You don't have to suffer through worrying about colors. White is always a universal color and are probably the cheapest to find. Beeswax candles are very nice and traditional but also a bit expensive and when we are trying to save money they just aren't usually within our budget. Soy candles have become popular but again they tend to be a bit expensive. Also, in the past the old time witches usually used tallow candles made from animal fats. This was before petroleum was found and at a time when beeswax candles were extremely expensive and used mostly by the rich. So, though the standard candle that most will see in your stores are petroleum based and thus not environmentally friendly, we can't all afford the alternatives. Use what you can afford and wish to use, just keep these things in mind.
I'm sure you will come across other spells written by other people that calls for other items that I've not mentioned. That's fine. I've not included everything in this article. What I've included are the major and most called for items. If you run across something not mentioned here, just look about and see if you can find a cheap way to do the spell without spending a bunch of money on the items listed in the spell. Many times you will find that you can substitute another item to achieve the goal of the spellworking just as well as what was actually written down. Use your imagination.