How to Be A Thrifty Witch

Updated: Jul 10

Witchcraft on a Budget


It is safe to say that witchcraft is having a real moment in the mainstream media, and with that, we can see the popularity of the ‘witchcraft aesthetic’. Never have ‘witchy things’ been so available and heavily promoted, with even major shopping brands getting in on the trend.


The accessibility of so many products is fantastic in many ways, but with it can come the expectation that your witchery needs to look a particular way to be authentic.


chalice, bowl, herbs, mirror, crystals, sage bundles
Image credit: ©Kath Wallace – stock.adobe.com

As you scroll through social media, you may start comparing your practice to the beautiful images of spellwork, altars and tools you see online. This can generate feelings of inspiration and creativity, or we can feel inadequate and that if we don’t have all the tools, we aren’t practising ‘right’. I have certainly heard new witches say they are worried about the financial resources to practice witchcraft.

We know that comparing ourselves to others rarely leads to feelings of joy and happiness. Still, more fundamental than that is the idea that you need multiple tools, which are often expensive items to practice witchcraft.


So, do you really need a lot of money to be a witch?


The answer is clearly – NO! The reality is all you need to practice witchcraft is your belief, passion, curiosity and drive. However, many witches still use tools to provide valuable functions: they can be expressions of our will, help us channel energy, provide meaning, and set the mood and atmosphere.


The good news is, there are many ways we can include tools in our practice without spending a lot of money, and in this blog, we will look at some ideas of how we can practice witchcraft on a budget.


The supermarket is your apothecary


A favourite cheap, powerful and flexible tool are herbs! Check out our Magical Herbalism blog on why we believe that herbs are one of the witch’s most effective tools.


You can cast any spell with herbs you can find in the nearest supermarket; you don’t need to buy expensive botanicals from specialist suppliers or occult shops.


Head to the herbs and spices section in your supermarket, and you will find a wide range of botanicals, all of which have magical properties. Also, check out the fresh herbs usually found in the fruit and vegetable aisle, which you can dry and use in your practice.


You can also buy small potted herbs, such as mint, basil, and rosemary plants, which you can continue to grow at home, offering great value for money. These are great for trimming and drying (hang upside down in a warm space) to make homemade smoke cleansing sticks or grind the dried herbs to make your own incense, magical oil, powders, and so much more.


fresh and dried herbs, scales, pestle and mortar
Image credit: ©Kath Wallace – stock.adobe.com

If you have access to a World Food Shop or International Market, you will often find large bags of fresh or dried herbs at great prices. I’ve found huge bags of rose petals, orange peel, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves in my local World Food shops, which I regularly use in my spellwork.


Also, you can get witchy herbs such as hibiscus, mugwort, chamomile and lavender by buying herbal teabags. Simply snip them open, and you have ready to use dried herbs. Of course, if you are green-fingered, supermarkets often sell seed packets to grow and harvest your own herbs.


You can also obtain other items at the supermarket which can be utilised in your witchcraft practice, including:


  • Sugar, honey, syrups for sweetening work

  • Lemons for cleansing

  • Salt of all kinds for protection, grounding and cleansing

  • Vinegar for cleansing, hex and curse-breaking

  • Fresh flowers for offerings, decorating your altar, spellwork

  • Coffee to speed up spellwork

  • Wine, spirits for offerings

  • Eggs for cleansing, protection and divination

  • Garlic, onions for protection

  • Vanilla pods for love

  • Olive oil for anointing candles and as a basis for magical oils

  • Arrowroot as a basis for magical powders

  • Apples for love and divination

  • Rice to signify prosperity and growth


We could go on and on, as most food has magical properties that you can use in your spellwork.


Don’t forget, most supermarkets also sell items that you can utilise for your altar and spells at affordable prices, such as candles, dishes, bowls and glasses for offerings, as well as practical items such as pestles and mortars and jars.


clock, candles, dried herbs and flowers, pestle and mortar
Image credit: ©Kath Wallace – stock.adobe.com

But I Need All the Books!


One area in which we can all be guilty of overspending is books! However, there are still many ways you can save money and still have ‘all the books’. As witchcraft becomes more mainstream, finding witchy books in secondhand bookshops or charity shops is increasingly common. You can also explore your local library or swap books with witchy friends.

Online resources can be effective in helping manage your budget when it comes to accessing knowledge. For example, subscription sites such as Scribd have a plethora of witchcraft books for a small monthly fee. Also, many reputable online witchcraft magazines can be accessed for less than a fiver per month. Don’t forget free resources, such as YouTube, podcasts, social media, blogs and websites. For example, several well-respected pagan or witchcraft authors also have a lot of free resources on their websites.


Collecting your tools


No tool is inherently full of magic – it is you, the witch, that imbues the tool with its magic. If you are planning to invest your precious money in tools, then it is crucial to be intentional about it. Don’t buy ‘all the things’ just because you feel you need them to be a witch.


It is tempting when we start exploring witchcraft to believe we need every traditional tool, such as a wand, chalice, athame etc., for our altars. However, our altars are a personal reflection of our own unique path of witchcraft, so a more effective approach is deciding which tools you feel align with your practice and which you are most likely to use regularly before you splurge!


woman's hands holding a bowl of herbs, candles and brass ornaments
Image credit: ©Kath Wallace – stock.adobe.com

Consider writing yourself a list of what your ‘must-haves’ are, so you don’t risk getting distracted by all the sparkly, spooky goodies and wasting money on items that you then don’t use.


For example, there are only three tools, which I believe are ‘must haves’ for my own practice: a) candles, b) a journal or paper, and a pen c) a range of herbs and botanicals.


Once you have determined which tools you want to invest in, there are a few different ways to ensure you get maximum witchiness for your buck!


First, check out antique, thrift, secondhand and charity shops and markets, where you are likely to find not only a bargain but also unique objects. Remember, items are often not advertised as specific witchcraft tools; for example, you may see a beautiful glass that you could use as a chalice or a crockpot that will make an excellent cauldron.


Also, ensure you sign up for newsletters for your favourite occult suppliers, so you are the first to know about sales and special offers. In addition, craft, stationery and pound or dollar stores and supermarkets can be excellent sources of inexpensive items that you can utilise in your practice. For example, you can use a journal from a stationary shop instead of an expensive leather-bound Book of Shadows!

If you are open as a witch with friends and family, then ask for witchy gifts for special occasions, such as birthdays. Also, if you have friends who are also witches or are part of in-person or virtual groups, then look at trading items. There are a few specific online groups set up for buying and trading items between witches, which also has the advantage of investing money within the witchcraft community.

If you are crafty, you can consider making your own tools. This allows you to invest your personal energy into them during their creation, making them particularly potent. There are multiple tutorials on sites such as YouTube for inspiration. Even if you are not particularly into crafting, you can still make witchy tools, such as magical oils, powders, washes and sprays. These are simple to make and can be made with easily accessible herbs and botanicals.

Finally


Look for tools and items you can use whilst out in nature. Always be respectful and consider the impact on the environment of anything you take home. It is also wise to be aware of the laws regarding removing anything from the natural world; for example, it’s prohibited to remove shells or pebbles from certain beaches.


However, as long as you are mindful, you can find all kinds of magical items whilst in nature, such as stones, sea-glass, bones, feathers, twigs, leaves, pinecones, shells, different types of dirt and sand etc. Consider setting an intention before going for a walk to find the right tool, and be open to what nature has to offer you.


dried leaves on the ground, pine cones
Image credit: ©Kath Wallace – stock.adobe.com