You can definitely get heavily into planners and spend up a storm, but that is not required. Here are some helpful hints for planning on a budget.
Don't Pay Full Price
Join the rewards clubs at your local craft stores, and sign up for email updates. You can always get a 40% off coupon at Michael's, and many deals are better. Some stores are strict and don't take competitors coupons, or even allow you to use multiple coupons on a single day. So it may take some planning on your part. Watch for the 50% off and get your most expensive items with that. Take advantage of the buy 1 get 1 50% off on the same day that they have 20% off entire purchase including sale items.
Try Tuesday Morning, and other extreme discount sites. I have found washi and more there. My favorite find is a mini cutting mat with a magnetic ruler. It is extremely useful for cutting out stickers, and trimming washi tape (use the ruler at the end and rip up) when I don't want to drag my larger cutting mat out. I got this combo for $4.99. List price was $9.99
Get Some Economical Supplies
On a typical day, a $4.99 package of assorted color card stock is on sale for $2 at Michael's, plus you may be able to stack a 20% off coupon on top making a purchase of 50 sheets (5 different colors) of card stock for $1.60! Get a few rolls of washi at Tuesday Morning or the Dollar Store.
Take advantage of the free or inexpensive printables on the internet. Our printable tips can help.
Collect PR Codes
Go though your stash and see what is not getting used, or where you have extras that you may have purchased afraid you would run out (FOMO). Put these items for sale on the BST (Buy/Sell/Trade) groups and you will make more room, and enjoy your planner purchases more.
If you are ready to buy a leather or leather alternative planner, consider buying preloved. You can find some great deals in the BST groups and you get a chance to be sure you will be happy with the size and features before investing the regular price.