Secrets for Shopping at Joann’s Fabric

Are you a Joann’s Fabric fanatic? Here are seven secrets to shopping there to maximize your savings!

Joann's Fabrics Shopping Secrets and TipsThere are a few stores that I frequent on a regular basis. One of those is Jo-Ann Fabric. I feel like there’s always something I need to get there, and I typically end up leaving with more than I went in for. It’s just one of those places that you can’t escape with just one thing!

Around where we live, Jo-Ann’s is pretty close to several other craft stores, but it’s just about the only one I go to. They have the best selection of fabric, and I think they almost always have everything I need. I remember going to Jo-Ann’s all the time with my mom when I was growing up, and, to be honest, I think we almost always go there at least once when I’m visiting. You could probably say I found my love for JoAnn’s from her!

Since we are having a handmade Christmas series this whole month, I thought I’d share a few ways to shop at Jo-Ann Fabric and get the most bang for your buck. You can get craft and sewing supplies, gifts, and even supplies for making yummy treats, so I think this is pretty essential information for the upcoming holiday season!

Joann’s Fabric Best Shopping Tactics

  • Coupons
  • Discount Program
  • Remnant Section
  • Shop after season
  • Grab a ticket
  • Ibotta
  • Shop online
  • Wait for the best deal

Joann’s Fabric Coupons

My philosophy for shopping at Jo-Ann Fabric is this – always use a coupon and use as many as you can. If you walk into that store without one, then you’ve already made one mistake! There are so many ways to coupon at Jo-Ann’s, it’s silly not to have at least one. Not every coupon can be used on every product, so be sure to check the fine print, but I think you can definitely save a bundle. You can use a different coupon per product you are buying, so you definitely want to round-up all the coupons you can!


Text Club

If you have a phone (even if it’s not a smart phone), this is the easiest way to save some extra cash. I think I get a coupon every week from them, and it’s usually a pretty good one. For instance, last week I got a 25% off entire purchase, including sale prices! Most coupons exclude sale prices, so that was pretty awesome. Some of the fabric I was getting was already 40% off, so that additional 25% made it even more affordable.

You can register your number here.

Mobile App

I love my JoAnn’s Fabric mobile app. It has a few different features, but the coupon part is the best. There’s always a handful of coupons at all times, and it’s very handy — especially when you forget your other coupons at home! The only downside is when you don’t have very good service on your phone, you might have a hard time pulling up the coupons. For whatever reason, Jo-Ann’s stores always seem to have bad service. Don’t ask me why!

There is an app available for both iOS and Android devices, which can be downloaded here.

Joann’s Online Coupons

There are always coupons available on the Jo-Ann website. While this is usually the last place I go to get coupons (just because I don’t like wasting our ink), I definitely print one off when I have quite a few different items I am going to get. There’s usually two or three that you can print off.  You can go here for their printable coupons!

Mailer

I can’t remember if it’s every month, or every week, but Jo-Ann’s sends out a great ad in the mail that not only alerts you to current deals, but it’s full of coupons as well. I always look forward to my mailer coming in the mail each week. You can sign up to be a VIP member (and get 10% off every purchase), and it looks like you can actually sign up for their text club, birthday club, and email club there as well. They sometimes send out coupons in email form, as well, so that’s a great thing to sign up for as well.

Competitor

This is one of my favorite ways to coupon — using competitor coupons! I almost always use a coupon from either Michael’s or Hobby Lobby when I shop at Jo-Ann Fabric. I believe that as long as the other stores sells a similar product to what you are using the coupon on, you can use the coupon. For instance, Michael’s doesn’t sell fabric, so you can’t use a Michael’s coupon on fabric, but you can use it on most everything else.

All in all, coupons are essential for successful Jo-Ann Fabric shopping! I’ve been known to use between 5 and 10 coupons at a time there. It really makes things more affordable.

Discount Programs

Jo-Ann’s has a bunch of programs you can sign up for that will give you a discount. I used to be a part of their student program, and I believe I got 10 or 15 percent off of all my purchases. I know they have a senior citizen discount program, a birthday club (I got a 20% off my entire purchase post card in the mail for that), and a teacher program. These may vary by store, so just talk with your local store to see if you qualify for anything!

Ibotta

I just found out that Ibotta has Jo-Ann’s rebates! If you haven’t been using Ibotta, download it now. You get cash back for certain purchases. It’s typically just on groceries, but I just noticed that they have a rebated for $5 back if you spend $35. It’s a free app for Android and iPhone devices.

Remnant Section

This is a great tip to know if you buy fabric a lot. Jo-Ann has something called a remnant section, where they sell very discounted cuts of fabric. These are usually the end (or remnant) of a ream of fabric, so it’s usually one yard or less. However, I’ve found that they always have popular fabric in that section that is perfect for different projects I am working on. My office/craft room is full of pieces of fabric I got in the remnant section. This fabric is super, super cheap, and I can’t help but stop and look through the bin whenever I’m there. In all the Jo-Ann’s stores I’ve been in, it’s next to the cut counter, but if you can’t find it, I’m sure an employee can help you out!

Shop after season

This is a good tip for pretty much any store — shop for deals right after a holiday! Most stores are anxious to get rid of the previous season or holiday’s merchandise, and it’s typically marked down a lot more.

Grab a Ticket!

This is essential when you find the Jo-Ann store you are in to be very busy, such as on Black Friday. If you are planning to get anything cut at the cut counter, and it looks like there is a huge line, go grab a ticket! This way, you don’t have to wait forever in line to get your items cut. My mom started doing this after she went on Black Friday once, and I’ve always found it be pretty helpful. Our local store is usually really busy, and when I do this, I always have enough time to get my fabric, and I end up only waiting a minute or two in line. Much better than waiting aimlessly for 10-15 minutes!

Wait for the best deal

If it isn’t urgent, wait. Sometimes I’ll have a 50% off coupon, and then I’ll go in, and see the fabric I want is already marked 30% off. This is good usually, but when you have a great coupon, it kind of sucks. Sometimes I end up buying the fabric anyways (for instance, if it’s for a baby shower gift that I need the next day.) However, if it’s something that can wait, I

 Shop online

Jo-Ann’s has some great deals online and you can typically find most of their in store products online. I’ve actually found some better deals online than going in store, and sometimes, it’s just more convenient. You can get free shipping on orders over $60, and if you shop through Ebates (which you should most definitely sign up for — see my best cashback sites‘ post for more details), you can get an addition 2% back in cashback!

Hopefully you learned a few new tricks after reading this post! I really do love shopping at Jo-Ann’s, and with the upcoming holiday season quickly approaching, now is a great time to take advantage of some deals there! If I missed anything, I’d love to hear your best tips!

From a reader on how to deal with poor Internet service in the stores:

If you have a smartphone you can screenshot your coupons ahead of time. I do this with all my retail money saving coupons, before I ever leave my house. Screenshotting my coupons has an added bonus as well, for I then organize all of my coupons into a retail coupons folder in my phone’s photo albums, which when you are a personal shopper, as I am, you can save a lot of time & most cashiers a lot of frustration because your coupons are all in one place and access to each one is seconds apart. The screenshots are just like the originals and can be scanned as if they were. Hope this helps! ~Work Smart, Not Hard~ Rachel P.

Here are some other DIY posts you may enjoy:

DIY Toy Bag
Sewing Essentials for Beginners
Tips for sewing with minky fabric

I've been a long-time shopper at Jo-Ann's...and there are definitely some secrets to shopping there! Here's what I've learned about getting the most for my money there!

Written By
More from Katie

Potato and Cauliflower Gratin

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Netflix...
Read More

85 Comments

  • I love this fabric store, I went to it with my mom growing up in CA. I do not go to it often as its not super close to where I live but when I do go I find soo much good stuff & I def. always pull up coupons on the app. I learned recently I can use competitor coupons and I am joining the text club now!
    • They really have so many awesome items there! The fact that you can use competitor coupons makes it pretty much the best -- definitely one stop shopping for all my crafting needs for sure!
  • These are great tips! I shop there all the time and I didn't know about competitor coupons. Another thing that I started doing while I am waiting in the cutting line is take photos on my phone of the information on the bolt. That way I have the info if I need more, the fabric makeup and most importantly, the washing instructions which I always forget. I have found it very helpful!
    • Thanks Stephanie! They don't advertise the competitor coupons thing, but I've never had a issue with it. That's a great tip for taking a picture of the bolt. I can't tell you how many times I get home, and I'm like, what exactly is this (and how should I wash or iron it!)
  • You don't have to print the online coupons! You mentioned how you didn't want to use your ink. I pull up the app and their website on my smartphone and they're able to scan the barcode straight off the phone.
  • I too, grew up shopping at JoAnn's with my mom and loved it. I won't shop at the one close to me because they do not honor their own coupons, even when the fine print exclusions don't apply. And to make matters worse, corporate won't respond to emails requesting assistance. Makes me really sad cause I love their stuff.
    • Wow! That is really disappointing. I will say, I have not always been very impressed with the Jo-Ann's customer service at some stores I've been in. It seems like so many of the employees just are in bad moods! My mom always says, if employees are unhappy or rude, it probably comes from management.
  • They have a teacher's discount program also. I'm a school counselor so I get an ID card each year. You just have to take the card with you, ask to join and fill out a little paperwork. You then get a discount card for 15% off your purchase that is good for a year. It's another discount on top of sales & coupons.
      • If you are signed up with your school district as a homeschooling parent you can also be on the teacher's discount program. It's been too many years so I don't remember what documentation you have to show to qualify, so...ask. It's always "no" if you don't at least ask.
  • A clerk at my local JoAnns told me a could sign up every member of my family to receive coupons/mailers. I signed up my husband and now get double mailers.
    • That's really smart! I need to sign up my husband now. I know some places only let you have one per household, so this is an awesome tip!
  • You forgot one great money saver. I buy the Joanns booklet. For a couple of dollars, I get a couple of 50% coupons and some 40% coupons also. I save a lot more than the couple of dollars when I use them. I keep them in my purse to use when I don't have any other recent coupons. They are good for months.
      • They usually have one in the Spring and one in the Fall. They are like a small magazine with ideas for new patterns and fabrics. The stores in my area usually have them at the cut counter. The have a page of coupons on the back the usually don't expire for several months after the magazine comes out.
  • Don't forget the 10% military discount on your entire purchase every time you go in there. Even if you are a family member of a veteran, show your card. My husband is a disabled veteran, I show my Disabled Veterans Auxiliary card and get my discount. Great place!!
  • You don't have to print e-mail coupons. If you have an email app you can go to that mail, they can scan it from your phone. No ink used.
  • I repined your post on JoAnn's Fabric Stores and I have gotten 52 plus repins. I made a comment so it would not look like my pin originally. But for some reason it did not show up. Anyway, if you happen to see the pin, I wanted you to know I am not trying to take credit for the post but then people would know that (I hope) when they read it. I guess you are getting some visits to your blog, which I understand in the blogging world this is good. I am not quite sure how Pinterest works. I pin things so I can read or make them later. Or just to refresh my memory.
    • Don't worry at all! You pinning my post is great for my blog, and I appreciate it!! If you pin something, and someone clicks on it, then I get more traffic. I'm so glad you liked the post enough to pin it!
  • Thank you so much for these tips! I do a lot of costume sewing and I didnt know about ALL the places to get coupons! You are a peach! Thank you so much! I've shared your site with friends!
  • I have a quick question. How do you use more than one coupon. The ones I get say they can't be stacked with other coupons.
    • Hi there! You aren't allowed to use more than one coupon per item, but you absolutely can use one per product. If you have something that's like 25% off your entire purchase, that counts as the coupon per product. Here is what their policy states: Customers generally may use more than one (1) coupon in a transaction with the following exceptions: They cannot use two (2) identical coupons (i.e., coupons with the same barcode number) in one (1) transaction. They cannot use two (2) or more transaction-level discounts in one (1) transaction. They cannot apply two (2) coupons or discounts to the same item.
  • As a JoAnn employee, there are a couple of our money saving options you missed! RetailMeNot offers JoAnn coupons now so that is an extra coupon source. I recommend screenshotting all of your coupons/price matches before coming into the store. That way they are all together and you don't have to wait for the internet to load new pages. (Those cement walls are a Wi-Fi killer!) If you show the cashier a competitor's ad, with a valid sale date, for an item that we carry (it does have to be the exact same item) we'll match their price. It can be a physical ad or an online one. We also price match our online prices if they are better than the current in-store price. Just show us the price on your phone or a computer print out and we'll match it! We do take manufacturer's coupons. So if you have a Wilton or Fiskars coupon lying around, we'll take it! In the spring and fall we have the Fashion Fusion magazines for $3 or $4. They have 6 coupons inside and are good for several months. They are typically located at the cutting counter or pattern cabinets. Currently, when you make a purchase at a JoAnn location, the bottom of your receipt will have a website for a short survey. When you take the survey, you'll receive a 50% coupon! Sometimes they run it where you are entered into a drawing for a gift card instead but the receipt will tell you what the current incentive is. And don't forget that if the store is out of something that you don't need immediately, they can typically special order it for you. That way you make sure you don't miss out on a great sale or coupon deal!
    • Thanks for all these valuable tips! I really appreciate you taking the time to write them out. I will have to keep these in mind the next time I go to Jo-Ann's! I had no idea Retail Me Not had coupons for Jo-Anns!
  • The reason the Internet connection is so bad inside Jo-Ann is because we don't have Wi-Fi. The best thing to do is have screen shots of all your mobile coupons so you don't hold up the line waiting for them to load individually. This will make check out faster and your cashier love you!!!
    • I definitely make sure I have my coupons ready to go before I go in! Definitely a good tip for making things go quickly. The internet thing is still weird to me though - I haven't tried to find WiFi, but I have high speed internet data that works great right outside the store, but then I have no service whatsoever when I go in. It's very odd and happens at all the stores!
  • I love their fabrics but have to say the store out on 132nd in Omaha sucks when it comes to accepting competitors coupons but I can drive to Bellevue Nd they are courteous & happy to take them. Prob the reason the WiFi sucks is they don't want you searching for coupons. I usually open a page for Hobby Lobby & a page for Hancock's & a page for Joanne's & keep them open to the coupons. Usually if I'm in Omaha Joanne's loses me to Hancock's because of the coupon & the service issues
    • That's too bad that they are so bad about accepting competitors coupons - especially because it's their policy! I agree that they probably don't want people searching for coupons. I think that there must be something block internet data from working! I have been disappointed with the customer service at our local Jo-Anns, sadly.
  • What a great post! Thanks so much. I'm a Canadian and occasionally drive over the border to Joann's if I need quite a few things. I can use these tips to save more money and make it even more worthwhile. Thanks!
  • Don't know if this was mentioned yet, but a tip for when there is bad service (b/c I've noticed that too) I take a screen shot of all my coupons. That way they are also all in 1 location for easy access and your not going from text to website taking up a bunch of precious time you could be crafting!
  • I know I'm late to this party... but as a JoAnn employee I'd like to chime in. These tips are all excellent! I would like to add that JoAnn now has guest wifi so you can load all your coupons, sign up for the text, go to the website, etc. Never go to JoAnn without coupons, but PLEASE read the fine print. AND, do not go there if you only have 5 minutes- it's always busy and you'll get frustrated! We want happy customers. :)
    • Love getting input from Jo-Ann's employees! Jo-Ann's is definitely somewhere that I allot a good amount of time to be there. I did notice that they have WiFi now, though it wasn't working very well in the store I was in. It's definitely an improvement though!
  • You forgot 2 great tips. Buy their magazine. It is usually on top of the pattern files. They usually have 6 coupons inside for up to 50% one item. The cost of the magazine is very small considering all you save with the 6 coupons. Also, buy their yearly calendar. This years calendar has a coupon of each month. They are normally $5 off $25. It can really add up. Great tips, love Joann's!!!
    • I actually had no idea they had a magazine or a calendar! That's awesome. THank you so much for sharing - I'm off to figure out how I can get both of those :)
  • The JoAnn store here in Pensacola Florida has pretty much lost me as a customer. The only coupons I ever see are for full priced items only. And guess what? 80% of their items seem to be "on sale" at any given time, which tells me they regularly overprice items so they can turn around and display a reduced price. Not cool, JoAnn. I still shop there from time to time but only because the prices at Michaels are downright obscene.
  • I used to work at JoAnns. Another thing to know is that the people at the cut counter have those handhelds that they input your fabric into. They can also see when that specific fabric will be cheaper. I was always telling people after I scanned their fabric, " if you come back tomorrow it will be a dollar p/ yard cheaper, or that fabric is going to be on sale next Tuesday. Just ask at the counter, they can tell you.
  • be careful when screenshotting coupons: not all stores allow it. for example, I work at kohls and we're not allowed to accept photos of coupons, even a screenshot, it HAS to be the original. either double check this with your cashier or don't say it's a screenshot. out of courtesy to your cashier: THEY can get in trouble for YOUR couponing habits.
  • Another thing I take advantage of often. You mentioned the remnants, but if you are buying yardage, and there is less than a yard left on the bolt you can get that extra piece at 1/2 off the current price. My store usually asks "do you want the rem?" But if they don't, then I ask them to measure and see if there is a rem left. Sometimes I even plan my purchase that way. If I look at a piece and there is only about 1 1/2 yards left, I ask for 3/4 of a yard and get the extra 3/4 at half price. This even works on sale fabric. I think a remnant of fleece is considered 2 yards. They would rather sell it to you on the spot than having to measure, wrap and label it to put in the rem bin.
  • Their service is terrible and I feel as though the quality of their fabric is not what it use to be. The employees are usually just as frustrated as the customers. Most of the time in our store there are 2 people working, one at the register and one at the cutting table and there is a big line.
  • The stores now have free wifi... Just log onto it and the service issues with coupons are resolved! Joann also has a 10% military disount, you just need to show proof of military service. I don't pay more than half the posted price for anything at Joann if I can help it!
  • Did.you know that if you pick up a remnant that is from a bolt that is on the floor and it's on sale on the floor the sale price is applied to the remnant. For example if home dec fabric is on sale at 40% off and you pick up a remnant it will also be 40% off original price then the remnant at price.
  • Just DON'T shop at Joanns....worst fabric ever , absolute WORST customer service, scamming coupons...whenever I would try to shop there I would come out cursing having bought nothing. ...
  • "There’s a few stores that I frequent on a regular basis..." Katie, I am surprised to see this grammar! I love JoAnn's Fabrics and I am addicted to this store. Thank you for the info wanda
    • Ha! Thanks for pointing that out. I'm not the best at editing my own posts :) I hope you found the information enjoyable!
  • Another great way to get coupons is by signing up for their emails! I've signed up 6 emails and almost EVERY email has at least one coupon that you can use during your next trip. Every coupon has a different code sent to different emails. I wind up going in there with 15-20 coupons (normally just 40% off one item, but that's big savings!) Everyone who rings me up says that they've never seen that many coupons! Another tip when using that many coupons is to take screenshots of the coupons so you can just show the first, scan, swipe, scan, swipe, repeat!
  • I highly recommend the new JoAnn's in Plymouth, MA. IT IS CLEAN, well organized, and the staff is friendly and helpful. I live much closer to the Hyannis store, but it isn't as positive an experience.
  • Before I enter the store I always take a snapshot of my electronic coupons. I then put them in a coupon folder in my phone's gallery. So easy to pull up at the cash register. Make sure to capture the bar code when taking a snapshot. I also make sure to capture the date to know when to delete the photo after it expires.
  • Here's a little more info about those remnants: The price you pay is AT MOST 50% of what is printed on the yellow label. F'r instance, if it's an apparel knit, the label will show the price as 1/2 yard (or whatever) at the full price. BUT, if knits on the bolt are on sale for 40% off, your remnant will be 50% of 1/2 yard at 40% off. Fleece and tulle remnants are 1 1/2 yards or less, all other fabrics are 1 yard or less.
  • Here is o.ne thing I didn't see mentioned unless I missed it .The price on the remnant label is listed as the full price of the fabric and you pay half of that price. What the sign doesn't tell you, is that if the fabric happens to be on sale that day (and many of them are), that you pay half of the SALE price. I have gotten favric for as much as 70-90% off this way.
  • Our Joann's does not allow coupons when the fabric is on sale :-( they will give you the regular price of the fabric and then you can use your coupon but you can't have both. So interesting that this varies from store to store.
  • You can get the 15% discount that teachers get if you are in a guild or similar orgainization. I take my membership directory in every fall to prove it, and get my discount card.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *