As we were preparing the information for this site, it occurred to me that not everyone, myself included, has a great deal of extra cash lying around to supply themselves with all the wonderful "goodies" and tools associated with our chosen paths. To that end I decided to give some practical advice and information on how to get your supplies, needs or wants without going into debt on the way :o)
1) Your Home
Before you buy anything, look around your own home. There are treasures galore there if you look. What about that odd goblet you keep hanging on to but just aren't certain why? Maybe you were saving it for a chalice on your altar/workspace. Candleholders can be any number of different things, an odd piece of driftwood or stone with natural holes in it, small dishes or glasses (they should be heat resistant though).
2) Thrift Stores
Thrift stores and secondhand shops are wondrous places. Go in with an open mind and a vivid imagination and all manner of things appear as tools. You want an athame but just can't afford that really cool one you saw? Well look around, letter openers make a nice substitute until a later date. Herb knife? I bet you can find a good temporary, if not permanent one, in a thrift shop also. And there are any number of dishes that can be found for use on your altar/workspace for salt, incense, water, etc.
3) Hock Shops
This is where you might be able to find the, usually, higher ticket items, such as gold and silver and even platinum sometimes. Don't be afraid to haggle either. Most hock shops expect it. On a side note, things from a hock shop can sometimes have "bad or sorrowful vibes" attached to them. My advice, handle the object you desire, "feel" it and if you don't feel like you can cleanse away any unwanted vibes from it, pass.
4) Rock Shops (Lapidary Supply)
Yippeeee! Gemstones at decent prices! This is THE ultimate if you want a lot of stones and metals to work with. Here you can find them in their natural states, unfinished, and in all kinds of shapes and sizes. You can usually also get cut stones, agate and geode slices, and the findings and tools to mount them if you so desire. Some rock shops also carry some mounted stones for reasonable prices. I can spend hours at our local shop :).
5) Flea Markets and Yard Sales
Always great places to look for items at, usually, rock bottom prices. Again, don't be afraid to haggle.
6) Craft Stores
For me, this is another great place to find items that I can put together myself. To me, that is the very best. Then a part of you has gone into the item you desire and it is more in tune with your needs. For example: I wanted a specific type of Altar Tile. I couldn't find what I wanted anywhere. I went to the local craft shop, bought a blank tile, paint specifically for ceramics and glass, and made exactly what I wanted. It took all of about an hour once I had it at home and the cost was around $5. Of course, I didn't use all the paint so I can use it for other things I may want decorated as time goes on.
7) Hardware Stores and Lumber Yards
Go to these places for the woods you want for building boxes, shelves to hold your items and doweling to make burins, pen handles for calligraphy nibs and even wands. (You can get doweling at craft stores but it usually costs a lot more and they don't carry a variety of wood types) Or if you want a copper wand, you can get the tubing, cut to any length you want, at the hardware store in the plumbing section.
That is about all I can think of right now. If you have any ideas, e-mail me or Morgana and we may just add them to this list (and give you credit if you so desire)