What kind of stores are you looking for? I always find cheap fabric at JoAnn (Rand & Arlington Heights Rd). The sale section is amazing. As for other crafty type things, I opt for Michaels (there's one in Mt. Prospect and another in Palatine, check michaels.com for the one closest to you, if you haven't ventured to one before). Also, sometimes it's cheaper to buy supplies online from wholesalers and such--and eBay is always fun for random things.