Each Friday I write about something I did, bought, made or didn’t do that helps us continue our frugal life. My goal? To show that being frugal doesn’t have to mean going without or making huge changes. Being frugal is about being mindful and intentional with what we buy, what we make and how we spend our precious time. Why be frugal? Because we work hard for our money and our time is valuable. So why shouldn’t we get the most out of it!
Today is actually my Thursday as I had yesterday off. I work Saturday so my week is a little mixed up.
Yesterday I spent the day hiking with a good friend along the Columbia River Gorge. It was beautiful, sunny and so wonderful to do a long hike while it wasn’t so crowded and the weather was still nice.
One thing I did before we went hiking was I met a woman in the parking lot of a Target and bought a backpack.
We are in full prep mode for our trip to Australia/New Zealand next spring, which means gathering a few clothing/travel items we need for the trip. One thing my husband and I both need are backpacking packs. Since we will be traveling all over both countries having backpacks is the easiest and most convenient way for us to travel. We also needed some that would allow us to go on some overnight backpacking hikes back here in Oregon.
While we were in Bend last weekend we went and measured ourselves at REI and looked at a few different brands. After some time we both finally decided we wanted OSPREY bags because of the durability and fit.
With our sizes and pack choices written down I went on a mission to find them cheaper online. After searching multiple sites I ended up finding a backpack listed on Craigslist that was close to what I wanted. It is a bit smaller in terms of packing space, but not by that much. The woman selling it wore it once and had no further use for it.
I messaged her during work on Wednesday and we agreed to meet in the morning the next day so I could look at the bag.
The bag fit great and was in excellent condition. She probably paid close to $229 for this bag and sold it to me for $100 because she had no use for it. What a steal!
Same bag I purchased only mine is in Blue
When we looked at bags at REI we were looking at spending over $200 for each of our bags. While I was willing to do this for a good quality bag, I had a bit of sticker shock at just how expensive nice backpacks can be. $100 is a lot easier on the budget and I got the same quality bag I would have if I purchased it straight from REI.
This is not the first time I have used Craigslist. I have actually purchased many items, and sold many items, on the website. We even found Gary the rooster a new home via Craigslist. I know some people who are fearful of the website, or of meeting random people and exchange goods/money. I have never had any issues with it and have not felt worried or scared when I meet people to sell or buy an item.
My Craigslist Tips:
-Aways communicate via e-mail first. If you feel comfortable giving your phone number after some communication to help facilitate the meeting then go for it. If not just use e-mail. I never post my phone number or address on my ads for selling items.
-Only meet in well travelled areas during the day. I always meet in the parking lot of a big store with lots of other people/cars. Sometimes I bring my husband just in case.
-Always bring cash and/or establish the price before meeting. There is nothing worse then wasting yours or someone else’s time by not buying/selling the item because of a price disagreement.
-Be patient. I have had things listed on Craigslist for months. It just takes one person looking to buy that one item or for your perfect item to be posted.
While I do most of my shopping online, I do use craigslist pretty regularly. We have saved a lot of money by buying used or new on craigslist and it helps another person/family make some money and get rid of an unwanted item. Anytime I’m shopping for a big ticket item I always check craigslist to see if someone local is trying to sell that very item. In most cases I can save over 50% off MSRP buy purchasing from someone locally.
Money Saved: I have saved hundreds and made hundreds by buying and selling on Craigslist.
Time Saved: You do use a little bit of time just due to the fact that you have to drive and meet someone to exchange the item(s). I always offer to meet halfway or on my way home from work. If that doesn’t work I will plan a trip and tack on a grocery store run or another errand to make the trip worth it. I normally don’t have to travel very far and most people are willing to compromise and meet halfway.
Happy Friday and good luck with Craigslist!
I am not a Craigslist affiliate and am not compensated in anyway by them. I just like saving money 🙂