Johnny and I have mentioned more than a few times how much we love using Amazon Prime. The prices are reasonable, and the free, two-day shipping is pretty dang convenient. In fact, sometimes it’s a little too convenient. Rather than look to local classifieds or Craigslist first, Amazon has become our first option for buying almost anything.
Case in point: Last weekend, in honor of Father’s Day, we went shopping for a grill. We had a Home Depot gift card, so that was our first stop. On the way there, one of us said, “Even if we find one, it probably won’t even fit in our trunk. Have you checked Amazon? We could just get one from Amazon.” See? Addicted. When we got to Home Depot, we realized all of the gas grills (which were Johnny’s preference) cost anywhere from $200 to $500. Yowza. Even with our gift card, that was way out of our budget. So we sighed a little sigh and went home empty handed, our dream of homemade burgers fresh off the grill temporarily crushed. We concluded that we’d just save up our money and purchase one on Amazon at a later date. A few days later, Johnny said, “So I checked on Craigslist, and we could get a gas grill for $30 if we wanted. We might have to clean it up a little, but it will work just fine.” Say whattt?
And that got us thinking. Why don’t we alway check the classifieds first? Well, we used to. When Sally was just a few months old, I got a screaming deal on a jumper that she used every day for months. Our only excuse for not consistently pursuing this deal-finding path? Laziness. Admittedly, scanning Craigslist is significantly more time consuming than just pressing a button on Amazon. And there’s the whole meeting and exchanging money with a complete stranger factor. But paying $30 versus paying $200 for a grill that we use on the balcony of our rental unit until we buy a house someday? Definitely worth it.
We’d like to make a habit of relying more on Craigslist rather than Amazon as our first choice for purchases. And they say it takes 21 days to form a habit (well 66 according to this study), so for the entire month of July, we’re committing to first check each and every reasonable purchase to see if we can buy it secondhand. At the end of July, we’ll report on what we’ve bought (and thus saved).
We’d love for you to join in the fun, which is a relative term, but this is about as wild and crazy as personal finance gets up in here. So who’s with us? Anyone else need a reason to work a little harder to find deals?