To Buy or Not To Buy? That is the Question.

Posted by Mrs Money on January 9th, 2009

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treadmill.jpgLike pretty much every other person that makes New Years resolutions, one of my personal resolutions is to lose weight and get in better shape.  While my health is my number one reason for wanting to do so, I also want to feel better about looking at myself in the mirror.  No shame, no game, right?  I’ve decided I’m going to lose weight and get in shape by running.  I’ve always wanted to be a runner, and now is the time.  I’m working on eating healthy, and when I eat healthy I want to exercise!

Unfortunately, living in the Midwest means rain, snow, sleet, hail, ice, sun, and pretty much every other weather you can think of.  I love being outside and running in our neighborhood, but sometimes it’s just not feasible.  Take tomorrow, for instance.  I’m off work and want to run but I won’t be able to because it’s going to rain.  Boo.

I decided I was going to invest in a treadmill recently.  That will give me the ability to exercise no matter what the weather is like outside.  I had originally decided I would purchase one from Walmart for about $277, but then decided against it because that’s too much money (although good for a treadmill) and I’m afraid that the quality just won’t be there.  So then I decided that I was going to get one from a Play It Again Sam’s.  A used treadmill!  Great idea.  I went there on my lunch break and the cheapest one they had ($249) looked like it had lived in Grandma’s basement last decade.  Plus, I couldn’t run on it, and what the heck is the point of a treadmill if you can’t run on it?

There was a beautiful treadmill at Play it Again Sam’s that was a great size for $600 that I could run on.  I just didn’t plan on spending that much money.  So after being discouraged at Play it Again Sam’s, I decided I’d check craigslist.  Of course I can’t find any that I like on there or look reliable.  I figure I’ll take the frugal approach right now and just run outside when the weather is nice and do exercise videos inside when it’s not nice outside.  After all, I’m saving money and space in my house.  I will be honest and tell you that I’m trying to come up with a solution where I have a treadmill in my office to use. :)

What would you do?      

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10 Responses to “To Buy or Not To Buy? That is the Question.”


  1. It’s very unfrugal of me but I bought an elliptical machine this year at Costco (They sell treadmills too) for about $800. I know, it’s a lot, but I wanted something high quality because it’s hard enough to motivate to work out, let alone if you don’t really like your machine.

    Good Luck!

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  2. MIss M says:

    I wish our house had room to exercise! I had to invest in gym memberships for Mr M and I, we have no space for treadmills or ellipticals. I think the treadmill is a great idea, I would start saving up for it and exercise as you can in the meanwhile. Now you know how much to expect to pay, set a goal.

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  3. Sean says:

    Don’t waste your time picking up an uber cheap treadmill. Especially if you are going to be running on it. There is nothing in that price range that is worth even considering. The performance will frustrate you to the point where you won’t use it, and that ‘bargain’ will just be wasted money.

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  4. Mrs Money says:

    Ashley- I’m wondering if I should look into an elliptical. They are better on your knees. Plus, with an executive membership from Costco I’ll get the money back! Thanks for the insight!

    Miss M- I am thinking about getting a gym membership too. I guess I could try that out and see how it works. There was one for $600 at the store that I really liked the size of. Maybe I should just suck it up and buy it.

    Sean- Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it. I think I’m going to hold off now and then make a decision later.

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  5. I was quite the porker in high school and lost about 75 lbs. For most of college I kept the pounds off using eliptical machines. They are better for the joints and you burn more calories if you get one that does the arms. I run now bc I’m too cheap for gym membership, but you should go with an eliptical machine if running outdoors isn’t always an option.

    I powered through a 10k at 35 degrees yesterday but that is my limit.

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  6. htnmmo says:

    I don’t know about the midwest, but around here you can find tons of exercise equipment on Craigslist. They’re pretty cheap and many times free.

    So many people buy them and then realize they’re not going to use them so they’re usually in pretty good shape.

    I picked one up a few years ago thinking I’d get one to make sure I’d be using it before I invest any money in something. I never bothered to get something else.

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  7. Mrs Money says:

    The Weakonomist- Wow! That is awesome. I would love to do a 10K. I think I have decided to wait and see what I can find. I hate to spend that much money on exercise equipment!

    htnmmo- Thanks for the positive comments! It’s always good to hear success stories of people finding good used equipment. I hope I can be as lucky!

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  8. Sue says:

    I bought an elliptical machine for $600 and use it in the cold months when I can’t swim in our pool.

    I’m very frugal where I can be, but the machine has earned it’s keep over the last few years by keeping me active. I just remind myself that it saves me health problems and medical costs!

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  9. Mrs Money says:

    Sue- I totally agree with you that it saves health problems and medical costs! We feel that way about eating whole/organic foods too!

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