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Recession Proof Your Workout: Beg, Borrow, and Deal

Despite Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's claim that the recession is over, most Americans aren't buying it. I'm not sure what you think of Bernanke's outlook, but the last two years of economic downturn have taught me a lesson in frugality I won't be forgetting anytime soon.

The mister bought a new bike recently — new to him anyway. After visiting nine different bike stores and confronting the truth that he could not afford to put thousands of dollars toward a bicycle, I directed him to Craigslist. Not only did he find the bike of his dreams, he ended up having a few to choose from. Within a week of looking he found a barely used 2008 Cannondale for $650, a bike he saw at a store a week earlier for $1,250.

I've used Craigslist quite a bit but never for pricier items because it seemed to risky to me. After this experience I'll be turning there when I'm on the market for something new. A quick look on the site yesterday showed hundreds of barely used elliptical machines, stationary bikes, and treadmills averaging around $200; that's at least an 80 percent discount off retail prices and has me seriously considering buying a piece of equipment for my home.

Have any of you had good experiences using Craigslist to find fitness equipment?

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