While I’d love to buy a brand new stainless steel refrigerator, I’ll settle for what I need…a frugal fridge that works. Since our home buying process is moving right along, my husband and I are starting to make a list of things we’ll need for our new home. We’ve been putting a lot of money into the buying process, between inspections, fees, and an earnest money deposit, so we don’t want to blow a lot of cash on furniture and appliances.

Enter Craigslist. I just love Craigslist! The site is easy to navigate, and I almost always find what I’m looking for!

Two of the things we absolutely need as soon as we move in are a refrigerator and a lawn mower. Also on my wish list is a freezer. Now I could go to the Craigslist website every day and scour the ads for refrigerators. That takes a lot of time, though, and I can’t get to it every day. But I don’t want to miss a great deal on an item I need.

Here is the trick…

Instead, I navigated to the Craigslist for my community and did a search for refrigerators under $600. I’m aiming lower than that, but if I find a great fridge for $600, I could be tempted to buy it.

Once the search results came up, I scrolled to the bottom of the page and clicked on the orange RSS button. Then I had the option to subscribe to the search feed via any RSS reader I wanted. I use Google Reader, so that’s what I chose.

Now every time I read my blog feeds, I’ll also be alerted to any new refrigerators listed on Craigslist!

If I had a data plan with my cell phone, I could even check Google Reader by phone throughout the day, to make sure I find the refrigerator that’s best for me. But since I don’t have a data plan, and I’m usually attached to my laptop anyway, my laptop will do.

You can do this for anything you want to keep your eyes on. I’m also going to set up a feed for lawnmowers, so I can grab a good lawnmower when one comes available too.

We’re not quite ready to buy appliances and lawnmowers yet, as we’re navigating through post-inspection negotiations and the appraisal process. Once I’m fairly certain everything is going to come together, I’ll be ready to buy though. And I’ll be shopping Craigslist for the necessities. The price is sure to beat retail by a mile!

Do you have any Craigslist success stories? I’d love to hear them!

Photo by justinbaeder.