It's something we've known for a while. The car needed new tires. They were pretty bald, so much that even random coworkers of mine noticed how bad they were. And one (ok, two) were leaky. The car has a nifty little "low pressure" indicator light. Every 2-3 days, it would pop on, gleaming in my eyes, reminding me of our nagging problem. We put off buying tires as long as we could. We would fill the low tire every time we filled up the gas tank, we'd put air in the tires. We'd even put some air in at home if necessary. Ever pump up a car tire with a bicycle pump? I have.
We bought this car, a Mazda 3, in 2005. Since we drive all the time for work and my in-laws live about 7 hours away, our poor little 2 year old car has over 50,000 miles on it. We definitely needed new tires. Since it has to do with the car, my husband stepped up to the task.
After some research, he discovered that new tires would cost about $250. Each. Without installation. IF we found a good deal. The car has low-profile tires, which they should call high-cost tires. Then my husband came up with a brilliant idea.
A few years ago, he found one replacement tire on eBay when we ran over a nail. If he could find one, why not four? He put in a search for all the requirements and, a couple of weeks later, got an email for an auction of 4 "slightly used" tires. They had less than 5000 miles on them. The cost? $230 for the lot. When we received them, we did a thorough inspection and they were perfect, just as promised.
Using our trusty mechanic, Dave, the installation only cost us $32. Our total cost was less than full price for 2 tires. I love it when we're able to beat the system like this. It's like sticking my tongue out at all the people who expect me to throw my money away. Frugality pays off! Woohoo!