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Over the years, some businesses we've used have saved us a ton of money and become trusted friends. Here are a couple:


First, order trees from Arbor Day. They're cheap, and if you take out a $10 membership, along with your order being a third less, you'll get a bunch of free trees. People like to plant older and bigger trees they buy from a nursery and we have some of them, but bare-root plants take hold quickly and almost catch up with nursery trees in a few years. There's no comparison with the cost.


Second, order everything you can from Sierra Trading Post. The company was owned by Christians until they sold the company in December, 2012. You won't find clothes, shoes, boots, tents, sleeping bags, briefcases, down coats and vests, or anything else they sell any cheaper anywhere else. Excellent quality at seconds prices and I've never been able to see why anything I've bought has been labelled a second. We've been buying from them for fifteen or twenty years and we love them. Top brands.


Third, buy salvage title cars and trucks. In our church, we have maybe fifty cars and trucks we've bought from T&T Repairables here just outside Bloomington. They sell all over the world, so you can use them, too—no matter where you live...

It's cheap to have a car shipped to you no matter where you live, and you can't beat the prices.

Call and ask for Brad and tell him Tim Bayly told you to talk to him. I've done business with Brad for years and find him an honorable brother in Christ. He's always shot straight with me, but don't take a lot of his time and don't say "yes," "no," and "maybe" when you work with him. Let your "yea" be yea and your "nay" nay. Brad doesn't suffer the double-minded easily and I don't want to waste his time.

Ask Brad about whatever car you're interested in, saying you want him to save you from making a mistake in your purchase. (Or, what I actually say to him is that I'm fine with making a mistake as long as he's the one who makes it for me. I tell him I pay him my money to make my mistakes for me—and I'm serious.)

You'll have to find a local body shop and mechanic you trust who are willing to work on salvage titles, but that shouldn't be a problem. T&T specializes in late-model cars, so when you're done fixing your car or truck, you have a car that's pretty new and you've gotten it for much less than you could anywhere else. When your car's done being fixed, you apply to your state and pay them some money and they change your salvage title to a rebuilt title. Don't worry about insurance—I use State Farm and they treat these cars just like normal cars. I've had no trouble making claims with them. You may or may not be able to get a loan for the purchase and repair of these cars depending upon the bank you ask. Some banks are happy to do so. (Check out Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union, for instance. They're great and you can use their excellent app to do your banking from a distance.) So check around. 

Don't ever buy flood titles and only rarely theft recoveries (ask Brad —always ask Brad). If you can, find a rear hit that hasn't blown air bags. Air bags, seat belts, and SRS modules are often the reason these cars are totalled. Much of the cost of fixing these cars is just in SRS components—body shops don't like to mess with the stuff.

In our immediate family, between David, me, and our kids, we've probably bought fifteen to twenty of these cars. Mary Lee and I currently drive my favorite of all the cars I've fixed (mostly Hondas and Toyotas) which is the Prius C (stands for "city"). Outstanding car I like far better than the larger and more expensive Prius (or the Fits and other Hondas I've owned). But enough. Give it a try.

Your final cost will likely be somewhere close to a third less than the KBB Fair or NADA Rough and you should have a car that's in KBB Very Good condition. Here's a nice Prius C that I wouldn't hesitate to buy. They're very comfortable for large men and they get over 50 MPG on highway. Consistently. You can't run a cheaper car if you don't mind people calling you gay.

T&T's best deals go quickly, so you have to watch the site. Keep in mind there will always be ankle-biters, so if you're a normal hair gel Presbyterian pastor or elder, stay away. Get a leased car and you'll be happy. But if you want to save a ton of money...

One warning: it's harder to resell these cars because some people are freaked out about rebuilt titles, but I've sold a number of these cars on CL and all it took was patience. If you google rebuilt or salvage title cars, you'll find tons of cautions and horror stories. Don't worry about them. Generally speaking, we buy cars for between $4,000 and $8,000; we put between $2,500 and $4,000 into parts and labor fixing them up; and we end up with a car we have about 33% less money in than if we'd bought it from a private party on CL.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!