After my first baby, I would go over to my mom's house a couple times a week and run on her treadmill. That worked well. I got to run off some weight. And Grandma and Grandpa got time with the new baby.
After my second baby, that seemed like a lot more work! Some time that summer I was at a garage sale and found the exact model of treadmill that my mom had! The lady plugged it in so I could see that it worked. It was in like-new condition. And I already knew it was a good one, because I had been using one just like it. I think I paid around $50 for it.
After the third baby I think I got an ab lounger - not impressed with that buy. After the fourth baby I bought a power tower. I had wanted one of those for a long time, so I saved all thru the pregnancy to get that as my after-baby purchase for myself! Those last two things I paid retail for . . . on sale.
In the last three years I've added an elliptical, from a garage sale for $20 (negotiated that one down!) - works well. Program #5 kicks my butt regularly! In the past year, I've added a universal machine, total gym, and more reclined exercise bike for around $260 total.
From what I can figure comparing the things I've bought used versus their retail costs, I've saved somewhere around $1400. These things were never my first choice for working out before. I'd always rather run, Zumba, dance, bike, or any of those things. Now that I am limited, I'm appreciating my little gym a lot more! Being able to work my muscles, and knowing that I am doing something positive for myself is a great thing - and has been helping me start the day a whole lot better. This morning I couldn't do anything with my knee. But the universal machine gave the rest of me a lot to do.
Tonight I am thankful for a home gym that didn't cost a fortune. This gym has been 11 years in the making, but it is paying off for me now immensely. I don't know exactly body wise, how much of an impact it is actually happening yet. But mental, this has been huge . . just being able to do something that I know is good for me. I don't sit still well.