Ever tried to read something through a Venetian blind as someone flipped the slats back and forth and back and forth? That was our monitor, before we were Freecycled a working one. May I highly recommend Freecycle.org - posting a Wanted for a computer monitor was my "what the heck" last shot before calling all the resale shops in town and then waiting until next paycheck. I didn't actually expect to be offered one working monitor, let alone several! The one we now have is from a man who does IT at a few places in town, and had several monitors from an office upgrading their equipment.
So now I have a monitor again!