Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Liquid Gold

I've been pondering this morning about how our lives have changed since gas went to $3 a gallon - and how much more they will change if it goes up near $10 as some analysts predict.

In January we cut out the Tuesday afternoon gym day from our homeschool schedule. At the time it was because of time crunch, counting the cost of this - what is essentially Hannah spending two hours hanging out with friends - $6. for each class, about $6. for the gas, and 1/2 a day of school time, it just isn't cost effective so we won't be returning to the class after Scholastic Bowl Season.

I've stopped random errand driving nearly completely. I used to think nothing of running hither and yon for little things just because I like to drive, and getting out of the house is necessary - even if it is a trip to the bank that could just as well have been put off until tomorrow and batched with other errands.
We (mostly *I*) have stopped planning travel for the time being. I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude to see how far our budget goes.

For the future I've started thinking about lifestyle changes that might make significant changes in our fuel consumption. Major Grocery Stocking is one, so that trips can be reduced and Harry can pick up things we like fresh on his way home from work. Harry mentioned that the state allows a 4 day work week, that alone saves 20% of commuting. All 'West Side' errands will be done on Fridays in the fall, that is the day we go to co-op. I need to start scheduling things like dental appointments and allergy shots to match times we will be in town, not just any-old-time we're free.

We may have to stop purchasing things like delivered bottled water and out-of-season fruits and veggies as their costs spiral upward. We'll schedule fewer fun things like out of town fencing tourneys, day trips, and prehaps go for one or two long weekends in one place so we only drive there once.

For now, my goal is to not move my van at all three days a week. Next is that I won't make more than one trip to twon a day on those days I do go - that might take some planning.

~M.E.

ps... dinner tonight is Italian beef, cheesy potato casserole and green salad.

1 comment:

Nathanial said...

It is interesting to hear how people in a more rural area are responding to higher gas prices. Economists and major publications tend to focus on people who have substitutes to driving such as public transportation, carpooling, company vans etcetera.