How is your family coping with high gas prices?


#1

I’m curious to know how familes of all sizes are dealing with the high gas prices.

Is it making a difference in your family life? Do you drive less and stay home more? How do you determine what is a necessary drive and what isn’t?

Is it making a difference in your school choice; e.g., are you choosing to have your kids in neighborhood schools or home schools rather than driving them to a parochial or other private school?

If you are home-schooling, are the high gas prices crimping your lesson plans?

How about vacations? Visits to family?

My husband and I are driving less to visit our children, who live about 5 hours away from us. Instead of speaking in terms of “hours away”, we are now thinking in terms of “gas prices,” so we say, “That’s about $150 in gas.”

We are also trying very hard to make sure that all our trips to the store, etc. are necessary. And no drives into the nearby big city (65 miles away, or about $40 gas!) just to eat at a certain restaurant.

My daughter will be moving to California this summer, and we are estimating that the gas price will be about $1200 for the trip there and back. Yikes.


#2

I’m looking for a job closer to home. That’s $100 - $200/month instead of $400.

We live within a mile of everything else we need to do, so that’s good. I have to take my daughter to North Carolina (10 hours) to school next month, and don’t really know how I’ll pay for that.


#3

No more errands w/o planning first. I used to think nothing of running to the PO or bank in the AM, then grocery store in the afternoon.

We plan to buy a more economical car in the fall when I’m teaching again. I commute over half an hour each way.


#4

Luckily for me I have always driven a small economical car! My current car gets about 35 miles to the gallon so needless to say, if a group is going somewhere, it’s usually in my car. Just got back a couple of hours ago from a trip from the San Francisco Bay area to Reno (for a funeral) picking up my sister about half way and used less than a full tank of gas. Gas around here is 4.40-4.50 per gallon. It was about 4.15 in Reno. Cost about 40.00 in gas. I try to do all my errands on my way home from work. I have applied for a job about half the distance of my current communte…pray that I get it! Same job I’m doing now, just a better location for me. If I’m really careful…I use about a 10 gallon tank a week. Thank God I don’t have a SUV! :slight_smile:


#5

I’m gonna want to visit grad schools in the coming year…it costs too much to visit more than 2-3. Even a trip to DC from Pittsburgh costs my family (Chevy Caprice) about +/- $100…

I can’t imagine trying to visit across the country.


#6

Hmm,

On the one hand, we do now verbally ‘think’ about each trip before we take it.

On the other hand, we take most of them regardless of the cost, since they are all ‘necessary’ (Church, grocery shopping, sports training).

I suspect most people will be in the same boat.

I just wonder how high the prices will go :shrug:


#7

We have a van and we have stopped making trips that aren’t necessary. If I have to be out for something, I make sure that I am doing all of my errands at a given time.

We do homeschool and are involved in a co-op twice a month. Again, we just plan when we will be out and when our errands will get done.

But, it is getting to be a problem. It’s not cheap to fill the 24 gallon tank. . .


#8

No changes, really. I already did combine trips, due to time factors, more than anything. I have 3 teens, so that does mean more driving (including THEM driving).

My kids’ Catholic school is a 20 mile round trip, though, and that will be the tough one come fall. I drive them to and from school, because to bus them would cost just over $3500, (on top of tuition) and even then, I would have to make trips because of extracurricular activities.

I fill in once a week to about $70 a week.


#9

While I’ve always done this, I’m even more a stickler for it now. When I plan an all day errand run on a Saturday, DH and I will sit in the car and map out our route to ensure I’m not back tracking for anything. If I can do it in one loop (which can often be difficult if groceries are in the mix), I will try to keep everything as much in one loop as possible.

Last fill up was $71 for a 2008 Jeep Cherokee. :frowning:

I have worked exclusively from home the past two weeks, but next week I’ll be back in the office for about three days a week. I’ll work from home as much as I can to avoid spending the gas if at all possible.

~LIza


#10

We have gone to using the city bus a lot more. $25 a month for unlimited rides is way cheaper than a $100 fill up on the bus we own.


#11

One of the things we’re doing is not filling up our tank. After all, if we’re siphoned, that’s around $80.00 for a full tank. Quite a chunk of cash to lose.

Also, my older daughter sold her car a few months ago and is either taking the bus, biking, or walking (or bumming rides with friends in exchange for cooking or a meal out). She said that it’s amazing how close a lot of her “stuff” really is. Unfortunately, she will probably have to have a car in California; at least, that’s what everyone tells her.

My younger daughter and her husband are planning a lot more walking and biking.

Ah, to be young and in possession of good knees and good feet again! Biking and walking isn’t an option for me anymore, sad to say.


#12

Now that I live in the middle of nowhere, whenever I drive in to the city to do “big” shopping-- including Sam’s Club, Target, other stores we don’t have-- I use insulated bags I bought at Sam’s (Walmart has them too). They are **GREAT **for extended errands, I don’t worry about anything cold sitting in the car and can do the “loop” without backtracking.

My Explorer Sport Trac is $80!!!

I work from home full time, and it’s great. My commute in my former city was 40 miles round trip per day.


#13

Yep, it’s affecting our small family of 4 (one in-utero). We run all our errands in one day during the week. We have been travelling to visit people way less now.

We’ve always had one car, and we’ve been keeping it that way. DH carpools to work. We have to fill our tank up every time because our gas gauge is broken. For our little car, in the Chicago burbs, it’s about $60 for a fill-up.


#14

We just got in walking home from Mass, about a mile and a half. I never mind walking, but now there are so many cars on the road. For the most part, we walked on a 40 mph road and I would bet the average car was going more like 50 mph. I also bike to the store, post office, bank, etc, but again the roads in this town are crazy and there is a lot of traffic.
Our car is a little over $50 to fill and we fill about twice a week. I have a friend with a hybrid mini SUV but even he says with the airconditioning he doesn’t get the best mpg either (still better than ours!) The public transportation system around her is TERRIBLE, over $10 round trip per person to get into town, and it is going up. Our area has very little public transportation, and to get to the only bus around here is a mile walk.
So in answer to the question, we are not coping well. It is a lot of money. Any food prices that go up, we can replace with other food items. We can turn of the central air, avoid unneccessary purchases, but you can’t fill your tank with anything else but gas and you can’t get around without gas in the car.


#15

You know - I have a wonderful softsided cooler, and I’ve meant a zillion times to put it in the car for exactly this purpose and every time I forget until I’m out and about and the cooler is at home! :rolleyes:

I use all my own shopping bags (no more plastic for me), so maybe if I shove my shopping bags in the cooler that will help me remember…hmmmmm. Or will I just leave the whole entire thing at home now? Probably. :cool:

~Liza


#16

I’ve always driven compact cars that get pretty good mileage, so I haven’t felt the hurt like lots of folks have. That said, I do find myself planning trips ahead of time in order to take care of multiple errands all at once. I’m more concerned about heating my home this coming winter.

I’m afraid that life as we’ve known it is almost over, and the adjustment is going to be a tough one - especially in the current political climate…but that’s another thread. :shrug:


#17

We have certainly cut back on a lot. No more eating out, we plan our trips, to get the most done in one ride. Our food bill has gone up, big time. I cannot believe, how much we are paying for the same groceries. We got a notice, from the electricity co. that prices will go up, so I do not know if in the fall we will continue to have cable. Because money has to come from somewhere, to match up the gas ticket. It all depends if these prices keep going up.
Also!!! Here in Florida, the whole housing market is a huge mess. I have seen way too many friends loose their homes, jobs etc. Public transportation here is not that available and the summer weather gets pretty violent in the afternoons, soo biking does not really work. It can actually be pretty dangerous. So we do what we can.


#18

Well, my brother-in-law rode his bike back and forth to work until he and my sister moved to a farm out of state. 15 miles there, 15 miles back, five days a week. There was even an article in the newspapers about him. But they are a lot more crunchy than I.

Here is what we are doing:

  • Made sure the vehicle was well-tuned.
  • Plan trips so that stops are made along a route, rather than going all the way here, then all the way yonder.
  • Take public trans. where possible. $6 on Metra is a lot better than $18 round trip to Chicago (not to mention parking).
  • Made a commitment to grocery shop once a month instead of once a week, excepting fresh milk and produce. That means SHARE pickup, other stuff, and thrift bread store.
  • Carpool where possible.

We are getting a beater car with good gas mileage in the fall for the professor. The Explorer can sit except for major hauls.


#19

My husband is riding his bike to work pat of the time.


#20

Trying very hard to find new employment…currently have a commute of 100 miles a day round trip…

I do bundle trips - no backtracking if possible. I never used to shop at Wal-Mart for groceries, but when I comparison shopped two nights ago, all my regular purchases came out $1 or more cheaper there, so I will probably have to make that change in my shopping habits…


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