Tuesday, June 24, 2008

$4 a gallon: Is this what it takes to make us change our oil consumin' ways?

I put $20 into my gas tank this morning and watched the needle go "blip." Hardly made a difference at all on the gas gauge (it got me about 5 gallons). With a major bathroom renovation going on, a commute from hell, and the price of everything going up, I'm becoming even more penny-pinching than I ever was.

I've heard a lot of stories in the news about what people are doing, what changes we are making in our lives to save a dime. And it got me to wondering what some of you have been doing to deal with this sudden increase in the cost of living. So please take a minute to answer the poll to the right, and then feel free to leave a comment at this post if you want to tell us more.

Image from savingadvice.com

11 comments:

Morgan said...

That crazy "plastic bag" counter has me rethinking more than the price of gasoline. I cringe everytime I see it...

Sara said...

but will it stick or will we beg the saudi's for more oil, and once we get it forget like the energy crisis of the 70's...

Sue J said...

Morgan, and don't forget that oil is used to produce all those plastic bags. Not to make you cringe even harder, but ....

Sara, I don't know, but it seems like even the Saudi's are kind sick of us. I mean, G.W. has begged for more oil (twice!) recently, and they've said "no."

I don't see the price of oil going down much, although it probably will go down somewhat. So I wonder if this will stick, as you say, or whether we will all go back to speeding down the road in our SUVs for every little errand ....

Mary Ellen said...

I've just been trying to consolidate my car trips. I care for my mom and mother-in-law who both live in the same Senior apartment building. That means I have to drive them to their doctor appointments, the grocery store, bank, church, and the dreaded trip to Walmart (ugh) etc. So, I try to do all my errands in that area on the day's I'm driving them. The trouble is, I can't drive a small car to do this because a walker doesn't exactly fit into the trunk of a VW (our other car). Having them both living in the same place has helped, it's a one-stop shop, and they are both good friends and enjoy each other's company and keep an eye on each other (I get a lot of snitching about how one is worried the other one isn't feeling well or if one wants to go somewhere and doesn't want to ask me).

I'm also looking for a job now that I'm about to become an empty-nester...one that will be able to work around my schedule caring for them. So far, no luck.

Oh...and for the first time, I'm cutting coupons. What a pain!

Nan said...

I've been fairly lucky in having such a short commute I can do it on foot, but one of the reasons for that is when I changed jobs and moved to Atlanta a year ago the price of gas was already creeping up. The potential commute is what drove the house hunt. So the biggest change for me (where I was willing to live) came with $3/gallon gasoline, not $4.

Sue J said...

As for me, I've started carpooling (tried taking the commuter train, but the schedule & service is a nightmare -- 12 hour days); I definitely go around the house turning off lights; we hardly the run the AC anyway but bought a more energy efficient unit this year; go out to dinner ? pretty rarely these days, and then for something cheap; and I absolutely drive at (or below) the speed limit to make the gas last longer.

Morgan said...

Sue...true about the bags, that's why it makes me cringe. Such non-essentials which only add to the cause and pollution.
Today, I heard on the news, the Saudi's stated the price of oil has been driven up by Wall Street, not by their lack of production.

Morgan said...

One more thing.
This whole mess has me concerned about the administration's push to drill in Alaska and off shore, instead of pushing for practical solar and/or wind power options.

Fred said...

I've read on the Economist that about half of the gas we use comes from domestic production (Texas, Alaska + offshore). So either that stats is wrong or I do not understand how the Saudis can have such an influence on our gas price since half is self produced. I feel Wall Street crude futures speculators are to blame mainly along with other events (China's hunger...). Any thoughts?

5 years ago, when the gas price was "fair" in the US, it was twice as much in Europe, especially in France.
3 years ago, same thing: gas price in the US x 2 = French gas price.
Right now, SAME THING. Is there such a gas price crisis in France? NOPE.
I think Americans have just never been used to high gas price like Europeans have. In 10 years from now, we will have forgotten about those present days of price volatility and will be used to high price. Most of all, we will have switched our stupid and irresponsible huge gas consumption. 5 years ago, the USA represented 5% of the world's population yet they were responsible for 15% of the world's pollution (carbon foot print, etc...). A total shame for a country that pretends to arbitrate the world.
GM and Ford lost the US car market battle to the Japanese car makers because they made greedy bets on SUVs. Europeans have been driving smaller cars for decades. Do you know where I'm coming from?

That said, it is now a great opportunity to turn to green energies. My personal dream is to have solar panels on my roof top. And I will make it happen because more than a "dream", it's a goal. I will save so much money on my household energy bill that I will care less about the price of gas (if any is left in the world by then!) and I will not mind using a big SUV once in awhile to pick-up my mom and neighbor for a carpooling session to go to Wall Mart.

DCup said...

I'm the energy police at home turning up the thermostat, turning off lights. I've become my father. We're using left over conference totebags for groceries, I drive only when necessary and then we combine trips as much as possible because we live so far out in the country.

We're in GA so we're conserving water, too. We don't water our lawn at all (it's meadow grass, what's the point?) and we save indoor water to use on plants. We've also tried to plant as many native species as possible because they are more drought tolerant.

Mary Ellen said...

dcup- My brother lives in GA and I can't believe how careful they have to be with their water. It was great getting all his tips on water conservation, I've been using them since I got home. Although, we've had so much rain we haven't had to water outside.