Are you changing your lifestyle because of gas and..

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    groceries? Maybe we can pass along helpful advice. This is what I've done.
    We sold our van in exchange for an escort wagon. I make one trip from our small town to the bigger town a day. Just one. I try to do everything in one fell swoop. Sometimes, however, I do have to drive kids to various activities, but I try to carpool. For food, since everything is sky high, I now shop mostly at our discount food store, Aldis. In the summer I intend to do lots of bikeriding and walking (hey, it's healthy). For clothes...can't wait for garage kids really dress well, and most of their clothes are from garage sales. Are you being hit by hard times? What do YOU do? (It's very bad where I live. Jobs have been eliminated or shipped overseas).
  2. judi

    judi Active Member

    I live 25 miles from work and husband lives 4 miles. We both drive hybrids.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I am so VERY lucky to have an Aldi 2 miles away and a bigger grocery store less than a mile away (where I get produce, meat, and of course, Diet Pepsi). So I spend very little on groceries and not a whole lot on the gas to get there.

    I went WAY out of my comfort zone (you would not believe how shy I am in person) and set up a carpool for Tink so I only drive to school. She gets driven home.

    While I don't much care for Matt living a mile from me, it sure beats driving to Joliet for weekends. If I wanted to, I could walk out on my patio and throw her to his place.

    I used to go out to see my mom at least once a week. I just can't do it anymore. We talk daily and both just understand that it has to be this way. Likewise, I have not seen Copper since Christmas (and I miss her to death) for the same reasons. I just cannot afford to fill up my tank once a week like I used to. It costs about 60-65 to fill it, and it is just a Caravan. It's older, and probably burns more gas than it should, but it is paid for.

    Yeah, we are feeling the gas crunch.
  4. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I think a lot of people are going to be seriously hurting because of this situation. There are some things you can do but some of the advice I hear is not within reason for most people.
    I live in a rural area. The nearest grocery store, drug store, gas station, any other kind of service is 8 miles. I try to go only a couple of times a week but sometimes it is just not possible keep it down to that. Before I retired, I drove nearly 20 miles (one way) to work. I couldn't sell my house and move to one closer as I would lose money on the deal. I couldn't quit my job and get one closer as there were none closer. I couldn't bike to work (too far) or take public transportation (there is none). I have to go to a larger town to do some of my shopping as a lot of the things I buy are not available locally. The nearest shopping town is over 80 miles away. I try to go only once a month but even that gets expensive. I am doing more catalog and internet shopping and that helps some but I still have to make the monthly shopping trip. I can't afford to sell my car and get a hybrid or one that gets better mileage, although the one I have is not too bad. I only heat and cool one room of my house to a comfortable level, I don't buy excess or expensive food. And I have only one person to think of. I don't know how I would cope if my kids were still at home. And I am not destitute. I have a reasonable income and should be able to live reasonably well but these prices are making a real dent in things.
    I think a lot of people are already living on the edge and have cut down as much as they can. There is only so much you can cut back on. We are in a recession, a lot of people are unemployed, many are losing their houses, and these prices keep going up and up and up. I don't know the answer but things don't look good. I don't expect to be out on the street but there are a lot of people who may be if something isn't done somehow.
  5. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    we had to have another car, i made it a very used vw bug.....becuz the other car is an suv durango. We now only use durango if we are all going somewhere together or if we have to take the mobility scooter. _or if someone is somewhere non negotiable already and someone else needs to go somewhere and it cannot be car pooled.
    If I still could owrk, I would be adding more hours to my work schedule like I did other times when things got difficult. ALas, social security is not so inclined to listen to any plea I might make.

    ss found oldest disabled, but VA didn't, and when she applied for foodstamps, dhs told me since she is under 22, it is my problem to feed her, hmm.but noone gave me back funds to do so.
    up to me to provide peripherals for easy child to go to college, but they take her soc sec dependants money when she turns 18.

    we used to eat eggs when things were hard, but eggs are now so expensive, I have not even bought any, and I also stopped the kids from drinking milk. I simply cannot afford it.
    I no longer drive them to their friends, told them I was tired of being the only parent to drive any of the kids longer permit their friends to make phone calls useing our phones.....and now remind my kids if they invite a friend over who is here at mealtime, now they hafta share their meal portion with their friend, as I cannot afford to make more food just becuz a friend dropped in. Their friends had a habit of finding out what we were haveing for dinner, and then being here for meal time, and then leaveing right after. I can no longer afford to be so kind and generous.

    Me and son have several appts coming up at his eye doctor so far away....and it is gonna be very hard on us financially to accomplish this. LOL- I saw on TV this morning the accomodations and travel are tax deductible, BUT hey- that assumes you make enough to take deductions!!!! (we don't)
    I also heard there are some homeowner property tax exemptions, which might be helpful, becuz our taxes are SO high.....alas, they do not take into account disabled people or military veterans might have children. Or that we might not yet be age 62 or 65 or whatever.
    Even grilled cheese is not cheap----yikes the cheese is expensive.
    Yes, I am makeing less food for meals, less snacks, waiting longer in between laundry......the kids no longer get new shoes or winter coats or boots etc.

    Nope, we do not have public transportation here, either. BUT we did finally get both an ALdis (this Jan) and a super walmart (Last spring) and that helps some.
  6. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    oh and we do not have a dvd player.....nor digital cable or high speed internet.
    and I do not see us getting any of those things in the forseeable future.
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I traded in my Passat Wagon for a Civic Hybrid, which I love. When I run my errands on Saturday morning, I make a list so I can do it all in one fell swoop. I shop at discount grocery stores like PriceRight, PriceChopper and ALdis or Ocean STate Job Lot. I never buy anything unless its on sale. Ever.

    I unplug small appliances when not in use, as well as our router cable box which keeps using juice even when the puters are off! We have an automatic thermostat that kicks down at night and during the day when we're not home. And we don't usually raise it above 66 - ONCE in a while, 68. And we have been using our wood burning stove in the basement A LOT this winter to save on oil.

    I don't use the heat dry on our dishwasher and I used timed dry on our dryer, as well as warm/cold settings on the washer.

    I have tried to cut back on shower time as well. We compost everything for use as fertilized soil in our garden; we use grass clippings and old newspapers as mulch in our veggie gardens.

    I have slowly been switching out our regular light bulbs for the more energy efficient kind, though I just read an article about what to do with them after they do blow out - something about mercury I think. I have to do more research.

    We "can" whatever veggies we can from our garden. And make almost all of our own baked goods from scratch as well.

    We eat out way less than we had been, I make most foods from scratch and freeze at least 2 servings for each. I would say the bulk of our grocery bill is for organic veggies and fruits because we juice a lot.

    There, that's all I can think of off the top of my head.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. Some amazing ideas, guys! Thanks :)
    I don't expect things to get any easier, unfortunately.
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I sneak out and siphon the neighbors tanks!!! They never notice!!! JK... i got nothing... We have been having to drive to Spokane a bunch!!! Which is 2 hours away!!! I use my Safeway card to fill up, we get a discount on gas... for awhile it was 70cents off a gallon!!! Now they only give us 10cents a gallon. it varies on how much you spend....
  10. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    We have a small farm that we've not had income from since 2001. We've decided to raise our own meat and have asked a neighbor and a friend to go in with us to help with the work, as we can't do it all.

    I've looked into sustainable farming and we are going to try that. We'll buy the animals and the small amount of equipment with the check from the government.

    We already do all of what others have suggested. But I have discovered that skimping on food is probably what's made me so ill and kept me ill. If I want any chance at any sort of health, I MUST improve the diet.

    So we're giving this a fling and will see what happens.

    Pam R.
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    It has definitely impacted our choices. We have taken the kids out of several activities due to cost and distance. I met with my mom (who is thankfully only 1 mile away) and gone over her budget techniques she used to survive when my father walked out on her with 3 young girls. If we are able to squeeze the belt tight for the next two years, we are hoping to be out of debt (except for the house) so that we can ride out whatever the economy throws at us.
  12. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    We are fortunate that husband has a job that allows him to work from home 2-3 times a week. He now fills his tank about every 2.5 weeks... a big savings! We make sure our cars get their regular maintenance and especially keep and eye on air pressure in our tires. It can make a big difference. We wear sweaters and slippers at home, use thermal curtains and are religious about turning out lights. I try to plan my laundry day for the coldest day of the week so we get a heat bump from the dryer. Since I'm home doing laundry, that's also a good day to to make a roasted meal in the oven. I plan our meals so that we don't have a lot of waste and I'm not making multiple trips out for groceries in a week. I also "inventory" what I have on hand so that I don't overbuy. I shop at our less expensive grocery store (Wegmans) but don't like our local Aldi's. I also shop the other grocery store's weekly ad (Tops). I take the Tops ad to Wegmans and compare prices as I go through the store. I stop at Tops on the way home to get the less expensive stuff there. I try to go to town no more than once a week and to the bigger town once a month. It helps. We use inexpensive or free entertainment: library, local rec programs, school stuff. I shop garage sales and our church rummage sale when possible. It makes a big difference. :)
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    This is hitting us hard too. I have to leave the house in the car at least 4 times a day - I take Billy to school come home, go back to get him 4 hours later come home, then if he works it is 2 more trips out and back. I have a reasonably economic car but it still costs me at least 40 bucks or more per week. I try to make sure I do any shopping while out on one of my trips but that isnt always possible.

    I also still have to buy milk because we have Keyana here so much. Our store does this offer where if you buy 6 gallons you get one free with this coupon thing. Food has gone up so much that it costs us in the vicinity of $120 a week just to get the essentials. If not more. I buy most of Keyana's clothes on Ebay because they are cheaper. We dont have a good will near us and I rarely see yard sales anymore. We are actually considering buying a pig and possibly a cow.

    My house also needs so much work. The heating and air system is about shot and needs new duct work. I am going to see what the electric company offers in the way of weatherization help for homes with disabled people in them. I take advantage of any help for the disabled...I get a homestead exemption on my real estate taxes because I am now on disability.

    I really worry that Tony is going to have a hard time keeping his job because with gas so high, its costing his boss 75 bucks a day to keep the van in gas. They are now working 2 hours away from home.
  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Oh yeah, TM reminded me, we don't buy books anymore - we only use the library of the book swap progam at our local Stop and Shop!
  15. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I have been very lucky in the timing of this gas crunch, since it is happening at the same time that my employer is trying to save money by reducing the amount of office space that they rent. I have been working at home a lot. Work has set me up with a toll-free teleconference number and a computer application that lets me run presentations over the internet rather than setting up face-to-face meetings.

    As for groceries, when prices were super-low early last year, I stocked up on everything and filled both freezers. We have been living off the contents of the freezers for the last several weeks. A lot of my recipes are "whatever's in the fridge" sort of affairs, so we have been able to manage pretty well.

    With husband and me both working on contract, and husband between contracts since the end of last year, we have been in belt-tightening mode anyway. The high price of gas and groceries is just an added incentive.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    thank you is now riding the bus to and from school. His choice, but supported by me. I do drive him to the bus stop and wait with him in the car when it is cold. It is cheaper than a doctor visit or cold medications - and the flu has just been too bad here.

    husband drived 80 miles each way to work. Most of our doctor appts are there, so we combine those. I do as little driving as possible. We live 8 miles from town, so it is a drive to go anywhere.

    I am doing more online shopping. May do amazon prime (80 bucks) for free shipping all year. I think we will save that way, and save on gas that way.

    I am slowly getting back to cooking and not having the convenience foods around. It is much cheaper to make our own mixes, etc...

  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Its hit hard here, too. I am learning to fix our vehicles myself. In addition, easy child 1 and I are putting 2 wrecked tauruses together so I can park my truck unless I need a truck.
    We already butcher our own hog and beef and raise a garden. I was going to not do that this year, but guess what? I will be.
    Since I drive difficult child 2 to school and pick him up everyday, errands in town are a challenge, because I can't do them with him in tow, so everything has to be done at lunch. It makes for a very non-relaxing lunch, but its better than spending money to go back to town later. I'm also working harder to combine dr appts as much as possible.

    I shop at Aldi's now, and but milk at another store that I can walk to at lunch (its $1 cheaper there). We're getting a few more laying hens for eggs, what we have right now doesn't quite keep up.

    I take my scooter into the little town if I need something from the gas station, and we've even taken the buggy to the grocery store a time or two.

    I also plan to graze the yard as much as possible this summer, too, to avoid mowing it as much.
  18. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I do a lot of shopping at Costco/Sams club. I was thinking about getting together with some of the women in center where my office is, and seeing if anyone would want to do a share of some bulk items, especially veggies and fruits. I went to the local shop to get some lettuce, and it was 1.98 for one head - at Costco it was the same price for four. I really don't NEED 4 heads of lettuce at one time, or cabbage for that matter, or a kazillion tomatoes - or a whole hugh honking bag of onions or apples. I think buying bulk does save lots of money when you compare the price to the local shops, but its not much good if lots of it goes to waste.

    I can't remember last time I actually bought soda - its been replaced by the powered gatoraid, or lemonaid, or bottles of fruited water, or plain water. Rice and Pasta are on the menu more times a week than necessary. And the fridge is stocked with TV dinners now for the boys to munch on, and frozen pizza as well.

    I used to have some plates with covers that you could fill and freeze and microwave when you need them and have no clue whatever happened to them, and have been trying to find them in the stores with no success - I wouln't mind a day of cooking and freezing.

    I have been broaching the subject of actually walking back and forth to work with SO and just parking the truck a few days a week. He has his electric wheelchair so it should not be a big deal for him, its only a mile LOL but the idea of not driving there has put him into shock - I keep telling him I need the exercise (and its all up hill going there - and I know i am going to be really sweaty - good thing I don't have to deal with the general public once i get to the office)

    We stopped eating out almost every day but seems like its not really saving a lot of money buying groceries and cooking from home.