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Let's pretend: Gas is $10 a gallon - Page 4

post #61 of 237
I would do better at consolidating trip, but be really strict about it. I may start shopping at the store with the yucky produce since it is closer. I am so glad we dont use gas powered lawn stuff.
post #62 of 237

great thread!

.


Edited by oiseau - 9/28/13 at 7:18am
post #63 of 237
Like so many we would have to relocate closer to where dh works. Right now he commutes 50+ miles one way per day. We just bought a more fuel efficient car today, so there's already that... We'd consolidate shopping trips for certain. I already don't drive much and stay home several days/week, so there's not much more I can cut there. Bet we'd be eating more beans, even if dh hates them. And yes, my front yard would be a veggie garden as well (my back yard already is lol).
post #64 of 237
Wow... I suddenly have LOTS of ideas.

1. I'd get a group of employees together at my job and lobby for either an extreme pay increase, or the ability to telecommute part time. I'd take my bike to work more.

2. I'd strong arm my landlord into uber-insulating the house (we currently have no basement insulation, which sucks), replacing the windows and letting us terrace the back yard. I'd keep chickens whether my neighbors liked it or not. We'd get bees. In this case, I'd really be using high gas prices as an excuse to do a ton of things I want to do anyway.

3. I'd finally have the pressure I need to convince DH that really, a burley trailer with bikes IS a safe way to transport our kids if we stay on lower-traffic streets. Then we could bike to the farmer's market and the community garden.

4. I'd start working on lobbying within our neighborhood to get a local market to move into the defunct walgreens spot in our local shopping center. We have everything else we need within walking distance except for a grocery store.

5. We'd take the MegaBus to visit my Mom when we visited. It's tough with two small kids to do a 5 hour bus ride, but the alternative would be ~$300 in gas, so we'd bring movies and books and suck it up.

6. I would have a FANTASTIC excuse not to go to the wedding I'm dreading in Colorado in October, and not to travel on business ever again.
post #65 of 237
This would also overflow into other areas of daily life. With a huge increase in the fuel budget we would be forced to not use central heat in the winter (AZ so we dont need much anyway). I would try to lower the electric bills as much as possible - line dry everything, no 'heated' dry on the dishwashwer
We would really have to comparision shop and buy in bulk for everthing.
Kids would wear clothes til the fabric was no more..

We would all have library cards- even the little ones so we could borrow more at 1x, right now we go 3-4x week the library would go to 1x every 2 weeks or so.

a benefit could be that my house would be clean and laundry current as i couldnt afford to go anywhere.

I would be more conscious of reselling items vs straight donation. i would look for every opportunity to bring more $$ into our accounts.

I would also sign up for and request every sample possible.
post #66 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1growingsprout View Post
a benefit could be that my house would be clean and laundry current as i couldnt afford to go anywhere.
:

I guess there is a brighter side to everything!
post #67 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy'smama View Post
I do not need to pretend our gas is $11.25/gal but it is great reading your thoughts.
I love hearing from our international neighbors. So do you have a car? Do you need one? Do you have access to decent public transportation? Do you live close to family?


I loved being in Europe and visiting the villages. People lived close, the gardened, they were neighborly -- it was a shocking (and delightful) experience to see people living such different lives.

I grew up in Los Angeles where it was the norm to commute 30-40-50-60 miles to work. My elementary school was 20 miles form home. Seriously, I grew up in the backseat of a Datsun B210. We drove EVERYWHERE!

And then I saw these lovely towns and villages where people lived close to one another and shopped at the local market. It seemed so idyllic. I know there must be downsides (there always are), but it was a lovely departure from my experience.

I feel a little guilty saying this, but the higher gas prices (and the trickle down increase in food and goods) has brought me closer to my neighbors. Suddenly my wacky garden and low-consumer lifestyle has become less freaky and I am quickly gaining friends in those who previously criticized our choices. It is kind of nice to not be the freak on the block.
post #68 of 237
We are moving to a new home on the bus line so DH will be able to bus to work. I will be able to walk to the grocery store and other shopping. So, those are changes we are already making. I'd try to work out a good garden at the new house but it is very wooded and likely to be a problem. The house has new windows and insulation so we are in good shape there.

I do want a bike that will carry two kids and groceries - the xtracycle I think is what it is called. It is about $3000 with an electric motor. I need the motor because of hills and bad knees and probably heavy loads. So, I'd probably get one of those.

Many weeks in our non-pedestrian-friendly area I still only drive maybe 50 miles or so including the occasional 30 mile trip to Sea World (round trip). I can get almost everything we need or want within a couple miles of our current house. The new house should be even better.

I would try to be more frugal with the air conditioning and heating of the house.
post #69 of 237
$10/gallon, hmmm.

I only live about five blocks from my work, so I could walk or bike as much as possible. I could bike to the grocery store and use DS bike trailer to load groceries in, one less car trip there. My ILs, who live only three blocks from us, have a big garden, with our help they could make it bigger, and we would all have more than enough produce which we could stretch by canning, etc.

DH's work is farther away, he could bike when the weather's nice, but we can have snow for up to five months of the year. Some driving needed there.\

The real problem would be daycare. It's on the other side of town, up two big hills. Even in nice weather, I would have to give myself up to an extra half hour to drop DS off and pick him up. Maybe gas that high would be a reason for me to quit my job!

I know we'd be using our woodstove a lot more. Even more line-drying, oh god there's more, I can't think of it all right now.
post #70 of 237
This is the type of mothering I aspire to, and work toward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carfreemama View Post
We are car-free and always have been.

We bought our house very strategically, right on a bus route, in an area that we could never afford to live in if we had to make car payments. I put dd on the waiting list for a great preschool as soon as I knew we would likely be buying in this area.

We have a bike trailer. You would be AMAZED what you can get in one of those.

I only have one child; but I can do grocery shopping with her and my dog using a backpack, if I have to.

I take the bus to the farmers' market on Saturdays for most of our produce. I buy grain in bulk and carry it home in the trailer or on the bus.

I barter food for dog-walking so my dog gets out of the city once a week.

The list goes on.

I know not everyone has this opportunity; but really, people say so often, "yeah that's great for you, you don't HAVE to drive." But we DECIDED not to drive and built our life around that decision. We live where there's snow (Nova Scotia) and we just deal with it.

I absolutely did not want dd growing up feeling she had to rely on a car to get around. I knew gas probably WOULD be $10 per gallon by the time she could drive. Plus we get exercise, get to know our neighbourhood, and don't get out to shop much, which saves us thousands of dollars.
post #71 of 237
Well frankly I am already shocked at how much most people spend on gas right now (they interviewed a guy on the news tonight that spends $800 a month on gas just commuting to work ). We live 5 miles from my husband's business and he drives an all electric truck that he made from an old Mazda pickup that had a bad engine. I drive a Prius which I only fill every 1.5-2 weeks during the school year and every 3 weeks during the summer (and that will be the case once my son doesn't attend his very awesome nature-based preschool that happens to be 20 miles away). When I drive I practice hyperdriving to boost my gas mileage so my average is well above the EPA rating for the Prius. We use public transportation whenever we go downtown because it saves money on parking. But I could still do better with planning my day so my son and I can bike for more errands. I always seem to be too rushed and combining too many places to go, that it makes biking seem unreasonable. But this summer we have scoped out a great route to bike to DS summer school program (10 miles away) and I am determined to have more "no car" days.
post #72 of 237
[QUOTE=Ruthiegirl;11282198] I love hearing from our international neighbors. So do you have a car? Do you need one? Do you have access to decent public transportation? Do you live close to family?

yes we have 2 cars both get on average 50m/gal. Each does abut 80m/week and we fill up every 4 weeks or so (usually ties in with pay-day ...)
My DH needs one to get to work as there is no useful public transport, he drives a tiny Smart. I use mine to take kids to kinde and bring any bulky supplies in and family trips.
We do have several unwritten rules about the cars:
- do not drive less than 2.5m (unless something bulky or heavy is transported)
- always consolidate trips (DS in kinde, I do groceries, activity with DD etc)
- always fill the car (people, stuff etc - I never drive the bigger car on my own!)
- always ask neighbours if they need anything from shops, part of town you are going to - they do likewise)
- ask friends along on outings if there are spare seats - they do likewise
- try to conserve fuel - switch off at longer stop lights, no speeding, air on only if we can't have the windows open or it is melting hot - not often here
We are lucky, we live in a biggish town so have pretty good public transport, 4 parks within walking distance. We have a good variety of local shops within 1/2 mile of our front door and a farmers market every fortnight within 15min walk. We also try and cut down on our other expenses as much as possible with 2 small kids. Price of fuel unfortunately reflects on almost everything else.
Do not get me wrong there are people who do not seem to mind here. I see parked cars waiting for 10 - 20min with engines running and I think "gosh they must have money to burn - literally" and I know people who heat their houses in winter and summer until you think you are in the tropics and make me wonder why do we bother with being environmentally conscious but then I spend a few minutes on MDC and my mood is lifted and I see that there are more people like me out there.
post #73 of 237
I saw this on the front page & wanted to come in to say the same as sandy'smama - I don't need to pretend, that's how much gas is!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthiegirl View Post
I love hearing from our international neighbors. So do you have a car? Do you need one? Do you have access to decent public transportation? Do you live close to family?

But really I have little to contribute - I grew up in a city where 47% of households don't have a car, & I live in a city where 60% of households don't have a car. I have never owned a car in the UK (I have overseas though). I don't need one - or at least, I don't feel like I need one. Around my city, I catch buses, I walk, I get the tube. I've always had access to very good public transport. I live 3 hours by train away from my parents, & 5 hours away from my partner's parents.
post #74 of 237
I could finally afford a nice SUV because nobody else would want them.

*sigh* Our compact car already only gets about 15 mpg in gas, and about a quart of oil every 10 miles or so. (that doesn't even touch how embarrassing it is to see the cloud of black smoke surrounding us when we do drive it, which is almost never now days) Our (new to us, 10yo) SUV does about the same or better on gas, and a HECK of a lot better on oil.
post #75 of 237
I wouldn't have to do much different. We live within a mile of just about anywhere I need to go. When I use my car now it is more for convenience than necessity. I would possibly get a bike for slightly longer trips, but when I think about coordinating two little kids with that -- I don't know, I think I would still just drive. The nearest grocery store is a little over a mile away, and we'd have bags to haul back, and even at $10/gallon the cost of making a 3-mile round trip in my car is a little less than a dollar. Seems worth it to me, obviously though we'd make an effort to stock up and not run back a day or two later for a few more things.

I have always hated driving and felt that cars are moneypits, so living where we would be less car-dependent was a very conscious decision and something I had dreamed of for many years.
post #76 of 237
Wow, this is a good thread.

I live 10 miles from town (20 miles from some of our friends/activities) and DH works 35 miles away. We live up in the hills where biking is difficult, and we are not close to much of anything anyway (playground is 3 miles away, that's the closest thing besides houses, and there are virtually no shops in our town). I am pretty conservative with our driving (my car gets 15mpg, DH's gets 33mpg) but I could do better.

We currently drive two or three weekdays for various activities. I would cut that down to two or one. I already consolidate errands, grocery shop once a month, grow as much of my own food as I can manage, buy in bulk, etc.

We'd make fewer out-of-town trips. Currently, we probably make a two- to four-hour round trip once a month to see family. I would be sad, but we'd cut back on that.

We have oil heat and oil hot water. Last winter we left the thermostat almost continually at 55 in the main living zone and 50 in the less-used zones (once in awhile we bumped it up to 60 for a "treat" but I wouldn't if gas was $10/gal). This summer we are not using hot water from the tap at all, so no oil used to heat hot water.

We have two woodstoves that do not work. We would probably fix them up and install them to supplement our heat. DH thinks that will be expensive. It's tricky because we only have two flues, and the furnace is on one of them. Also our water pipes are in a difficult-to-heat corner of the house (stupid 1969 oil-spendy design).

I would hope that fuel-efficient technology would come down in price, so maybe it would be more affordable to us than $10 gas. We can't afford a different car right now, nor an on-demand electric hot water system.

I am hoping that when we move I can find what we're looking for within biking distance of town.
post #77 of 237
we wouldn't do anything differenty. dh already bicycle commutes to work and he doesn't need an engine on it, he actually uses his muscle power and I must say he's getting in great shape Imagine that, a bicycle without an engine... hmmm... http://www.dutchbike.co.uk/Work.htm i'd love one of these with the big bucket on the front for the kids (you can get seatbelts for them) but for now we pull the kids around in the trailer.
I take the kids to the grocery store every second day, we buy a LOT of produce so I like it to be fresh. My oldest rides his bicycle and I put my 2 yo in one side of our mountain buggy urban double. I use the empty seat as a shopping cart so I don't even need to use any type of bag at all I chuckle at the people I see with their reusable bags getting out of their SUV's.. kinda missing the point there aren't they? I guess one thing is better than nothing.
In the winter months, DH takes the bus to work. I walk the kids to school every day.
post #78 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by carfreemama View Post
We are car-free and always have been.

We bought our house very strategically, right on a bus route, in an area that we could never afford to live in if we had to make car payments. I put dd on the waiting list for a great preschool as soon as I knew we would likely be buying in this area.

We have a bike trailer. You would be AMAZED what you can get in one of those.

I only have one child; but I can do grocery shopping with her and my dog using a backpack, if I have to.

I take the bus to the farmers' market on Saturdays for most of our produce. I buy grain in bulk and carry it home in the trailer or on the bus.

I barter food for dog-walking so my dog gets out of the city once a week.

The list goes on.

I know not everyone has this opportunity; but really, people say so often, "yeah that's great for you, you don't HAVE to drive." But we DECIDED not to drive and built our life around that decision. We live where there's snow (Nova Scotia) and we just deal with it.

I absolutely did not want dd growing up feeling she had to rely on a car to get around. I knew gas probably WOULD be $10 per gallon by the time she could drive. Plus we get exercise, get to know our neighbourhood, and don't get out to shop much, which saves us thousands of dollars.
you basically just described us, except we do have a car that we rarely use. It's paid for so we keep it as a luxury for now. We live in Winnipeg so we know all about cold and snow. I have heard rumors of gas actually being $10 in the next 5 years. doesn't bother me a bit. When we bought our house we chose our location very carefully. We can walk everywhere we need to, but our bicycles give us a lot more freedom. People out in isolated subdivisions complaining about gas chose to live out there, and be disabled by their location. I hate hearing "but I HAVE to drive" no, they chose to drive..a LOT.
post #79 of 237
We would be devestated.

First off, DH works 40 miles (one way!) from home. I go to school an hour away. We live out in farmland. It's 20 minutes to the nearest grocery. Almost an hour to the nearest hospital. We have a motorcycle that gets about 60mpg, but the car only gets around 30mpg.

We're already becoming more poor with the $4/gal... I can't even imagine 10/gal.
post #80 of 237
Life would be much different. Although I have to say we can't afford to pay for gas right now whith it being over $4 a gal here. I try to consolidate our errends. Like yesterday I needed to go pick up a couple of things from the dime store but I held off for today when we go out for a play date so I can hit the store on the way there. The grocery store is about 20 miles away so I make sure that I get everything I need from there because there is no going back until next week if I forget something. Dh rides his bike to work on days that he doesn't need to run work errands during the work day and I stay home or drive very locally when I go out. We pretty much are driving as little as possible now. If it were $10 a gal then it would push me to get my bike set up for both kids and ride it more. I'm planning to get that going when dh gets paid next month.
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