Let’s pretend gas is $10.00 a gallon – what would you do differently? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 01-27-2014, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would stop driving kids to school. Right now I am the driver for my family and another family. D.S. does not go everyday so the driving others' to school would immediately stop. That is just about the biggest thing that would change. I already take round trips and walk when it's feasible. How about you? What would *YOU* do different?

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#2 of 34 Old 01-27-2014, 09:18 PM
 
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I'd move my dd to our neighborhood school so she could be bussed by school before and after at the district's expense, we'd walk to the grocery store and bring her old wagon to cart groceries back, and we'd vacation somewhere close to home. I already walk to work and we rarely go across town for anything. I'd probably also petition harder for better public transportation.
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#3 of 34 Old 01-28-2014, 06:59 AM
 
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I guess I would plan more than I do.  I try to bundle errands together and be conscious about the trips I take, but I would cut down even more.  For example, I may save money buying certain items when they are on sale, but a little out of the way.  When you factor in a much higher gas price, those savings might be negated.  I already do a fair bit of online shopping, which helps!

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#4 of 34 Old 01-28-2014, 07:22 AM
 
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The huge majority of my driving is for work (averaging 50 miles a day between clients' homes), so I can't change that. I would lobby for our gas reimbursement to be raised, but I work for a small non-profit - not much chance.


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#5 of 34 Old 01-28-2014, 08:20 AM
 
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We are in the process of buying a small home located near my children's schools, downtown, and with excellent free public transportation. I am not buying specially for gas prices but for the ability for my family to more easily be able to walk, bike, or catch the bus where we need to go. We could get almost everywhere we need be to without getting in my car. We are majorly downsizing to pull this off. 6 of us in 1200sq ft... but after years off living farther away to have a larger house and then living in my car instead of in the house, I'm willing to do it.


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#6 of 34 Old 01-28-2014, 08:33 AM
 
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We're already pretty lucky in this regard. I work from home and DH works about 10 miles from home. He does drive to see clients for work several times a week, but he is reimbursed for that.

We don't send our kids to our neighborhood school, so we would still have to drive (3 miles one way) to school. Right now I make 3 separate trips (drop off both kids, pick up DD after kinder, then pick up DS), so I would probably just wait the 2 hours between kinder pick-up and upper-grade pick-up to save one trip.

When we bought our current home, a big priority for us was buying in the town center so that everything would be walkable. So we could (and already do, sometimes) walk or bike to the grocery store, the library, restaurants, etc.

All that said, our town is pretty small, so at least once a week we go to a larger town nearby. That would probably become a once a month trip if gas were prohibitively expensive.

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#7 of 34 Old 01-28-2014, 01:02 PM
 
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Honestly? not much. 

we just got a new car that gets double the gas mileage of the last one and we were managing before. 


My husband already takes the train to work daily, and we are already a 1 car family. 


 
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#8 of 34 Old 01-28-2014, 08:28 PM
 
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I wouldn't change much. We don't really drive all that much, and the cost of switching to public transit would balance out the gas price (transit prices would also go up, and for short trips wiht a lot of people, driving is cheaper). Gas is about half that now, so I'd probably just end up spending more. I may make slightly fewer trips to the grocery store for only a few items, but I don't do a lot of that, as a rule, anyway.


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#9 of 34 Old 02-02-2014, 10:31 AM
 
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I would revel in it because I think it would be wonderful for Los Angeles. We'd invest in more infrastructure for the city and traffic would like decline. Next year DD goes to the same school as DS so we could easily take the bus!!!!

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#10 of 34 Old 02-02-2014, 03:10 PM
 
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I cross town to get to work. It's only 20 miles but takes 40 minutes. By bus and train, it's almost 2 hours and I have to walk the last 3/4 mile. I am not sure I would do it, even if gas cost that much. I would probably cut off all my other driving and keep driving to work. We'd probably always walk to the grocery store and library, carpool to church, and give ourselves more time for other errands so we could take the trains or bus. I already have a yearly pass for public transportation from my university, and I hardly use it...

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#11 of 34 Old 02-02-2014, 04:29 PM
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We wouldn't do much differently either.  My kids homeschool, dh works less than 10 miles from home.  I do drive for activities.  I expect that I would try to be better at planning, and combine the activity trips with errands en route.  Also, there is another homeschooling family that lives close to us.  I think we would start carpooling to the activities that we both go to.  I do drive a gas hog, but I really make use of carpooling for dance/theater so most the time we have butts in nearly all the seats.  I appreciate the free time that carpooling gives me (I only drive half as much) and so I don't think I would change cars just yet.  Especially since if the price of gas went that high, it would be really hard to sell my beast.  

 

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#12 of 34 Old 02-03-2014, 10:00 AM
 
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I work at home anyway, but we would probably combine errands more, maybe get DH a hybrid for his commute, rethink road trips. I wish trains were a better option for long distance travel in the US.

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#13 of 34 Old 02-03-2014, 10:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ragana View Post

I work at home anyway, but we would probably combine errands more, maybe get DH a hybrid for his commute, rethink road trips. I wish trains were a better option for long distance travel in the US.

 

I didn't think of that, but this is probably something we would do for DP, too.

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#14 of 34 Old 02-03-2014, 10:43 AM
 
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 I wish trains were a better option for long distance travel in the US.

i think the thought is coming into play these days. esp. in California the latest budget is going ahead with the high speed rail process even though the details have not been ironed out yet. but its not something that will happen overnight. but the thought IS there. 


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#15 of 34 Old 02-03-2014, 02:32 PM
 
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I didn't think of that, but this is probably something we would do for DP, too.

They're actually quite a bit more expensive, so it's not purely a financial argument, but maybe used ones are a less expensive option now that they've been around for a while (I haven't checked). I just do kid-related runs around town and some errands, but DH has to commute 30-40 minutes each way every weekday. His car is small and relatively efficient, but not hybrid level.

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#16 of 34 Old 02-03-2014, 02:35 PM
 
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i think the thought is coming into play these days. esp. in California the latest budget is going ahead with the high speed rail process even though the details have not been ironed out yet. but its not something that will happen overnight. but the thought IS there. 

That's good! It's not really an issue that I hear much about in the Midwest. We do have MegaBus, though, and at least that's sharing a (pretty comfortable, affordable) ride. I actually took MegaBus once, and it ended up being less expensive than filling the tank of my own car to get where I needed to go.

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#17 of 34 Old 02-03-2014, 05:28 PM
 
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I'd definitely bundle errands that we do by car, or share the trip with another family.  We can walk to the local grocery with a sled or a wagon. I'd probably join the bulk food buying club we have locally, to get the things I'd normally buy out of the bulk bins at the food co-op (which is a 25 mile round trip). We'd definitely limit road trips. We'd need to grow more food too. We live in an area with very limited public transportation, so this isn't really a great option for activities. Hm, now my wheels are turning about this idea...


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#18 of 34 Old 02-03-2014, 06:54 PM
 
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#19 of 34 Old 02-04-2014, 09:30 AM
 
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Here in Germany gas at its recent cheapest was about $8/gallon (€1.50 / liter). And around 80% of that price is tax, which is there partially to dissuade people from driving. I take my bike (fitted with child seat so I can take my son with me or use it to take him to/from preschool) when the weather allows, which it often doesn't. I take the train into the city but quite frankly that is more to avoid traffic and high parking prices although of course saving on gas is also a factor. I also make my trips with the car to do more than one thing per trip if possible. But I have to say, I only got a car about a year ago and it's amazing how quickly and easily I've adapted...or in other words become dependent or addicted to using it. It's embarrassing actually. :blush 


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#20 of 34 Old 02-04-2014, 10:02 AM
 
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But I have to say, I only got a car about a year ago and it's amazing how quickly and easily I've adapted...or in other words become dependent or addicted to using it. It's embarrassing actually. blush.gif  

I know what you mean! I didn't get a car of my own until I was 18, and I lived close enough to my high school and college (about a mile) that I just walked to school every day, then walked another couple of miles to work after school, and then my mom picked me up after work.

I enjoyed walking, and totally thought that even after I got a car I'd continue walking most of the time, but nope, once I had a car all of a sudden I "had" to drive because I had to much to carry, or the weather was bad, or zillions of other reasons that had never stopped me before.

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#21 of 34 Old 02-04-2014, 10:15 AM
 
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They're actually quite a bit more expensive, so it's not purely a financial argument, but maybe used ones are a less expensive option now that they've been around for a while (I haven't checked). I just do kid-related runs around town and some errands, but DH has to commute 30-40 minutes each way every weekday. His car is small and relatively efficient, but not hybrid level.

 

Yeah, we looked during our last car purchase.  The gas didn't justify it then, but at $10.00, it probably would for us.

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#22 of 34 Old 02-04-2014, 07:58 PM
 
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We might refine our own biodiesel, which is a doable at home thing. Right now we buy from our local coop. It is a bit more expensive than regular diesel. If it was the same price or lower then everyone who drives a diesel would want it and it would overwhelm production. We get 40mpg in our VW TDIs right now. 


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#23 of 34 Old 02-05-2014, 05:32 AM
 
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We get 40mpg in our VW TDIs right now. 

Wow, cool. I think that's almost double what our cars get. Yes, carS. Ugh. If gas was $10, we might dump my car, and I would just deal with getting kids around on the bus/walking. Although when it's -15F that prospect is not too enticing.


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#24 of 34 Old 02-05-2014, 07:20 AM
 
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My MIL's new Honda gets 40 also. It's a conventional car. Cars with good gas mileage are out there.


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#25 of 34 Old 02-05-2014, 11:43 AM
 
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My MIL's new Honda gets 40 also. It's a conventional car. Cars with good gas mileage are out there.

 

I'm going to guess that's highway driving.

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#26 of 34 Old 02-05-2014, 06:55 PM
 
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I'm not sure Mulvah, I just caught part of the conversation. I get 39-40 in my 2004 TDI in the city and 40-43 or so on the highway. I just googled it and it says for the new 2014 Honda Civics it's 30/39 city/hwy. I used to get 40 way back in the 1990s, too. I had a Honda Civic hatch that got that and a Dodge Colt back in the late 80s/early 90s. They can make them efficient if they want to, but they only want to if they think that's what will sell.


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#27 of 34 Old 02-06-2014, 09:06 AM
 
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Ours is rated at 21 city and 28 highway, but it's a Mazda 5 - the small mini-van-ish car. Pretty much every day I need to transport between 2 and 5 kids, and the problem is that smaller, more fuel-efficient cars don't fit enough people. We are only a family of 4, so if we weren't taking other kids after school, we could get a Civic, Matrix, etc. and be fine. That would definitely be a consideration if gas was $10. Thinking about it, I'm not sure we could get everyone where they need to go on public transportation.


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#28 of 34 Old 02-06-2014, 09:53 AM
 
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In case I wasn't clear:  my family would likely buy a Hybrid or electric car if gas was $10/gallon because it would be worth it to us.  I don't assume everyone would buy a hybrid or electric car and I don't assume it would be worth it for everyone, but it would very likely be worth it for our family, based on our goals, needs, wants, etc. 

 

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I'm not sure Mulvah, I just caught part of the conversation. I get 39-40 in my 2004 TDI in the city and 40-43 or so on the highway. I just googled it and it says for the new 2014 Honda Civics it's 30/39 city/hwy. I used to get 40 way back in the 1990s, too. I had a Honda Civic hatch that got that and a Dodge Colt back in the late 80s/early 90s. They can make them efficient if they want to, but they only want to if they think that's what will sell.

 

Highway mileage is very different from city mileage; I would expect that type of mileage for highway driving.

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#29 of 34 Old 02-06-2014, 10:27 AM
 
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Depends on the car. I see about 3-5 miles difference between city and highway if that much in my VW Golf TDI. I have been doing a bit more highway driving lately and getting better a gallon or two better mileage per fuel up. I usually figure it out each time I fill up and for the past 10 years it's been consistently a least 38, usually 39 or 40, occasionally 41. My DH's car, which he rarely uses because he walks to work and all over town, is a VW Jetta TDI and he says he can get 45 mpg. I don't drive it very much.

 

Back in the day, I got great mileage in my 91 Honda Civic, too. It was about 40 mpg per tank, so a mix of city and highway. Here's the ratings on a '91 Honda Civic CRX https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/7474.shtml . Mine wasn't a CRX, and I didn't get gas mileage that was quite that good, but it was probably something like 40-42 for highway and maybe 35-37 for city. They can make them fuel efficient if they want to.


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#30 of 34 Old 02-06-2014, 11:27 AM
 
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I fondly remember my older Honda Civic!  I never got anything less than 36 miles per gallon, mix city and highway driving. I think it was a '96.  Our Honda Fit gets about 33mpg, mixed city/hiwy.  The Civics are worse for gas mileage.  They're much heavier than they used to be and less efficient.

 

Hmmm . . . I would start to get excited if gas went up to $10 per gallon.  I noticed a LOT more carpooling at school and a lot less cars on the road in my tiny town when gas creeped close to $5 per gallon.  It made walking and biking through town much more pleasant.

 

Of course, this is just assuming gas prices just affects car driving.  It would really mean that the cost of everything would go up.  Hmmm . . . but maybe manufacturing jobs would come back to being a local option, since it may become less expensive to manufacture in the US, rather than manufacturing in another country and shipping across the globe.  More jobs would be great!

 

I am having a hard time hearing some of my local townsfolk complain about the lack of road maintenance and high gas prices.  These are the people who live a 20 minute drive out in the country from our little town and like to have smooth roads so they can travel at 50+ miles per hour.  They take it as an affront to their freedom that our economy is so bad that we cannot afford to maintain the country roads like we used to.  I appreciate that we all pay for things that some people use more than others:  library, police, fire, street lights for the city, etc.  But somehow the expectation that we all pay for expensive country roads so people can have their expensive estates far out of town and still zip through this place at a high speed on their way to the larger city for their high-paying job rubs me the wrong way.  But I think I've gone off on a tangent.

 

Moving closer to town and paying a higher price for housing is something we have already accomplished.  Both because we expect gas prices to rise AND because we would like to "age in place" and not have to leave our home when aging makes us unsafe to drive.  This means we have saved money by going down to 1 car for DH's commute and weekend errands.  The kids and I bike everywhere locally.

 

We'd really need to grow more food, rather than keep a garden just for fun.

 

Own fewer "things" and take better care of them.

 

Enjoy fresher air and less car noise!

 

: )

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