Sticking Close to Home

OMSH posted her concerns about soaring gas prices yesterday. It got me thinking about what I’m doing to survive the skyrocketing cost of driving. I filled up my SUV for $75.55 last week. Wow! I used to fill up my old Accord for around $12 in college. *sigh* Times have definitely changed and my husband’s salary is not being increased proportionally… I read an interesting article from CNNMoney this morning that highlights how we got into this predicament. It’s worth a read.

So, what are we doing to keep ourselves afloat? Here are a few things my family is doing to manage these days.

1. Drive only when it’s necessary. I take Wildman to and from preschool three days a week. I combine trips like grocery shopping and hitting the gym while I’m already out and about. As a result, my little trips to the grocery store have become massive stock up errands. But I’d rather have an overflowing cart than burn up gas going back and forth to pick up a little bit at a time. I make a pot of Starbucks at home to resist the temptation of shooting up to the local shop for a latte. We’re also not signing the kids up for as many activities this summer in an attempt to limit our driving.

2. Creative Summer Entertainment. We’re planning to have a lot of outdoor fun close to home this summer. Three of our relatives have swimming pools and all live within a 5-mile radius of our home. We have a swing set in the backyard that is nice to use on days when it’s not 100 degrees in the shade. The beach and library are within walking distance of our home. I think we’re going to schedule as many play dates as we can as well. Sprinkler play and water balloons anyone?!

3. Carpooling. Some friends and I are planning to take the kids to the Kennedy Space Center this summer. We’re going to buddy up so we take as few vehicles as possible. We’d also like to take the children to stay at the Nickelodeon Hotel in Orlando and maybe go to a theme park. It will be a carpooling adventure for that trip as well as a room-sharing extravaganza.

4. J bought a motorcycle! I have mixed emotions about this decision. It’s great for gas savings since it gets 77 mi/gal. We’ve already seen our gasoline bill drop by $143 in one month. However, motorcycles are dangerous. Even though he’s taken a safety course and wears a full face helmet I’m very concerned for J’s safety. It’s no J’s driving ability I’m worried about. It’s the other morons on the road. We have our fair share of nearly blind, blue-haired retirees floating around our roads in their land yachts. They could easily merge into J’s lane and squash him like a bug or pull out into traffic and smash him…

5. Eliminate eating out. We don’t eat out on a regular basis but we do order to-go items from time to time. It’s an expense that we don’t need. As a result I’m bulking up my recipe stockpile 🙂 Anyone care to share some favorites with me? I can make a darn good pizza at home.

6. Take advantage of free shipping offers online. I’m all about online retail therapy when it saves gas $$$.

What are you doing to reduce your gasoline spending?