speaking of gas prices

I've been seeing this graphic a lot lately on some of the political blogs I read. Funny but also not if you know what I mean.

I know that historically we pay much less for gas than people in other countries do (Europe, for example) so they're sort of right when they don't have much sympathy for our situation. But it really is a whole different thing here in the US if you live out in the country like I do. I grew up in NYC and lived in Chicago for a while and took public transportation everywhere (and happily) but it's non-existent here. And the only store within walking distance sells ice cream and a steady diet of that is probably less appealing than it sounds :)

I've always bought cars with high gas mileage - no SUVs for me - and that helps. And I've started to limit my trips to town, combining grocery shopping, banking, and post office runs into single trips.

Most of you probably don't remember that gas was rationed back in the 70s during the oil crisis. I was pretty young and can't remember all the details but I do know that you could only buy gas on certain days of the week and the lines were really long (I used to take a book to read). I'm thankful we don't have to do that yet.

From Wikipedia—
In the U.S., drivers of vehicles with license plates having an odd number as the last digit (or a vanity license plate) were allowed to purchase gasoline for their cars only on odd-numbered days of the month, while drivers of vehicles with even-numbered license plates were allowed to purchase fuel only on even-numbered days. The rule did not apply on the 31st day of those months containing 31 days, or on February 29 in leap years — the latter never came into play, since the restrictions had been abolished by 1976.

So how are gas prices impacting your life? Are you driving less or making changes to your routine?


LauraM said...

My dh parked his big 4-wheel drive, but we need it sometimes in the winter. Like you we live in the country, I don't even have a store within walking distance! I do have a little bank & post office though. My dh & I are sharing my 4-cylinder Honda, combing trips to the city when ever & where ever we can. There is definitely less jumping in the car or SUV to run to the city for dinner out, or look around stuff.

Heidi said...

Good Morning Janet, I can so relate! We also live out in the country, without a proper grocery store or gas station. We have to go down into the nearest town to get both!....I do drive a pick up, which I feel a bit guilty about, but being a decorator ( sometimes needing to deliver furniture to clients) and living rurally, we felt we needed one. We are trying to group lots of errands together when we do go out! We also have two daughters, both living at home & going to college & nursing school approx. 45 minutes away! OMG!!! The other day I hit $100 at the tank???? Unbelieveable!!!??....Thanks for bringing this up in your blog!.....Heidi :)

Pieces said...

I remember those days in the 70s. I remind myself of them whenever I have a little freak out at the pump. At least we can get gas now, no matter the cost. I also (naively) tell myself that the embargo ended and it got better, so maybe things will get better this time too.

I (thankfully) don't live far from stores and school but we are still trying to combine errands and carpool a lot more.

Bean said...

My husband thinks those little pocket subdivisions are going to be the new ghettos... cut off from the city, with no services and no way to get out unless you've got some $$. I'm glad we live pretty close to downtown, and we can walk to a post office, grocery store, farmers market & park from our home.

In Michigan, where I grew up - it's a mess... everyone commutes to work, and it's becoming impossible to get to work to make the money to pay for the gas to get to work.

Niesz Vintage Home said...

Yep, I remember the even/odd numbered days gas rationing of the 70's.
Like you, I am trying to get everthing done in one trip, now.
Thankfully, I don't have to drive much. We're pretty conveniently located.

Kimberly :)

Nancy said...

I also don't have a store within walking distance. I do however, drive a small car and run my errands all in one day. It's usually a long list, but I don't mind. The days I do get to stay home I can clean, do laundry, cook.....ok who am I kidding. I SEW!! lol

I also remember my DH sitting in line at the local gas station. It was right outside the kitchen window. I would cook breakfast and take it to him while he sat in line.

Knit - R - Done said...

My husband and I have always live a frugal life. Fortunately we live on an Air Force Base. Everything is within walking distance if we need it.

We're moving to the UK next year and we'll probably learn to limit driving more then.

Carla said...

We're in the country, too. We never dreamed gasoline would go this high when we bought a lake lot and built this house. My husband drives 20 miles one way to work. I used to have a Curves membership, but dropped it last fall; it would be 15 miles one way for that. Now I am really trying to stay home most days even though our Camrys get good mileage — in the 35-40 mpg range. Our closest family is nearly 3 hours away and most of them live 10-12 hours away — and not all in the same direction. Can you see where this is going?

We married in 1972 and owned a dumpy old station wagon whose gas gauge didn't work. When the gas crisis happened we ran out of gas more than once, unable to fill up whenever we pleased. I remember sitting in lines with a book, steaming in the Florida sunshine. I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief when that situation improved.

A few years ago I was traveling to one of our daughter's homes and paid $1.50/gal for gas. I was appalled and told the clerk I had NEVER paid that much for gas in my life. (When I first began driving you could get gas at 19 cents a gallon!) Now I would love to see $1.50 gas again!

pedalpower said...

We were ready to trade in our car anyway...so we did and we got a smaller car instead of another huge Town Car. We also try to shop in our little town more...and when we have to go to the next big town, we combine trips as much as possible.

janet said...

Lots of great comments here and some of you do remember the 70s after all :)

I don't think our oil and gas problems are going away any time soon so I'm glad to hear that we're starting to think about alternatives.

Molly said...

I remember going on a family vacation to Cape Cod during the 70s crisis and part of the adventure was finding places to get gas. We actually camped in a gas station parking lot overnight with a bunch of other people because we heard a rumour it would be selling gas the next day. We got food out of the trunk and sat around in lawn chairs and it seemed like fun to me! Of course, I was 8 and didn't really have to worry about whether we actually got gas or not.

I have definately changed my driving habit now. I used to leave work at lunch to do my errands and shopping but now I make stops on the way to or from and stay at my desk all day. Once I get home .... I'm home. I don't take any trips to the fabric shop when I'm bored or need inspiration. Only if I have other things to do in the same town.

Heather said...

ugh, it means fewer trips to CA this summer for us. It means I cringe every time I fill up my little sedan and wonder how families with mini vans do it. It also means that my business earning are no longer all mine for spending and reinvesting- some of my profits are now finding their way into the household budget.

Kristine said...

HI!! I pop in from time to time, Love your blog btw!! ;-)
But I just had to respond on the comment about how historically we pay less for fuel than Europe...
Not necessarily. Their wages are structured totally differently.
My SIL gets 25.00 hr. for working at the admission window at the Movie Cinema in Oslo,Norway....
Over here for the same work, you might get 7.50-8.00 hr.