What You Do To Save While Gas Prices Skyrocket

18 Replies
starlight_94 - May 13

Well its on basically everyones mind with gas prices and all the economic hardship, so I wanted to ask what people have cut back on to keep up with bills and savings. Here in NE ohio gas is 3.89 a gallon which is absolutly obsurd. We also have heating oil in our house which heats our hot water. It is around $4 a gallon at a minimum of 150 gallons, which means I need $650 to fill my tank here soon! I am absolutly loosing my mind over it. That seems so rediculous and I have to do it 2-3 x a year. thats $2000 a year for hot water. CRAZY! But it is what it is and I cant change it, unfortunantly. So any coupon sites or suggestions are great! I alrady work 2 days a week and WILL NOT change that, b/c I love being home with ds! Well hope to hear from everyone!

 

kim00 - May 13

I am a SAHM, and the only time we go out (drive) is to take dd to preschool. At that time I try to get all the errands ran, and grocery shop. Where I live, there isn't any public transportation, I wish there was. It is absolutely ridiculous. The wrong people are in charge, meaning the people with the power are also the ones vested in oil. It’s a domino effect, the groceries are starting to skyrocket. And something needs to change.

 

surewinwilliams - May 13

Wow, I am surprised that no one has replied to this yet. I agree that gas is just killing us! My husband has about a 30-45 min commute depending on traffic, and our house is about 20 min from town. So I try to plan all of my errands in one or 2 trips to town a week, and I have the hubby do the daily stuff while he is out. I do get stir crazy a little though. We try to utilize ALL of the food we have in the house instead of having a bunch of stuff that just sits in the cupboard. We have turned down the thermostat and make sure to turn off all of the lights. Coupons make me crazy....I have tried, but I can't seem to wrap my brain around them! Cudos to all that do! Good luck, and save where you can!

 

Krissy25 - May 13

Coupons are ok if they are for things you already buy, otherwise they just make you purchase things you don't use or need. I do know at Target they will let you use the Huggies or Pampers Pull Up diapers coupons on any diapers. Usually they are for $2 off. For groceries i have gotten pretty good about making a list of meals for the week, so i only have to go once a week to shop, plus it cuts down impulse buying, and eating out due to not knowing what to make for dinner. I also make all of my dd's food, i know that saves a bundle, I have founds some really good deals on infant clothes at rummage sales or yard sales (i swear some of it was either not worn or only worn once) I try and cut back where i can, it's hard though b/c it takes some extra effort, it just takes getting use to.

 

MelissaK - May 13

I started putting together a menu for the enoitre month. So we spend like $300 at the start of the month, then basically no trips to the store except for milk. It's helped us alot. We also have a seperate amex card for gas from costco so we get 5% back on gas. And the gas bill is now in one place and a line item in our expenses of like $300 a month or something..

 

MelissaK - May 13

Krissy25 I totally agree with you. If you nail down a menu for a week you have alot more control over the costs. That's why I took it one step further and made it for the month.

 

starlight_94 - May 13

Thanks, I actually am only spending 200-250 dollars a month on all food, diapers ect!! Which is good, we live with a lot of Amish and there are alot of salvage stores that they run, we only spend about $40 a month on all our dry food items, rice, soup, sides, TP, all of that stuff. Its just so irritating that when I started driving gas was $1.00 a gallon (7 yrears ago) so what happened. This is going to hurt so many people, who commute and I cant imagine how peolpe who are pay to pay, are making it now. I mean we have extra money but we like to do things too, I hate sitting around all day. Although with nicer weather it is easier. I guess we just need to be more careful with out money, I hate being that way, but I am scarred to see what gas will top out at. Anyways thanks ladies, I am glad I am not the only one worried about this!

 

Buffi R. - May 13

I recently got a gas charge card that gives a 4% rebate on all your gas purchases, plus some other (lower) rebate on purchases inside the convenience store. It's a Phillips 66/Conoco card. I saw it advertised at the gas station I use a lot and picked up an application. The APR is really high though, so we make sure we pay it off every month, but the rebates are a really good deal. Now I try to only fill up at these stations, but it would be easier if I could use some others, so I'm going to start checking out other gas cards too. Not that I want to fill up my wallet with more credit cards, but we can pay them off each month so the rebates are worth it.

 

catgiggles - May 13

Yes this topic is driving my dh and I crazy too. We use to have about 125 bucks a month that we did whatever we wanted w/ it. Saw a movie ate out whatever. Now this month we are having to wait til the day the cell phone bill is due to pay it! Just the way our checks feel but I'm use to as soon as I get a bill in the mail I immediately paid it and did nto have to worry about missing due dates. Food has skyrocket here where I am as well as our dog and catfood. We have two large dogs that together eat 50lbs of dog food a week. It has jumped 4 bucks a bag over the last 2 months where we buy ours. This is thier last bag of that we are going to have to go tosomething cheaper. The catfood went up 3 bucks a bag as well. We have one very large cat too (about 20lbs) but We only have to get a large bag every 3 weeks. It is maddening b/c they can not tell me it is costing 4 more dollars a bag to transport that bag of dog food! My dh picked up a second job this past month. We are taking a vacation at the end of this month that will require a 13 hour car ride (in a crew cab truck haha so a gas hog). That is why he got the extra job. We are still going to take our vacation, and the truck is much more roomy than our car and has more comfy seats (plus a tonocover for storage) so we are biting the bullet and paying the extra for comfort. Which is what they expect ppl to do.We already had this vacation booked but next year we will vacation closer to home. We also planted a garden this year hopefully it does well. We basically just try to drive and eat out less. I know it really sucks but really don't see it changing anytime soon b/c we are all to dependant on the gas. So they don't have to change it we are going to use it anyways.

 

cblack - May 13

So I have to get in on this and mention something DH and I just went through. We took a cla__s from Dave Ramsey... dont know if any of you know of him or not, but the cla__s teaches you ways of paying off debt, saving, and "living like no one else so that one day you can live like no one else". We plan on selling one of our cars and paying cash for a $2000 vehicle so that we can use the money we are spending on one of our current vehicles on paying off other debt. The cla__s teaches you how to snowball into paying everything off, and also using an envelope system. I know this has nothing to do with gas, but it is really helping us out with expenses. We should have ALL of our dept paid off by Christmas, except for our home (what a present), and will then begin paying more on our home to get it paid off within 5 years or less... If anyone is interested please let me know, and I can find out some info for you in your area. :)

 

MelissaK - May 13

cblack - I totally hear you on this one. For years we had regular CC debt and then we would refinance or move and take that $$$ and pay off debt. My DH's company collapsed a few years ago and we incurred - get this - 80k in debt. Due to his handling payroll and all this stuff as his company tanked. We carried that around for 5 years and were completely broke every single month. 2 years ago I watched Suze Orman on Oprah and followed their plan for the "debt diet." We paid every single CC to zero in less than 12 months and have not had one dime of debt since. Needless to say my FICO score is almosty the higest it can be lol and we feel SO empowered. I since splurged on a new truck (finally - we needed it) and have almost paid it to zero in about 12 months. The key is to never run up any debt, if you do, you pay it off IMMEDIETLY by cutting back for a month or so (the case of the truck was 12 months to pay it off). We now have maxed our 401k and other saving stuff too. So with the economy going the way it is, we are now more knowledgeable about how to handle $$$ and have been able to sort of withstand the high prices (my company stiffed us on raises this year). We also talk about $$$ every day and regularly put spending plans together we both agree on (so at the start of the year we had goals that we look at every month then readjust as prices increase like for gas and stuff. The most readjustment has meant no new barstool for example but we are still on track to get the truck paid to zero shortly). Hope this little story helps someone, it changed our lives and there are no more sleepless nights (except the LO starting night waking again!!!).

 

starlight_94 - May 13

That would be absolutly amazing to be able to do, but alot of it is will power and I find that it is HARD not to spend $ on the little things once and a while. Nonethe less I would like to know more...

 

cblack - May 13

Melissa, I totally agree. We wouldnt be worrying about gas prices (other than just being upset that they are ridiculosly high...lol) because we wouldnt have so many bills during the month to pay. It is amazing that we can probably be debt free by Christmas... I just cant believe how easy it is actually going to be. The hardest part I guess is not spending the money on the little things like Starlight said. I guess what I think about when I see a cute shirt at the mall is.... I could buy this or I could put the money towards a credit card, or medical bill that we have and it will get it paid off that much sooner. I am just so ready to be debt free and be done with oweing people money. I should be paying myself not others.... The people I am paying interest to are the people that have all the money, why should I make them more?!? It is going to be so freeing, and stressfree to only have to make a house payment, and be able to put away money for my now 7 month old to go to College one day. So amazing!! :)

 

MelissaK - May 13

It's pretty amazing and has changed our complete perspective on life. I don't think we had to cut out too much when we went through the process - and d__n it was easy once we hunkered down a built a plan. We also want to pay off our house so just started a few months ago to send in the mortgage every two weeks instead of once a month. That get's it paid in 22 years instead of 30... DH wants to try to send double payments per month (so double the amount of mortgage). It's so exciting to see progress in your life and has been fabulous for our marriage! I just opened DD's 529 and am puttin in $200 per month so that she can go to Stanford :). We did not cut much, the key is we set annual goals and stick to them, then we have fun and we discuss before spending $$$. So the groceries and gas are particularly annoying because they DO cut into my fun $$$ (like lunch on Sat). So I am working to find a way to stabilize without upping the weekly budget (Costco monthly list is the key I think). Anybody can do this, just takes discipline and a plan. cblack can attest to that! (btw cblack, make sure you set up a splurge for the day you pay off the debt - big fat dinner, trip, anything - you deserve a reward).

 

cblack - May 13

Melissa, I didnt think about a BIG splurge when paying everything off. But that is a great idea. I am sure it is an absolutely amazing feeling to be "debt free". DH and I discussed before DS was born (and before we took this cla__s)... that it would be okay to have a baby because we could never be debt free, no one is ever debt free. I think the world (America especially), makes you think that you truly will never be fully debt free, but I think thats what they want you to think. It is totally possible, just like you said though, you need to cut back in some areas, and give up a couple of the little things, but it is totally do-able. DH and I will have to discuss a splurge for our debt payoff!! :)

 

catgiggles - May 13

I can't waitto be debt free again! We were just that only 14 months ago! Except for mortgage which is far less monthly than rent b/c we saved up a considerable down payment which lower it and kept us from having to have pmi. But then a complicated pregnancy and a premature infant that stayed 17 days in the hospital racked up 4,800 in debt (thankgoodness we had insurance tho!!!). Then just months later (but a new cycle year for insurance) that premature infant caught rsv and pneumonai. Which I then caught. More hospital bills so another 4800 for the year when we hadnt even got the other payed for! Which could be b/c dh took 5 weeks off work to be w/ me and the baby during all that (a month of which was in the hospital we only had 1 week home as a family before he went back). Then inbetween those two things an old man hit me totaling our truck (both of our vechiles were paid for). Of couse insurance didn't give us near what it was worth b/c they go by the year model and odometor reading (it doesnt matter we put a new motor in it and hadnt even put 40k on the motor!). So we had to buy another vech. Then our roof has to be replace 3500 more. Well needless to say our savings wasnt that built up. So we are back to paying bills. We still only have the medical, mortagage, and new vech. But this is still tight. We dont have cable really the only things we have that we could cut would be our phones and internet. But we still make extra payments on our house monthly. The medical bills dont charge interest but the house is so we keep to our plan on the house. We worked out a payment plan w/ the medical ppl and as each person gets paid off that money goes to the next lowest balance. We are down to only oweing 4 more ppl!! We will be debt free again one day. It just sucks that we arent anymore when the economy is going south!!

 

catgiggles - May 13

I was reading that and the wording of that premature infant sounds harsh!! He is my darling son and I would be in debt forever for him. It took us 6 1/2 years to get him here and we don't care how much he costs us. I just wanted to add that b/c i read back through it and it sounded......more like he was an object than our precious son and that isnt what I meant at all!! I was just pointing out how sometimes you get debt free and then get pounded in just a matter of months!!!

 

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