What are you doing to help costs with rising gas prices?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by QueenB04, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. QueenB04

    QueenB04 Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    Gas prices a week ago were $1.87 a gallon, not saying it's cheap but it was a little easier then the new$1.94-$1.99 range, what is it going to be next week? I only started reading the threads about the forewarning of gasoline prices the other day and am kicking myself for not starting to read sooner. I have a Dodge Durango V8, 5.9liter I bought in Jan. it has a 20 gallon tank...I travel 30 miles a day one way so 60 miles round trip, at 15.3mpg, that is 4 gallons of gasoline per day :eek: !! Argh! Frustrating. I need the veh, 4wd, capacity etc. thankfuly my husband's parents are giving us their pontiac Grand Prix(just bought a new one) so that should help a little.
    What are you all doing about this?

    I read about people stocking up on grain, food etc. I think we may be doing that, we buy our feed w/o using an account but I think maybe either starting one and stocking up, or finding someone who will do large bulk shipments would be good. We actually have a small about 12ft tall silo on the property. And I have every intention of planting plenty of veggies and canning like crazy this summer. And we should have our own meat this summer with chickens, pigs probally won't be ready until fall, and we get our beef from friends. We have a wood stove so no problem there with heat and if I have to convert to that for cooking I won't mind, we actually used it for cooking sometimes this winter. What about solar? Does anyone use solar? If so for what, how, and why?
    What else is everyone doing to help conserve costs.
    I posted the other day about outrageous grocery prices as well, with inflating gas prices our food will consiquently be raised even further. What is everyone doing about this? Please give suggestions, and I hope we can all help each other out on this one. I knew we'll all be feeling the crunch if we aren't already. I didn't start complaining until I saw $1.99, can't wait for summer time :rolleyes:
    We don't rely on tracors, we are only 7 acres and a good section is woods. We have our small(hopefully we'll be able to use some more property) field which our horse, donkeys and sheep on. Pigs do most of our tilling, clearing efforts without use of a tractor or lawn mower. We try to do as much manual labor as possible. We do like to drive, but hopefully we'll be able to cut down on that for the time, I doubt we'll have a choice.
    Please let me know what ya'll are doing, and how you all do it. Look forward to lot's of good ideas and discussions, thanks! :)
  2. NativeRose

    NativeRose Texas Country Grandma

    Nov 15, 2003
    Thankfully, we have smaller cars. Hubby drives 12 miles to work and his car gets good gas mileage. Since I do not have a job I have been trying to make my trips to town (10 miles) count. Our farm truck usually doesn't leave the place unless we have to get feed. Unleaded gas here is almost $2.00 a gallon. Like you I wonder how high it will get this summer. My husband is a machinist in the oil industry and he is afraid we are about to repeat the past. Groceries are going up as well as just about everything. So we will be staying home and trying not to make any unnecessary trips. We will only use the tractor when absolutely necessary and do our best to keep our own costs down.

  3. dakani

    dakani Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Unleaded petrol here is around $1.07 per litre, which equals around $4 per gallon! Good thing I have a small car which does about 18km/litre.
  4. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Ya'all are lucky that you can still buy cheap gas at $1.99/gal.
    Here it's $2.15/gal on the U.S. side just across the border. On this side in N. W. Ontario it's over 90 cents a LITRE, or about $3.00/gal. U.S. equivalent.
    I have cut down driving trips into town anytime possible to conserve. Even if it's one day less a week, that is saving a couple of gallons. Conserving and buying domestic made products rather than adding to the economy of China that is consuming so much energy and cheap stuff we keep buying to fuel them making more cheap stuff that we keep buying to fuel more industry there to keep us buying more cheap stuff....get the picture?
  5. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    Next car will be a hybrid!!
  6. mommymushbrain

    mommymushbrain Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2005
    As soon as my car is fixed, hubby will be taking the minivan back and forth to work. He'd be taking it now and leaving me with the truck, but it is impossible to fit 2 carseats, 1 preteen and myself in the front cab.

    The kids and I only go to town once a week anyways, I'd like to get it to the point where I only have to go once every two weeks - hubby would stop off on his way home for the fresh things we need.

    I use to drive my oldest back and forth to school because we live less than 2 miles from it, yet the bus ride for her is 45 minutes long... but that changed the last time gas prices got this high. She's been riding the bus this entire school year.
  7. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

    Feb 19, 2004
    Car pooling to work. Not only does it save gas, but I get to relax instead of drive.
  8. itsmeladyh

    itsmeladyh New Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    I'm outraged with the prices. Last night I paid $2.27 a gallon and its still climbing. (I'm in upstate NY)

    On a fixed income, I feel guilty even going out. I now think about my driving pattern and do my chores accordingly, trying not to waste gas.

    If all of us would not use the car one day a week, a statement would be made.
  9. Jo in PA

    Jo in PA Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Hubby is a truck driver and brings his truck home so he doesn't need the car. I don't work outside the home, so I make every trip count. I only go once a week and do several errands at one time. Actually, I have always done this. No real way for me to cut back.
  10. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

    Jul 1, 2004
    N. Illinois
    I attend college classes 2 days a week. Fortunately, the campus is right on the way to DH's work, so I ride in with him in the morning and he picks me up at night. True, I only have 2 classes those days, so I have a lot of time during the day when I am not in class, but I use the time to study, work in the computer lab, catch up on correspondance, etc.

    We are also trying to coordinate our errand trips, and buying larger amounts of things to we don't have to go as often.

    Am planning to get some of those step-in fence posts to make very movable, temporary paddocks for the horses this summer, so I can let them graze down areas that aren't permanently fenced (the yard, the edges of the driveway, etc.), so I don't have to run the mower or buy hay (which requires someone else's tractor to run!) ("See honey, the horses ARE useful!" :D )

    I don't have a garden spot yet - we just moved in last summer - but want to get as big of one going as I can. Will plant veggies in the flower beds, in pots, and some things will just get planting holes dug for them in the lawn and planted like trees! (Tomatoes, peppers, etc.) That should do until I can get a real garden space set up.

    Have been pushing to do everything possible to conserve electricity and heating fuel. Unplugging things, not replacing unnecessary light bulbs when they burn out and replacing the necessary ones with those energy-efficient fleurescent bulbs. Closed off every room we're don't need to use in the house. Have the thermostat at 65 during the day, set to drop to 60 at night. Only turn on the water tank heater for the horses' water when it's necessary and the tank starts to have ice form in it, instead of leaving it on.

    I want to freeze a bunch of produce this summer as well (and we try to stock up on meats and such when the sales are really good), so we'll need freezer space. But instead of buying one big freezer, we are going to get 2 smaller ones, so that as we empty them during the winter, we can consolidate everything into one freezer and shut the other one off completely.

    Want to start a root cellar, too. And am looking into solar (still grid-tied) and maybe wind (small scale, for the well pump, perhaps) options. And at woodstoves for heating/cooking for next year. An ad in the local paper/grocery store bulletin board for "Free storm cleanup" should provide lots of firewood, in addition to the 6-7 acres of woods we have to pick through.

    Need to get my car fixed so I can drive it and not my truck. DH and I are seriously discussing the future possibility of hybrid vehicles in our garage.

    Gas is over $2/gallon here... $2.03 was a steal, most places were $2.15.

    On a positive note, perhaps the high gas prices will keep the neighbor kids from spending every waking moment this summer racing up and down the property line on their 4-wheelers and dirt bikes. One can hope... :rolleyes:

  11. Swampthing

    Swampthing Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Watch out on the Hybrid Vehicles the batteries alone can cost you $4k and they must be relaced every so often (like 3 years).

    It's not just how much we are paying at the pump it's also how much the trucker pays and the farmer pays.

    Oil is used to make EVERYTHING. It takes 10 calories of oil to get 1 calorie of food. Plastic is everywhere. Oil is even used to make the capsules our Rx's come in.

    How high will diesel have to get before airlines close down? The airlines are one of the economic engines of our economy.

    How high will it have to get before an otr dirver unhooks his truck and heads home?

    Or a farmer not plant his crops?

  12. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2004
    Nothing will really happen with gas prices until people start using less--it's simple (well, not really simple) supply and demand, and if the demand drops the p[rices will drop. Until then I will continue to put my extra money into things that our farm and home need, including improvements to make the house and shop more energy efficient (which has the side affect of making the house more comfortable when it is either cold or hot outside), adding more PVs to our electrical system, replacing appliances with more efficient or smaller ones when the old ones reach the end of their useful life, etc. We haven't had a new vehicle since 1971, and find that many of the small cars from the late 1980s and early to mid 90s get 30 to 40 mpg or better. The last car that a son bought is a Honda civic, about $800, and he called the other night after driving from Wisconsin to Colorado into strong winds, and got 40mpg.
    I don't see spending much money on transportation, would rather spend it on the home and farm.

  13. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

    Sep 22, 2004
    Newscasts continue to lead all over the country with the lie that gas prices are about to reach an all-time high. Gas prices, in fact, are nowhere near the "all-time high." How can this be so? As has been explained over and over again, the mainstream media never takes into account inflation. You simply cannot compare the purchasing power of a dollar today to that of 20 years ago. Likewise with prices. So what is the all-time high for gas prices?

    In March of 1981, gasoline cost $3.08 a gallon, adjusted for inflation. We have a long way to go. The same people who are jumping up and down about the price of gas will also do nothing to bring down its price. The enviro-wackos and hypocrites on the left complain about the high cost, but won't allow us to decrease our dependence on foreign oil by drilling for our own. Nor will they allow us to build more refineries. They want it both ways.

    So when you go fill up your car today, just know that we are nowhere near the all-time high for gas prices
  14. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2004
    Zone 9b
    I'm staying home for the kids' spring break vacation next week. I will also use the week to find employment closer to home. The savings in gas and tolls will offset a cut in wages. I need to do more solar chores, such as hanging clothes on the line and drying produce. Any other solar ideas?
  15. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    Vancouver, and Moberly Lake, BC, Canada
    We set up our whole homesteading-life to help not be dependant on outside food, power, or heat. We are moving everyday toward more self-sufficiency, and yet it is easy to slip back and have other wants. So the answer to the question is NOT MUCH. And I think a lot of us think and act that way.

    Of course not many remember when gas and cigarettes were TWENTY-FIVE CENTS each. Though I don't care about the price of cigarettes -- quit thirty-five years ago.

    But I didn't quit using gas -- probably just as bad for my health. So, now I think our 94.7 cents per liter ($3.00 USD a gallon) is awful.

    SO, what do we do about this: we get more money to pay for the higher cost. Which will eventually happen -- in the long run everything will go up.

    The problem is the temporary crash -- because we are short of oil -- and need to make some more -- from new technologies and ideas -- which will take us a while to get going. After that a lot of people will live OK. But, for a few years there might be a lot of adjustments. Those who are preparing now can help soften the blow for themselves. The reason I say temporary is because we can take care of the lack of cheap oil by making new oil or power.

    And those industries will be huge -- lots of opportunity there.

    So for now, learn how to: garden, preserve food without much cooling, heat your house, provide power, provide water, as we know here how to do. And I guess stay at home more.

    For those in town, who live in high-rises (we have an apartment in Vancouver too), the problems are similar. I am trying to convince our condominium Strata Council to investigate Solar Hot Water Heating – we can replace about 40% of our domestic hot water. So I figure, later when shortages occur then with extreme conservation, we will have mostly, hot water from solar at a low cost.

    Our apartment is the perfect passive solar heated space – south facing – our average heat is $5.00 per month – we don’t need cooling – open the windows and the westerly breeze from the water cools the whole place down in seconds – very comfortable.

    We grow vegetables: on the deck in Vancouver, and at the cabin – in our heavy-mulch drip irrigated garden – we are away from the garden a lot – we should (and probably will) stay there more.

    Good Luck, and let's get started.

  16. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    We are trying to arrange a better carpool system. If we can get 4 other families to drive 1x per week, then that would work out better, I think. We each would pick up the other's children and transport them.

    My husband is taking the motorcycle, which takes less gas, and we are only using the truck (which seats 6) for carpooling. I drop them off at school, go home, then to work in my car...it's all on the way, too, so no out of the way driving.
  17. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2002
    We are trying to get our electric usage down even more, knowing that soon, electrical usage costs are going up.

    We are driving as little as possible, but we still drive enough that we are feeling the pinch. I have to drive to my job at the hospital which is 64 miles round trip. Dh does work on a contract basis for the Chamber of Commerce and has to go to town also.

    Food is an area we think we can save a bunch by growing our own as much as possible and we are working on that. I have been trying to make simpler meals that take advantage of things I can buy at Sam's club for much cheaper than the grocery store.

    We use wood to heat our home and have tons of wood here for the cost of the fuel and blades for a chainsaw.

    Some of the nurses I work with are taking extra shifts and even going to other hospitals and taking PRN work while keeping their jobs at the hospital we are at. A couple of nurses are working as waitresses in addition to nursing to make extra money. I have signed up that I will take on extra shifts as well now.

    Being out of debt completely is one thing that helps us. I would like to have a more fuel efficient car, but the cost of a new or new to me car would buy a lot of gas. My old car is paid for.

    Our hospital just raised prices by 15%. I recommend all of us try and stay out of the DR's office and the hospital. Even if you have insurance, it is a road to big $$$$ outlays.
  18. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2004
    Someone asked about solar cookers. Go to http://solarcooking.org/plans.htm and check out the plans for home-built units. The "Heavens Flame" unit is basically cardboard boxes and aluminum foil, and it works fine, although it isn't weatherproof or easy to move around. Ten yers ago or so the homeschooling group that our boys were in built a bunch of them, one per family, and compared them to our store-bought unit (the brand I don't remember). They all baked cookies and casseroles about the same, but as I mentioned, the home made ones weren't quite as easy to move around, store, and set up. They do fine to help you decide if you want to invest more time and/or money in a fancier unit.
    We use our store bought one a lot in the summer, especially when we are outside and can remember to move it a bit every hour or so to keep it facing the sun. It does well for cookies, rice dishes, coffee cakes, and anything that needs to simmer. Sort of like a crock pot that doesn't plug in, and only works on the low setting.

  19. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

    May 14, 2002
    W. Washington State
    Having owned a Prius since Feb 2003, I have to disagree here. First of all, the Toyota warrenty on the hybrid battery and ALL the hybrid components is 100K miles. There is NOTHING in my owners manual that says I will be required to replace the battery in 3 years (next year will be 3 years) I'm at almost 50k now, and have had zero problems with the car. Getting a solid 48-50 mpg has really saved us money. My experience with the car and with Toyota's service and support for the hybrid technology has been outstanding.

    However, I also did a massive amount of research on the Prius before buying one... there are a ton of discussion lists on the 'net and I read them all. By the time we went to purchase the car, I knew more about it than the sales guy.
  20. silentcrow

    silentcrow Furry Without A Clue

    Mar 14, 2005
    NW Pennsylvania
    The Amish are looking pretty smart nowadays. I've been thinking of getting a horse and buggy for years...If only I had the money! I'm only 2 miles from my small town, but have to drive 30 one way to do my grocery shopping. Things are just getting way too expensive!!! :eek: