We were hit with a lot of depressing news this week. The price of gas continues to soar. Food prices are skyrocketing and in many countries there are riots over food.
The president has changed his tune over the use of our stimulus checks. He was once saying we should use them to buy things to get the economy moving again. This week he was saying that the checks would help us deal with the high price of fuel.
I am sitting in my nice warm house, waiting for the timer on my stove to let me know the dinner I am preparing is done. I have not had to worry about gas prices and food costs as much as others have.
But I have been aware and have taken measure to keep our family budget in check. I purchased a bike trailer last summer and used it to get a few places with the grandkids in tow. This year I will use it for as much transportation as I can.
I combine as many errands as possible. I have gone back to shopping once a week for groceries instead on every few days. We buy bulk when it is feasible. Still the rising costs hurt.
If we want to make a statement to the big oil companies who are continuing to reap enormous profits as we struggle to keep our heads above water, then we all have to use less fuel.
Many of us have to use our cars to get to work or appointments. But are you doing enough to reduce the use of your vehicle. Can you car pool?
I know that some find it inconvenient not to have a car during their lunch if they ride with someone else. What about taking a bag lunch to work or walking to do errands on your break. Your health would benefit as well.
I know of a few parents who drive two blocks to the school bus stop and sit with the engine running to keep their kids warm until the bus comes. Then they drive home. Walk them if you need to keep an eye on them and wear a warm coat.
A lot of the agencies and companies have their head office in the Salt Lake area and trips over the mountain are expected. Telecommuting and electronic conferencing are becoming cutting edge. Help look into ways to hook up and cut down on those time consuming trips over the hill.
Many times I was expected to drive to Salt Lake for meetings that were half as short as the drive time over. My agency budget was expected to cover the cost. When gas prices rose during the budget year, the budget was never adjusted to meet those rising costs.
Until the American public curtails their use of gas, the price at the pump will continue to rise. Griping at the pump while filling up is not the answer.
Every little cut back will help. Take a hard look and make the difficult choices. I am not prepared to pay five dollars a gallon before the summer is over.