, gasoline, etc. Are we just spoiled? : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

In the summer of 1998 I realized that I didn't know how much things SHOULD cost, so I created a database to note these things. I still have it, and use it for reference.

In a recent thread, someone remarked on how they're paying more now for food than they did previously. The budget was being busted by paying more for items than wage increases could meet.

Regardless of whether folks have a LOT of money, or little money, [and I've been in BOTH places], I've noticed that a bit of planning stretches dollars spent.

Someone said electricity was high. It's always been higher in the summer months. The electric companies make money off of folks who over-use air-conditioning. TIP: Turn off the air-conditioning at night when the air cools and open the windows. Don't turn it on again until the heat of the day warrants, or until you return home from work in the evening [if no one is home during the hottest part of the day.]

Someone said gasoline prices were high. Gasoline has always been higher in the summer months. The oil companies [like the electric companies] raise their prices during months of more consumption. TIP: Walk more, ride a bike, combine errands, shopping, visiting friends, etc. to save on gasoline. Use public transportation if it's available.

Someone said meat prices were high. I haven't noticed this myself, but there are countless EASY recipes on the internet that can create healthy meals for multiple mouths using just a little meat. There are also two-for-the-price-of-one sales, and "family packs" where folks can get quite a bit of meat that they can bring home and freeze separately into individual meal offerings. Chicken and fish are ALSO healthy foods, and the same can be said about them.

EVERYTHING goes on sale, from shoes to raisin bran. If you plan ahead, you will anticipate when your shoes will wear out, watch the sales, and have another pair. If you eat a lot of raisin bran, are down to your last box and see a sale [that actually indicates a price reduction], buy two boxes. All the dimes and dollars you save by planning ahead will counteract any increase in summer gas prices or summer electricity prices.

I have little sympathy for folks who want their homes 60 degrees in the summer and 85 in the winter and then complain about the price they pay. I have little sympathy for folks who complain that the price of steak is too high or that they can't afford for everyone to have two pork-chops at a meal. If steak's too high, buy ground chuck, or watch the sales. If pork's too high, cook something else or watch the sales. Market prices are determined by willingness to buy. If you're not willing to buy, the prices will go down.

-- Anita (, July 03, 2000



You sound like Amy "The Frugal Zealot" Dacyczyn today. She edited "The Tightwad Gazette" and published several excellent books under that title.

I agree with many of your observations, e.g., gas usually goes up in the summer, but I find myself starting to agree with another poster ("My Story"?) who is starting to see more vehicles for sale along roadways (I save a dozen SUVs for sale today for the first time) as well as noticing that some of the young people on minimum wage are having a tougher time making ends meet this month.

Yes, budgetting does help ... I really like Robert Waldrop's ezine: Better Times at


-- (, July 03, 2000.

save = saw. Time for more iced tea!

-- (, July 03, 2000.


Why did folks buy Sports Utility Vehicles in the first place might be a good question. You've already stated that YOU have a small car, as do I. It's not like most folks NEED a large vehicle, and it's not like they don't KNOW that the vehicles use more gasoline, right?

I know folks [as in my kids] who are struggling on minimum wage incomes. I don't see them cutting down on their traveling due to the price of gasoline. Right now they're just complaining. When it REALLY hits their pocketbooks, they'll DO something about it, which was my point all along.

I might add that I got that "porkchop" line from my mom who heard a welfare recipient complain on T.V. about that.

-- Anita (, July 03, 2000.

>I don't see them cutting down on their traveling due to the price of gasoline.

I am, at least around here. July is a huge travel month, and one really popular destination for the younger crowd is white water rafting in West Virginia. Those who still have a little money are now opting for a day at Sea World, Ceder Point, King's Island ... All Ohio parks within a 2 - 3 hour drive from Columbus. Several have even cancelled that and are spending the day downtown at Red, White, and Boom -- some people take tents and coolers down there and stay 12 - 13 hours, which isn't normally my cup of tea, but if I were short on funds, that would be on the list.

In any case, have a good holiday! I got a last-minute reprieve (I don't have to babysit the mainframes tomorrow!) so I'm going bass fishing.

-- (, July 03, 2000.

kb8um......thanks for the great link! I've gotten a great education, thanks to people like you sharing links to neat sites.

-- Jo Ann (, July 04, 2000.

You're welcome, Jo Ann. Check out Amy's books next time that you're at the library if you're interested in some very practical frugal suggestions.

-- (, July 04, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ