Thursday, August 03, 2006

Gas prices

Last year at this time we spent three weeks in Washington state. When we left (about July 25?), regular unleaded gasoline here in Oklahoma was $2.29. It's a lot more there; oil-and-gas-and-low-tax Oklahoma has low petroleum prices. Anyway, when we returned around August 15? gasoline here has risen 20cents in 22 days, to $2.49, and I was shocked and astounded.

Then Katrina hit, and gas nearly touched $3.00 here in our fair small city. Expensive in our context.

We all have watched gas prices do the roller coaster thing in the months since, but always generally trending upward. Still, sometimes it does shock me still.

From yesterday to today, gas prices all over town went up 10c OVERNIGHT. And this isn't the first time we've seen it happen since winter.

I'm expecting this to be the way of the future: the end of cheap energy. I'm just waiting for grocery prices to show the increased cost moving the lettuce from California and the cherries from Washington. I'm trying to get to the local farmers market early enough in the morning for a good selection of local food, but that's been difficult. I'm definitely placing an order with our Oklahoma Food Co-op this month.

To buffer the price changes I try to keep my gas tank full. I concentrate on driving less like a speedy rabbit (my tendency) and more like a relaxed human being; it's very nice, actually, and not any slower!

I've cut down a lot on car trips, which has also relaxed our days. We combine trips with a passion, and I plan to stay home most of the time most days, other than the trips to get my husband to and from work (5 minutes from home; I'm so thankful we bought the house we did, for this very reason). This afternoon my husband needed something brought to him at work, so I did a dollar store stop, topped off the gas tank, and brought him his item.

I need to make a shopping trip to the warehouse store, so tomorrow morning the kids and I are going to go to store A and then store B and then get milk at the dairy store on our way home, where we will stay until time to pick up dear husband from work. Other than these days, we've pretty much stayed home all day, all week.

It helps that it's so hot that it's unpleasant to do car-based errands after about 11 am!

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