Offsetting inflated gas prices

I had to fill up my gas tank this morning with an audience of children (it was my carpool day).  The kids found the shockingly high total—$58.23—to be a hot topic of conversation for the rest of the trip.   “We could have used that money to buy a new Wii game,” said one (mine).  “I could get more than 15 packs of Pokémon cards with that money,” added another (mine).  “I could buy some books and put the rest in savings,” said a third (not mine).  And so on. 

While paying $4 a gallon for gas depressed me a bit, I couldn’t help be impressed by the kids’ understanding that every dime you spend is a dime you can’t spend somewhere else.  In fact, BIGresearch's recent Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey (CIA) found that the majority of consumers are making difficult choices to compensate for rising gas prices. The survey identified driving, dining out, and vacation/travel as the most common spending groups to be cut.  Respondents also said that gas prices have caused them to spend less on clothing and food as well as delay major purchases such as a car, electronics, and furniture.

Since my gas bill is about $15 more per fill up now than it was last year, I need to make a conscious effort to offset the increase—without relying on credit.  Because, like the kids pointed out, you sometimes have to sacrifice one thing for another. 

Fortunately, Mighty Bargain Hunter’s Fifteen easy ways to save fifteen bucks proves that the “sacrifices” can be painless.  Or check out MMI’s article titled To Save Big Dollars, Commit to a Little Change. If you know of some easy ways to save $15, I’d love to hear them!  Your tips might even end up in our Tips for Change Gadget.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.