19 November 2010

Frugal Friday - forward planning

Do you buy petrol and just about have to take out a loan to pay for it?  It blows me away when I think about how much the price of fuel as risen over the last 5yrs.  I know I should walk more but health issues prevent that.  Public transport in Tasmania is well crap basically and I can't ride a bike for the same reasons as lack of walking, oh and it was stolen too!
Thus I am stuck with the car.  To reduce fuel costs and time I try to plan my day.  Mostly I avoid going into the city (not that it is big anyway) and being a small city anyway most things are spread out.  An example of my planning would be this:

Monday - stay home day.
Tuesday - drop kids at their dads, go to library at same time as it is near him - 15 minutes away.
Wednesday - home ed group (location varies), dancing - grab any grocery needs on way home as we pass supermarket.
Thursday - drop kids at dad, do big shop, health shop, fruit/veg on way home.
Friday - stay home for most of day but usually walk to park in afternoon or kids go to dads house later in day. This usually involves another library visit for me too.

When we still lived in Melbourne this planning was much more crucial as I had larger distances to travel and a bigger car.  I used the train as much as I could for going to uni and back but I still had runs to the kids dads house, childcare and school.

I downsized my car at the end of last year (then got made redundant!).  I bought a 2nd hand Hyundai Getz, yeah I know a buzz box but oh boy!  My old car was a magna exec 6 cylinder so my fuel costs basically halved.  I am surprised at how much I can fit in this car,. the back seats not only lay down but they fold back up against the back of the front seats laving heaps of level space to put things.  I find it is ample for our little family.

Carpooling is another great option, as is taking it turns to do a pick up or drop off.  Now that we don't do school I notice how little we use the car too, which is great.

  • Think about where you have to go and when, try and do it all in a line to avoid back and forth trips.  
  • Do you really need to go today or can it wait till you have other stuff in that area?
  • If someone is coming to visit aks them to pick up things you need on their way.
  • Do you need or want your items??
What do you do to tread lightly or save money? 

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Christie said...

We think about this a lot and are currently in a situation where I have to drop the kids at school and pick them up each day. We used to be able to catch the bus and I loved it! Hopefully we wont have to do this for much longer and we'll be able to reduce our impact significantly.

Joni Llanora said...

I too am feeling the cost of fuel since we moved out of Melbourne. I used to just walk to do my chores/ grocery shopping. And because I'm a bad planner of lunch/diner menu I often have to do quick runs which is costly. Now that it's getting warmer I'm thinking if we can just walk to school (about 1.5km), pushing my kid in her wheelchair that is. We'll try it next week. Good exercise for me too.