The Blessings of Rising Gas Prices

Gas Prices

No.  High gas prices are most decidedly not a Finer Thing. I get that.  I’m not a fan of barely filling my tank for a Ben Franklin any more than the next motorist.  I am, however, an advocate of taking a lousy situation and making the most of it.  I figure I can whine and complain and want change for something out of my control, or I can change my own attitude and behavior.

Saving money even while battling the rising prices at the pump may be only a few blessings away.

The Blessing of Time

Driving to and fro takes both time and money.  Rising gas prices have given us the opportunity to reevaluate how we spend our valuable time.  Rather than hitting the road to attend an event, we may choose to park it.  Being home allows us more time for projects that would otherwise be ignored.

Time at home also allows for more frugal family fun.  We revisit activities that don’t make the cut when we’re on the go, and often find that the company under our own roof is fine company, indeed.

The Blessing of Organization

For our family specifically, a drive for even a bag of apples or a bar of soap is 35 miles round trip, or about $7.00.  Because of the price of gas and our desire to make every trip to town count, we’ve been much more organized with grocery and errands lists.  That translates into a well-stocked pantry and freezer, and a thorough menu plan.

Organization in one area sometimes blesses us with the ripple effect.  A well-planned menu, for instance, makes the dinnertime rush a lot less stressful.  Planning our trips strategically also forces us to look ahead on the calendar, noting important events, family birthdays and such that we might otherwise forget in life’s busyness.

The Blessing of Neighbors and Friends

I’m (at least) as guilty as the next girl of forgetting this or needing that even with the most concerted efforts.  The high gas prices encourage us to rely a little more on each other to borrow items, getting to know our friends and neighbors as we send little ones next door for a cup of sugar.

Staying home also allows for more casual socializing over the fence.  In the bedroom neighborhoods of today, where families are often home only to sleep, a chat with the neighbors may bring welcome reprieve to a stressful week.  If nothing else, you can discuss the rising gas prices!

The Blessing of Creativity

Make do or do without, right?  High gas prices may force us to think outside the box.  Gather your co-workers and devise a carpooling plan.  Create a new family favorite recipe with ingredients in your stockpile.  Take a picnic to the park to enjoy between your early morning and late afternoon appointments.  Teach the children one of your favorite childhood games, entertaining them for hours.   

The Blessing of Gratitude

Gas prices are on the rise and most certainly put a crimp in our on-the-go style.  Paying more at the pump stresses the already tight budget.  It causes us to reevaluate our already frugal lifestyle.  We may have to sacrifice even more opportunities and events.  But really?  There are worse things. By being grateful for what we have, we truly desire to go out and get less.  Our abundance is made more clear.

The blessing of gratitude, under any circumstance, is always a Finer Thing.


How is your family adjusting to rising gas prices?  Do you see any blessings?

 

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Comments

  1. Wow, I thought our prices were high in WA, but you topped ours!! There are definitely benefits to driving less. Hopefully we’ll keep on with our new tricks once the prices go down again.

  2. I have found that I am shopping much less (grocery shopping). I am really thinking through every trip I make. Thanks for this post, it is so true! I do, however, see so many people not cutting back. I wonder, how can they afford it?

  3. All very good points. It has made us rethink what we sign the kids up for this summer. It has also forced us to jump outside our comfort zone and approach parents on the same teams about setting up carpools. I am super hopeful that the carpool to gymnastics (25 minutes each way – 4 days a week) that happened last summer will happen again. I think with the high gas prices everyone really wants to make it work.

    • Our summer ball games are 17 miles one way, at least 2 nights a week. We definitely schedule all errands and shopping trips for those times!

  4. What a great way to look at it!

  5. Whoa! High prices! Thanks for the reminder of thankfulness when things are not so fun.

  6. Christie says:

    Thanks for the reminder…
    I’m at work, and just had to tell myself “I’m thankful I have a job. I’m thankful I can pay my mortgage. I’m thankful I have insurance and benefits” –it really changes the viewpoint of a bad day, to think that others would love the opportunity to have this bad day!!!

  7. We are blessed to have two of our college graduates live at home for the next year because it’s “cheaper” as one of them said to the other. Gas for driving from our house is cheaper than an apartment in our town. Having most of our family together a while longer is so precious to us!

    • What a gift for you AND them! I told my husband that college for our children may look way different than it did for us. (I was 3 hours from home.)

  8. I love this perspective, Amy!

  9. Negativity is my default, so it’s really helpful to have a reminder of the ways I can turn this kind of situation into a positive.
    Having married into an English family, it also helps me to think of what I’ve witnessed when I’ve visited in-laws in the UK: higher cost of living, far fewer choices in almost everything, yet much better markers of health and well-being. It reminds me that, to be healthy and happy, I really don’t need much of what we Americans take for granted (like cheap gas).
    Like Christine, I also try to remember ther are those who are far less fortunate. I live in a part of town where most of the residents only make about 60% of the state median income, and I’ve been overhearing more comments along the lines of “I don’t know how I’m going to afford diapers this week” or “I’m going to have to go to the food bank instead of the grocery store.”

  10. Great post. I’m so bad. I don’t really change my habits, truth be told. Of course, I’ve never been one to run to the store to pick up just a couple things. That’s just not my nature. And town is less than five miles for me. STILL… I should be more mindful.

  11. In several places in the Bible it talks about giving thanks in all things. This post was a good reminder that with the right perspective, there is always something to give thanks about.

  12. Love this article-you are right-change our attitude and be thankful!
    Happy Weekend!

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