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?