4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 18, 2008 1:20 PM by vs_rolemodel

    gasoline, food costs

      Hello, all.  I am a user of public transportation, having given up driving [I refer to it as having 'divorced my automobile']
      about two  years ago.  I am one of the odd ones who intentionally chose to give up driving, for ecological concerns,
      before age 60.  While I will always renew my drivers' license and will occasionally use Zipcar, our local community
      shared car service, I have no desire to drive daily  into commuter traffic, or to constantly be looking for parking, or to pay automobile insurance, or even to have to wash/wax a car.

      While I have not experienced 'pain at the pump' re:  the increasing cost of gasoline, I have noticed food prices increasing
      almost weekly at my local supermarket.  I am already somewhat frugal, so it will be difficult for me to work around these increasing costs without sacrificing nutrition essential to a healthy diet.  One thing I am contemplating is dragging out
      again my crockpot slow-cooker, as well as a dehydrator I used to use to dry fruits/vegetables bought in bulk when they
      were on sale.   I may also revive my  once-a-month cooking strategy, preparing several weeks of meals and freezing them.
      These can all be economical.

      Does anyone have any other ideas regarding how to minimize the impact of rising gas and food costs?

      Best wishes,
        • Re: gasoline, food costs
          Great job, vs_rolemodel.  Over the years, I have shifted my diet to one based on whole grains, legumes and vegetables.  While my motivations flowed from environmental concerns (and a desire to live healthy), I have found that my food costs are a fraction of what my peers spend.  I don't buy processed food, but it sounds like you don't either.  And I've eliminated sugar (and the associated cravings for sweet, processed foods).  I grow my own herbs often getting seeds from friends, and these really give zip to my meals.

          I don't use disposable products like napkins, paper towels, etc. and for household cleaning I use vinegar and baking soda.  No harsh chemicals and cheap, cheap, cheap. 

          Another source of savings is that once I eliminated unhealthy foods, I found that I had little desire to eat out and had more energy for physical activity.  For entertainment, I work in the garden, go for long walks or bike rides.

          What is good for the earth, seems to be good for our bodies and soul, and good for our wallets, to boot!   

            • Re: gasoline, food costs
              Hi, TinyTracks, and thanks for your reply.  I also have long stayed away from red meat and eat lower down the food chain.
              I do purchase organic produce at farmers' markets and supermarkets; the costs of these items have gone up along with
              mainstream factory-farmed food, but I'm sticking to my guns [organically speaking].   Unlike you I have yet to start a vegetable garden...this will be my next step-up in the game to keep ahead of inflation.

              Thanks for mentioning paper consumption. I am getting much better at reducing my paper consumption, i.e., reducing
              my use of  paper towels and napkins.  A little finishing up of the edges of an old piece of cloth on the sewing machine and,  voila, you've got a napkin or a kitchen cloth for clean-ups.  The nasty clean-ups can be taken care of by using an old cloth rag one last time and then discarding it.   Another thing regarding ecological concerns, when I do buy paper [toilet paper, for example] I buy only paper products with certified high recycled content--in bulk.  These arrive at my door in bulk [Seventh Generation products], with no plastic packaging and only a large cardboard box to recycle. 

              Best regards to all for a good weekend,
            • Re: gasoline, food costs

              I use  lots of fresh herb in cooking and have notice how much they have increased in cost. This year for the first time I planted many herbs, peppers and tomatoes in large pots on my porch. I have dried many herb leaves for the fall and winter cooking.Also in the past, I bought gifts for my family and friends for birthdays and holidays. This past spring I learned how to knit and will knit scarfs and pot holders for my friends and family.


              I hope this can save you more!


                • Re: gasoline, food costs
                  Hello, cussie, and thanks for your suggestions regarding ways to economize in these gloomy financial times.

                  I really need to start growing my own vegetables and herbs.  I have it in the back of my mind that I do not have
                  time to do this and that it will be too difficult to till a little patch in my back yard for vegetable-growing.  But herbs
                  only take a good windowsill, so I have little excuse not to start an herb project asap.  I have a dehydrator which
                  has lapsed into disuse over the past few years.  I like your idea of growing one's own herbs and then dehydrating
                  them for winter use.   Thanks for the tips.

                  Best wishes,