What Will the Rise in Gas Prices Mean For You?

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According to University of Central Florida economic forecaster Sean Snaith, economic unrest in the middle east is driving up gas prices and we haven’t even seen the full force of the increases since we are not in peak driving season.  John Felmy, chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute agrees, and adds that the instability in Egypt is adding to the rise in crude oil prices.

Many news articles online like this blog from US News and World Report are quoting experts that say a rise to $5 a gallon during peak driving season is certainly a probability if things do not settle down over there.  CBS News station WNCT quotes experts as saying that if unrest spreads to Saudi Arabia, the third biggest US oil importer, prices could continue to rise. This makes me very upset and I am starting to come up with a plan to prepare for this.

Currently in my hometown, gas is up to $3.34.  Thankfully, I have a Kroger plus card that I share with my mother in law. Together we rank up 1,000 points and she allows Josh and I to use the $1 off per gallon reward. I filled up for $2.15 the other day!

But what will happen if gas really does increase to $5 per gallon?

I think Josh and I can handle $4 a gallon. It will be tough and I will cut back on how often I go to town, but it won’t be stifling. If it goes up to $5 a gallon, I think we will be in trouble. I really won’t be going anywhere.  Thankfully Lizzie won’t have preschool this summer, that should help us stay around here.

Our problem is that we live on 20 acres and live at least 15 minutes from any grocery store or town.  It isn’t as simple as just putting the kids in a stroller and baby carriers and walking everywhere. That is one drawback of living out here. I still love the privacy and seclusion, but it isn’t easy to save money on gas.

My van gets about 20 mpg on average. Not bad for a van, but it sure isn’t as good as some of those super fuel efficient teeny cars I see getting 36 mpg. That would be so nice! But try fitting 3 car seats (and two of them rear facing) in there. Yeah right. So we are stuck in the van, at 20 mpg.

Looking at the math – if gas is $5 a gallon it will cost me about $105 to fill up my van with 21 gallons!  I currently leave my house about 4 times a week (3 times for Lizzie’s preschool and once for church).  I fill up my car from empty about once every 10 days.  That means if gas rises and I keep driving the same amount, I am looking at shelling out around $315 a month for gas.

Heck to the no!

This means it will be cheaper for us to buy a pool and toys for the kids to play with at home than it will be for me to drive the kids to the free water park. Cheaper to buy all my household goods from Alice.com that offers free shipping. Going to have to look at possibly meal planning for an entire month and going to the store every 2 weeks instead of weekly.

There will be big changes made if gas continues to rise. I will have to think hard about how to budget and afford putting Lizzie in ballet and whether to pay for private school or put her in public school (that is an entirely other post).

What about you? I know you have been thinking about it, please share your thoughts? Are big changes in store for you?

Written by:: Annie

Annie Shultz has written 2054 post in this blog.

She is THE Mama Dweeb 🙂 She created this blog back in 2009 and loves to inspire and connect with others through her writing. She also loves talking, dreaming, 90s pop and country music.


  1. says

    Same as you, but I have a truck. We’re not even sure 2 carseats will fit in the regular cab, we haven’t tried yet. Don’t really want another car payment, though. It’s a 26 gallon tank. I rarely drive it though, every once in a while I get groceries in it or go somewhere, but not often. I guess it’s because of the snow and such right now. I do enjoy getting out when I can. However, since my hubby gets home before 3 most days, might as well use his 30+ mpg car when I can–since summer is coming up it will be light later. Most likely similar will happen (but more often) when gas prices go up. The truck will be parked, and the car will become a constant driver. We already traded ‘down’ for it from a sportier car, about $100 less car payment and $100 less in gas as well per month. My hubby drives about 45 minutes, so about 30-40 miles one way each morning and afternoon. He could probably get by with working 10 hour days and just going 4x/week instead of 5 times and save gas that way and have a day ‘off’. That’s allowable in his job, as long as he has 80/pay period he’s okay. We already try and only shop 2x/month if possible. Sometimes we run out of something. I do plan before LO arrives to have pantry and such FULLY stocked. Freezer full and so on. That way milk and eggs would be about the only things we’d need to catch up on and hubby could do that on his way home. That would be another option, emailing him a grocery list and having him come home with it. It means I wouldn’t ‘get out’ much, but like you, we live in the boonies, so we get plenty of fresh air. I’d probably just talk on the phone more if need be. As it is, most of my friends are ‘online’ and we’re not in school yet. We have another year before preschool and that’s not mandatory. So in reality, not MUCH. I mean gas will be more for him to go back and forth to work, but we rarely do much else so it won’t be too bad. Piss me off, yes, but not much different I guess.

  2. says

    A lot of what’s going on now is speculation, which is causing prices to go up. They probably will reach $4 – which is what it was 3 years ago. Back then it caused a crash in prices and I hope it happens again. People will drive less, like they did before. And they will push out more hybrid vehicles, I suppose.

    My husband drives a puny Scion, which is great for times like this. And I don’t drive too often in my caliber. I don’t see us making too many changes right now, though. We already are as economical as we can be.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      You are so right! All this fear is causing gas to not be released as quickly which is causing less supply and higher demand and higher prices.

      I think you are dead on Erin – people will drive less, buy more fuel efficient vehicles and eventually the prices will go way down again!

  3. says

    It’s a little scary. Even at $4 a gallon, I see us having to be very careful. We currently drive 30 minutes ONE WAY, two times a week for DS’s therapy. We are adding a third service soon, and that will make our therapy traveling THREE HOURS a week TOTAL, that is NOT including DH’s commute of the same (one week he drives more, the next only 2 days). It’s going to kill us, and while we had a short discussion on it last night, I didn’t want to admit that I’m afraid. We are already low income, just trying to get by and get out of debt.

    We used our Kroger Plus Card yesterday to get gas 20c cheaper, so $3.29… we are close that we COULD walk… but we’d have to take 2 strollers (one for our 6 year old and one for the baby), so I am considering month long meal planning as well to cut those trips to just 2 a month versus weekly. We also won’t be going to the zoos or aquariums like we were hoping, since they are over an hour away. We CAN, but we have to understand the impact on our wallets.

    It’ll be tough, and I see a lot of Americans really struggling.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      I agree, for lots of people if it does increase it will be scary. And I understand how difficult it is to walk since just going to the park with my 3 kids is a hassle!

      I too can see lots of americans that are already struggling really having a hard time when gas prices go up! Thanks for sharing your story Mandi!

  4. says

    I have been thinking this very question. I live in the city, but nothing is really close except the more expensive grocery store. Walking anywhere consists of crossing major intersections.
    I did start couponing again to save on groceries and other necessities. I drive a Honda Accord, but my DH drives and extended Envoy.
    IDK, there are a lot of things going thru my mind right now about these gas prices.

  5. says

    This is a great post and definitely something all of us are going to have to start thinking about! Since I work from home and Matt just got laid off, we really do not drive anywhere, but two miles up the road to take the kids to school.

    We too live in the country though and if we want to do any real shopping, we are about 25-30 minutes away from anything besides a Dollar General. That makes it hard, but we have just tried to cut back on the number of trips we take into town. My mom lives an hour away and I used to go there every weekend, now we only go about once a month because of the cost.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Oh no – I didn’t know Matt just got laid off! That must be really stressful for him – I hope he finds another job soon 🙁

      My mom lives 40 minutes away and it was a hassle to take all the kids to see her in the winter time. I was hoping that come warmer weather we could go to her house a lot more. But if gas prices go up I won’t be able to make the drive as much as I had planned.

      • says

        Thanks! He is doing fine. He is only responsible for two of the household bills and unemployment covers that, so he is just looking for something new.

        I thought about just visiting my mom less often and maybe making the trips overnight, so that we had longer to spend with her each time. It just stinks, because the rise in gas prices will be their excuse or raising the price of everything else.

  6. says

    The prices are ridiculous! It really makes it hard on everyone and cutting back on other expenses is a must. This month my husband is commuting 55 miles one way to work! And we are already feeling it. Usually he carpools, but unfortunately not with this job. He is using my Volvo and I have his Nissan Titan, for the time being. But just taking my daughter to preschool and running around town I am spending about $80 a week on gas. Ouch. I guess one way or another, we will get through this.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Wow a 55 mile commute? I can’t imagine! Yes, I can understand the $80 a week on gas, that really does hit you hard on the wallet!

  7. says

    I have no idea, I know I am scared of it getting much higher, but haven’t forced myself to really do the math for fear of getting overwhelmed….

  8. says

    For us, the rise can greatly increase our 1900 mile commute to our summer job, We will be driving from Alabama to Arizona, pulling a 34′ travel trailer. We get about 9-10 mpg while towing, so that is a lot of fuel.

    After we get there, it is 85 miles to the closest grocery store, so instead of going every other week, I am looking at going once a month. Careful meal planning, and more use of canned as opposed to fresh or frozen veggies, will also be in my future, because my freezer is so small, I will probably be shopping more online with freee shipping, too. And taking advantage more often when a co-worker says “I’m going to town tomorrow, do you need anything.”

    I’m not looking forward to the higher prices, but I am sure we will figure out how to live and adjust to the challenge of it.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      oh my goodness karen….you win the “longest commute of the year” award! Alabama to AZ? That is crazy!! and 10 mpg? Yes, this gas increase will probably be felt the most by you of anyone here.

  9. says

    We live miles and miles from anything too…so I feel ya. Gas around here is about $3.15-$3.29 per gallon…and I just don’t see how we’re going to do anything if it continues to go up. We’ve cut back on anything and everything possible…no where left to cut. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. I know people who can’t afford gas now-so I don’t know what will happen. Around here you have to have a car to get to work (though I do know people who walk 5 miles or so to work)…but for others who have to commute 30 mins-1 hour (or more) I just don’t know…and that’s the way it is for many around here.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      There are tons of people just like you that have already cut back on everything they can so the gas increase will hit them so terribly hard. I like Karen’s idea of people that are close to you going to the store for you. When times get hard you really start depending on people around you.

      Here is to hoping that gas does not go up as high as some people are saying.

      But I always remind myself that God will take us through this – whether he carries us over it and blesses us in spite of it or carries us through the middle, he will get us through it.

  10. says

    I am NOT a fan of gas prices going up and I dont think anyone is! In my city we are currently paying $3.;39 a gallon. Just today I went to take my mom to the airport and noticed gas was $3.29, well not but two hours later at the same gas station it went up 10 cents! 10 cents??, cmon now. I hope it doesnt get up to the $5.00 mark they predict, because if so … I’m not going anywhere for a good while.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      10 cents in 2 hours?? That’s craziness! Kinda made me giggle in disbelief I’ll tell you what!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      You got that right! All the money that small businesses are spending on gas will be shown in the economy. Fun fun fun……..YIKES!!

  11. says

    We don’t drive a lot so it won’t really affect me terribly much. While nothing is close enough to walk to and there is very poor public transit where we live, it helps that:

    1. We homeschool – no driving to school
    2. Church is literally 5 minutes from our house
    3. Hubby works a 4 day work week, and gets to work 2 of those days at home.
    4. We do have 1 fuel efficient vehicle.

    We usually only have to fill the cars (we have one VW Jetta and a Honda CR-V) 1x per month. Yes once per month! That being said we do use premium gas so when we do fill – it costs us a lot. But it’s nice to know that we are only shelling out about $100 a month.

    We’re driving about 1000 miles to visit family next month though, and I shudder to think what that’s going to cost (well less than plane tickets, LOL!)

  12. says

    Here is Ontario,it’s $1.22/litre today, which is about $4.60/gallon. I drive a lot for work and it’s getting to be too much. It’s almost not worth it when you combine the wear and tear on the vehicle with the gas prices.

  13. says

    I just switched from a minivan to a compact car in November. I hated to give up the extra space but I’m saving over $100/month in gas. However, if the prices continue to rise I will need to cut back on running errands during the week. We’ll only be able to do errands/go out on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesday evenings. We’ll have to plan better and make those days work.

  14. trishden says

    This gas crunch means I will only be traveling on a need to go basis. I wish I hadn’t bought my used Envoy a few years back as it is a gas guzzler. Now, I probably can’t give it away. I will certainly be planning my arrands accordinly and try to get more done in one combined trip.

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