Increase Gas and Grocery prices leading to habit changes

Gas prices are ranging from $3.33 to $3.76 in Southeast Alabama making lower income homes feel the increase drastically. A two car family is likely to feel the impact instantly at the gas pumps; at least my two car family has. The prices at the pump and the prices in the grocery store are outrageous. My last trip to the grocery store I managed to spend approximately $91 in a half hour, either I was really hungry or the prices have gone up a great deal. I think it was both.

A half gallon of milk is over $2 and the gallons are almost $4, being on a budget this week I bought the smaller of the two. Now it gets rationed out to use until the next trip to the grocery store. A gallon would be gone in two days so I’m not sure how that half gallon is still almost in tact from yesterday. The worst part is that the groceries that I bought yesterday should last about a week for full means with a little bit leftover to make meals when I go back to the store.

There are numerous changes occurring daily in this household. I still attempt to work at least some each day. The biggest difference is that more time is taken to do things by hand and from scratch in an effort to lower cost. My clothes dryer has not been used at all in over a year but the washing machine has; now I’m working to eliminate the washing machine from my life. I am slowly but surely getting in the routine of hand washing almost everything.

I sat down and thought about the concept of hand washing, and since my washing machine is no longer doing the job that it’s supposed to I decided to do a little experiment. Each day I do a few items by hand in addition to the items that are put in the washing machine. Yes, it is strange but there is a method to my madness. Even though my family is small we go through a lot of laundry since our youngest member is only four years old. I have noticed that my washing machine is not working correctly to the point that the clothing I wash by hand is getting cleaner than the ones I place in it.

As a result I’ve decided that my next purchase with my Amazon gift cards will be a new scrub board for the laundry in addition to the new battery for my laptop. My utility bill recently took a jump of around $80 which led to some immediate changes and repairs that could no longer be put off. Out utility usage is now averaging right at $207 each month which is more than just a little bit out of our budget. The simple change of washing at least half of our clothing by hand will keep the washer from running at least three times a week. That should bring the bill down enough to help make up at least a little of the cost of gasoline.

The largest problem with the light bill is that is is on the budget billing system. At the moment the rate is $200 a month, which isn’t actually in my budget. At the rate the rates are rising it’ll be more than that when the cycle for the billing begins again. I’m hoping to get the bill low enough that the monthly budget amount drops some to make more room in the budget for everyday items and repairs as they come up.

My savings account is empty and the car insurance renews in a couple months. That means that once again we pay it by the month, and we will pay more for it than if we paid it off at the beginning of the cycle. Hopefully the rate will not increase this time. I’m not sure how many more price increases I can take. My income is going down instead of up although I am working on fixing that issue.

I am doing some research to aid in improving my writing. It’s been a while since my high school graduation and there are a few areas such as punctuation that have been neglected too long. I find that new guidelines mean I have no choice but to study citations the way they were done long ago for research papers. I have no memory of how to do them.

While I would like to ramble here all day without the pressures of work, I have a lot to do. I need to do yet another editorial on how much work it’ll take so that I have my goals in a public place to force me to work harder for them. I also need to work on something that has the potential to earn a payment today.
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