Gas & Fuel, UGGGGG

Submitted by goodnatured on Wed, 11/07/2007 - 11:15

Ok guys and gals, Gas just jumped another 12 cents a gallon overnight here, I am not happy about that. Heating oil took a hit too, seems like just when you get a few cents ahead, something you can't control comes along and takes it. So, another list.

How do you conserve heating cost and on gas for your travel?

T: I bought a smaller vehicle with a smaller engine, have saved a ton there.
H: I roofed my porches and put heavy plastic around them this year to keep the draft out.

I know!!!!!!!! I woke up yesterday morning thinking that i should get a little gas for our SUV at $2.99 a gallon, i'm a big giant eagle fan and their fuel perks do help out when i can make it into a neighboring town as they don't have a Get Go here :( but then yesterday afternoon when i went to pick up my son from our sitter's, it jumped to $3.09! what the hey? apparently oil prices rose drammatically at over $96 a barrel i think. who do you think gets that cost? us of course. currently we have a rent payment htat includes everything all utilities but i have to tell you that this little apartment gets very cold despite the heat being on. I'll have to either buy thermal material and make curtains or for now get the plastic and shrink it iwth heat to insulate our windows....
wish we could do what the Germans do, have a mass transit system and they either walk or take the bike. there are very little cars, especially in Austria...oh if I could go back there

Wed, 11/07/2007 - 12:52 Permalink

I know when I was stationed in Germany it was illegal to warm your car up, they are really big on the environment. We are way to spread out to have mass transit, I complain, but I like the freedom of having my car and be able to go where I want to, when I want to and not have to be on a schedule. I could not handle the city life, I'm a country bumpkin at heart, like the woods and the nature around me.

Hopefully the gas won't stay high for long, I only travel when necessary when it jumps up like this. I think it is crazy, I am so glad I don't heat with oil.

Thu, 11/08/2007 - 01:02 Permalink

Hi Good, you are fortunate. unfortunately for many of us, driving is a necessary evil in this country and the regulators know this. oh well, all we can do is control the amount of unnecessary driving like you said

Thu, 11/08/2007 - 01:50 Permalink

This is interesting. Smaller vehicle....okay. Well I am quite young and I do love the fast city life BUT.......I love the serene country side as well. The price of fuel has taken a hike and it becomes difficult when you maintain a life on a budget. Now I have to cut into my savings.

We are not taking our car to the nearby areas. Either we walk down or we cycle. Thats a great work out as well LOL. Have to keep up to the rising prices anyway.

Thu, 11/08/2007 - 03:51 Permalink

I agree Laura. We do use the cycles in our gym so why not use it on the short distances. Thats more ecological as well. People do stare sometimes but never mind its your life and you can do whatever you want to lead a frugal life. :)

Thu, 11/08/2007 - 03:56 Permalink

Yes it would be good exercise, I work with a guy who cycles everyday, I don't have one. Used to have one when I was in the service, I rode it to work everyday in the summer, I worked and lived on post so it was no big deal.
I live 45 minutes from where I work now, I really don't think this old gal is up to that hike, LOL. Pretty much everything around is really far out, but I enjoy my country kind of life, I guess I will just have to deal with the gas.
I think it is great that you guys can see both sides of cycling though, exercise and environment, biking is fun too. Hope you all have a great day.

Thu, 11/08/2007 - 11:12 Permalink

Man, in Europe they cycle everywhere, well at least parts of Germany and Austria anyway. and in Venice too...Americans and Chinese are the biggest consumers of going over there was a big culture shock. I want me to walk how long and to where?? that's why these folks have great health...they eat rich foods and drink wine constantly, but they have the exercise regiment built into their daily lives. it's rare you see a vehicle there except delivery vehicles and in Venice, forget it...they have those mopeds but mostly people walk or use the gondolas as Venice is complete on water. amazing stuff.
would love to cycle but we live on a major highway and there's no path that's easily available. so we have to drive but we're int he process of finding another place to live, we used to live right in town and hubby could walk to work if he wanted to. we want that again

Thu, 11/08/2007 - 12:46 Permalink

Moving is such a pain, I used to hate it when I was in the military, seemed never ending, then you would get there and wait two or three weeks for your stuff to arrive and hope to god it was not dropped on the ship when you went overseas. It was just a pain.

Hope you find a place where you are happy and can stay for a few years.

Fri, 11/09/2007 - 00:43 Permalink

I agree debtstinker. If you live close to any major highway I cannot expect myself to use a cycle. But yes thats really great to know that Italy shows such traits as well. Mary are you game for cycle?

I know you are going for a holiday there. Thats a point added to your information :)

Fri, 11/09/2007 - 03:59 Permalink

Morning everyone....I think Mary will really love it there, it's always nice to see how different cultures live, ya don't have to cycle there's pretty cool transit systems there, but Mary one word of advice...learn how to read the train station schedule...heee heee, I've missed trains going back to Austria before and that's just scary. for some reason I got confused and thoughtt hat the train was arriving at a certain time when in reality it was leaving at the time posted! eeeeeee hey i got back to the states ok ;) wink wink.

Fri, 11/09/2007 - 13:17 Permalink

Good to have you back in the states debtstinker, even better to have you here on the forum.

Fri, 11/09/2007 - 18:17 Permalink

I live in Tempe AZ, many people bike to work and even the grocery store... What a different concept to what I am used to seeing!!

I think its great!!

Fri, 11/09/2007 - 18:30 Permalink

I probably would if I lived closer to work, but I work way to far to even consider it, LOL, I don't think I am in the shape to do it anymore, It was great in the service because physically it was not a problem.

Alot of people bike in the community that I work in, it is a college town so bike rakes everywhere, especially through out campus. I think it is a wonderful idea, saves on gas, they don't have a car payment, insurance and it is a wonderful source of exercise.

Our county has turned miles of old railroad tracks into bike trails, the "rails to trails" effort has been well recieved and alot of folks do it throughout the summer months.

Sat, 11/10/2007 - 01:25 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

This sounds very interesting. Well well red44right welcome to the forum....its great to see you here :)

Sat, 11/10/2007 - 09:41 Permalink

Guess, I could get a stationary bike and pretend, LOL.

What other things are you guys doing? I put plastic up around the porches to keep cold air out.

I am really thinking about doing the windows, but I always hated that when grandma did it.

I used to reverse my dryer vent to keep the heat inside when I live alone in a small trailer, sounds cheap but it worked.

Sat, 11/10/2007 - 09:46 Permalink

Forgot to mention that I put a knee high over the end of the dryer pipe so you guys did not think I had a house full of dryer lint, LOL.

Sat, 11/10/2007 - 12:18 Permalink

:) even if you didn't put a knee high in at least your home would smell good! lol
never thought of the idea about reversing the dryer vent. the apartment we are in now is very very cold even in the summer time which it was nice then. now our poor cats have icicles dripping off their tails. not really but it seems like that sometimes. i think i'm going to a fabric store and getting some heavy duty material if not thermal to make some curtains in addition to getting plastic to put over our windows. my mom got us a weiner dog stuffed animal that's long to put at the bottom of our front door to prevent cold air leaking through the bottom. i can't remember for the life of me what those things are called, it's only 7:30 am here and baby is babbling at me.
my hubby loves wiener doggies. we'll see if this one does 'his job' ;)

Sat, 11/10/2007 - 12:26 Permalink

It worked Debtstinker, You are gonna dry the clothes anyway, so why send the heat to the outside. Our dry vent now is by our main water line, I think it keeps that area warm enough in the winter sometimes to keep the pipes from freezing, beats being out there is freezing weather with a hair dryer trying to thaw them. It happens very rarely, but from time to time it will and we have our pipes well insualted. I don't trust heat tape, my grandmother's trailer burnt using heat tape.

Sat, 11/10/2007 - 13:04 Permalink

I feel gas and heating oil is way out of control .I try not to travel only when really have too.I keep tank ful and car tuned up to try and have better gas milage.heating is another thing I'm struggling there its hard to keep house cozy with children who like to run in and out.I put plastic on window and unused doors.have 1 electric heater to help heat draftier areas but then that where my electric bill is hit hard.that why I struggle in this area. any ideas I would like to hear them.

Tue, 12/04/2007 - 03:35 Permalink

Tuning up your car will definately give you better gas milage. As far as the kids running in and out, tell them you are gonna knock a few bucks off there allowance each time they go in and out and this will get them thinking about it. Use the couple of bucks that you knock off to go towards the electric.

Some grocery stores are now using fuel perks, I can't use them yet because we don't have the gas stations that accept them around where I live. They promise to get one soon, I hope, that would be nice, sometimes I have up to 30 cents off a gallon and lose out on it.

Sat, 12/08/2007 - 21:13 Permalink

I know!! here too we can't use those perks either and i'm like what on earth?? I don't shop at the one store that offers them very often, only when i need baby food as this store is the only one in our area that sells what he needs, he's a highly allergic child and very sensitive to foods. hmm perhaps we could generate a system where we could sell those perks?? that would be nice, 30 cents off a gallon now a days will save you some bucks.
I remember a funny story kinda off topic...but in the winter time my dad would start up our old 1980 ford pickup and that's what would get us to the top of our 1 1/2 mile hill to the school bus stop...and i remember him saying "don't breath or the windshields will fog!!" he was so adament about that, now i think that old pickup must be a gas hog as he still has it!

Sun, 12/09/2007 - 01:56 Permalink

If you come up with a way, please let us know where to sell them, LOL. I build up a ton of them.

Off topic: I was giving them to a freind but that friend did some very disturbing things, I went into the grocery store and had them change my card over and washed my hands of the situation completely. Soooooooo mad about the whole situation right now and probably will be for a long time to come.

Sun, 12/09/2007 - 12:39 Permalink

Prpper car/vehicle tune up


Your brakes should be equalized so there is no pulling to one side. If the brakes on a car are uneven, it may be more likely to skid on icy roads. As well, if while braking you notice unusual squealing or grinding, or the brake pedal is taut, mention this to your mechanic, as repairs may be needed to ensure optimum brake performance.

Cooling system

If it hasn't been done in a while, have your cooling system flushed out with a good chemical cleaner and put in fresh antifreeze. Make sure your radiator, belts, and hoses don't have cracks or leaks, and that the radiator cap, water pump and thermostat are working properly. While it may seem odd to worry about your cooling system in the cold weather, you car can easily overheat in the winter. Plus, your cooling system impacts your heating system, so if it breaks down you'll have no heat inside the car!

Battery and charging system

Your battery can leave you in the cold, so have it checked. Cold weather is hard on batteries and starting your vehicle in cold weather requires a fully charged battery. Be sure connections are clean and tight and there is no corrosion around the connectors. Your battery might also not work because your charging system isn't working well, and the battery isn't getting charged properly. So have your mechanic check both the battery and charging system.


A diagnostic check-up of the engine can be a good pre-winter investment. If you're due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Faulty wiring, worn spark plugs, a sticking choke or emission control devices that need attention, can all cause problems when starting your car.

Exhaust system

Check the muffler and tail pipe system for carbon monoxide leaks into your vehicle. Leaks into the vehicle shouldn't happen regardless of season, however, it is particularly important in the winter when the windows of a car are usually closed.

Heaters, defrosters and wipers

You should always ensure your windshield can give you clear vision of the road and traffic around you. Have your car's heaters, defrosters and windshield wipers checked to make sure they are fully operational. Install new winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid (one that is rated to -40ºC should do the trick). Make sure you have enough washer fluid too because on messy, snowy days you can easily go through a couple of litres.


Check to make sure your all your lights are working, front and back, and make sure your headlights are aimed properly. During the harsh weather conditions you can find in the winter, like blizzards, strorms and freezing rain, you'll be happy that you can see and others can see you on the road.

Oil and filter

Dirty oil can give you trouble in the winter, so change the oil and filter before the cold weather sets in. Other filters need attention too - fuel, air and transmission all need attention. When getting your oil changed, check out your owner's manual to see if it suggests you change the oil with one that is rated for the cold weather.


Check your tires monthly for wear-and-tear and proper pressure in the cold weather. Without proper maintenance, your tires could cause you to lose traction and control of your vehicle in the winter. As the weather gets colder, tire pressure decreases, so make sure your tires are properly inflated to the levels recommended in your owner's manual. Also, check your tires to make sure they're not worn, bare or damaged.

If you install snow tires, you'll improve your traction and your vehicle's handling through the ice, slush and snow. Install four, identical tires so that your are not mixing tires of different tread, size or construction.

Sun, 12/09/2007 - 16:32 Permalink


Here are ten tips to help you prepare your home for winter:

1) Furnace Inspection

Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts.
Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly.
Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat.
If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.
Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.

2) Get the Fireplace Ready

Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
If the chimney hasn't been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
Buy firewood or chop wood.
Store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
Check the mortar between bricks and tuckpoint, if necessary.

3) Check the Exterior, Doors and Windows

Inspect exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes; seal them.
Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
Replace cracked glass in windows and, if you end up replacing the entire window, prime and paint exposed wood.
If your home has a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
Switch out summer screens with glass replacements from storage. If you have storm windows, install them.

4) Inspect Roof, Gutters & Downspouts

If your weather temperature will fall below 32 degrees in the winter, adding extra insulation to the attic will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof and causing ice dams.
Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home.
Replace worn roof shingles or tiles.
Clean out the gutters and use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris.
Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters or extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.

5) Service Weather-Specific Equipment

Drain gas from lawnmowers.
Service or tune-up snow blowers.
Replace worn rakes and snow shovels.
Clean, dry and store summer gardening equipment.
Sharpen ice choppers and buy bags of ice-melt / sand.

6) Check Foundations

Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
Tuckpoint or seal foundation cracks. Mice can slip through space as thin as a dime.
Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation.
Secure crawlspace entrances.

7) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Some cities require a smoke detector in every room.
Buy extra smoke detector batteries and change them when daylight savings ends.
Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.
Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.

8) Prevent Plumbing Freezes

Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
Drain all garden hoses.
Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.

9) Prepare Landscaping & Outdoor Surfaces

Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
Ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned to prevent winter injury.
Plant spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over such as dahlias in areas where the ground freezes.
Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks.
Don't automatically remove dead vegetation from gardens as some provide attractive scenery in an otherwise dreary, snow-drenched yard.
Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.

10) Prepare an Emergency Kit

Buy indoor candles and matches / lighter for use during a power shortage.
Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book.
Buy a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.
Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location.
Prepare an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.

Sun, 12/09/2007 - 16:36 Permalink

These posts cover about everything you need to know for winter, very thorough, good stuff to know.

Sun, 12/09/2007 - 17:16 Permalink

I see so many home fires in the winter time on the news and it is all stuff that can be prevented with some common sense.

Have a friend who lost his son to carbon monoxide poisoning. These deaths are sad any time of the year, but weather related and around the holidays are a yearly reminder of his death.

Hopefully you have all had your furnaces checked out, it only costs about $40 for a furnace check up to make sure that it is working okay. It is a lot cheaper than the emotional price of a death that could have been prevented.

House fires due to candles is another one that can easily be avoided, they have candle warmers on the market now that involves no flame, if you like the candles then purchase a candle warmer, you can find them in stores for about $15, they make nice gifts too.

Sun, 12/09/2007 - 17:33 Permalink

oh yes, there are many fires :( many from forgetting that something's either turned on or we forget to unplug things. like today my sister kept the hair dryer plugged in, while that may not disturb many it sure disturbs me. you just never know what could happen. we have a brand new furnace, just had the furnace man out here actually to check it. and I LOVE candle warmers. I think it doubles the life of your candle. we have three cats and they can get quite smelly. when they do we wipe them down with baby wipes much to their chagrin, but still that smell lingers in the house. also when we change a poopie diaper that smell will fill the air too so we rely heavily on our candle warmers. but try to make sure that they're unplugged or certainly off when we're not home.

Mon, 12/10/2007 - 02:33 Permalink

I love my candle warmer, but they seem to kill a candle life, they sure dont last as long scent wise do they? I have some I need to pitch, sure wish I had another use for wax. The wick is buried in all of them.

Mon, 12/10/2007 - 03:12 Permalink

Very good information I would say. That is really informative.

Mon, 12/10/2007 - 05:21 Permalink

thanks Laura, feel like a research nut this weekend, thought it would be good information to put out there.

Mon, 12/10/2007 - 11:50 Permalink

I have plastic on all the windows and rugs pushed up against the bottoms of the doors, if I could get the kids to observe a few things, it would help alot, I think the pulling money from them may be a good threat, hit em where it hurts!

Tue, 12/11/2007 - 02:01 Permalink

I should do the plastic on the windows, we have only had a few really cold days here lately, hoping the whole winter is like that. We roofed our porches last summer, so that helps with the wind, I was gonna build plastic frames for the porches but never got around to it, maybe next year. I know we still have January, February and March to go, probably still have time to do it, just don't have the motivation right now.

Tue, 12/11/2007 - 11:56 Permalink

i dont even want to go here im sick of the stupid prices and theres no relief in sight they say its going up again and again until it hits 4 dollars a gallon. i think its gudgeing there is no way there is such a shortage all of a sudden. someone needs to fill thier pockets at all our expense.

Mon, 01/07/2008 - 18:28 Permalink

It is sickning and where I live I have to travel for work so I am putting more and more into the gas tank, costs a ton to go to work, just this morning, I paid over $30 for 9 gallon of gas, this will last me a little of a week. I am fortunate enough to have a newer car that gets really good gas mileage, but this is still an awful price. I feel for those with older cars that don't get the good mileage.

Hopefully, these prices will influence some people to invent some new motors and get away from the gasoline all together, we have had companies develop new technology such as the hybrid cars, so hopefully something good will come out of it.

Mon, 01/07/2008 - 19:00 Permalink

hey i just stopped at sheetz and the great gas truck was there so gas will probably go up over night. just thought id tell you so everyone can fill up asap. see what tomorrow brings

Mon, 01/07/2008 - 20:42 Permalink