With the price oil (Brent Crude) reaching 125.00 a barrel as of February 25, 2012 and only going to rise, it seems inevitable that most of us are going to have to make tough decisions in the near future; as near as this summer, perhaps. Every year at this time we are warned that the price of a gallon of gas is going to rise. This is blamed partly on overseas unrest; supply and demand; switching from winter blend to summer blend. Up until now we have been spared the higher prices that we saw in 2008. I think most of us knew these higher prices would be back, but we hoped not this soon. Well, they’re back and probably here to stay for awhile.
Gas is no longer a common commodity, but quickly becoming a luxury. Want proof? Just go shopping. When gas and/or diesel prices go up, so do food prices. I’ve seen the price of hot dogs go from .99 cents a pack to 1.49 a pack in less than a year’s time. Hey, it cost money to deliver it, too. It costs more money to make your groceries; the materials it takes to make a pack of hot dogs needs to be delivered to the processing plant, and so on. Let’s face it, this country needs fuel to run. It isn’t fair to us to say we have become dependent on fossil fuels; it’s all we have.
Not too long ago it was normal to drive the extra few miles to the grocer with the cheaper prices; “hey, there’s a Walmart just a couple miles down the road from Kroger, lets go there.” Now, we are beginning to actually count our pennies, literally, and add the cost of fuel into our grocery bill. Is it worth it to drive the extra couple miles for the savings that we would get at Walmart, rather than spending the extra cash at our Kroger? If/when gas tops the $4.00 per gallon mark for everyone we may very well find ourselves doing things with our money that we never thought we would do, and that includes where and how we spend it.
The yearly vacation will become a very thought-provoking expenditure; some tough decisions will have to be made; plans altered or cancelled altogether. When you have to choose where your savings will go – your child’s braces, or a trip to Disney World; someone’s feelings may be hurt; one child won’t need braces and will want to go hob knob with Mickey and the gang, while the other would rather make it through high school relatively unscathed, socially.
We can sit here and throw stones at our government leaders; more than likely they have no clue as to how much a gallon of gas costs. Do you honestly believe that Governor Mitt Romney, or President Obama actually buy their own gas; to say nothing of filling their own tanks? They won’t even flinch if gas hits $5.00 a gallon. We can toss a few at “Big Oil”, too. What good will that do? Most of us are under the impression that Big Oil elects the President of the United States, not us.
So how do we handle the rising cost of our economical blood supply? We cut back; we have to; we live in reality. I believe I’ve implied there must be fantasy; it’s believing that we will ever be able to travel over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house for Christmas if she lives further than fifty miles from our own house.