Thursday, July 10, 2008

Open Thread: Gas Prices and Budgets

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the high prices of food, of gas, transportation and the tough times the the restaurant business. Fine dining restaurants seem to be weathering the storm pretty well, but some mid-level places are struggling, I hear. With the price of gas, and food, what have you changed? Are you eating at home more or less? Are you drinking more or less? Has it not affected you too much? (Honestly, I find I'm still eating out just as much at the same places.) Have you changed your dining habits?

11 comments:

Anne said...

We live about a mile from where we work, so we only drive on the weekends, so it hasn't really affected us much. i usually fill up every three weeks or so.

However, if i still worked in noblesville and had to fill up my honda pilot once a week, it definitely would impact other things. how could it not? $75 a week for a tank of gas when it was half that when we bought the car!

Anonymous said...

We are seeking out restaurants closer to home, or running errands/shopping in the vicinity of a restaurant in a different part of the city that we have chosen. Also, due to the higher prices at the grocery, we are utilizing coupons, taking advantage of sales to save money, and buying in bulk to limit the number of trips to the grocery. We quit hitting Starbucks for pricey coffee. We still dine out, but limit to only really "worth it" places.

Donald said...

It really hasn't affected us yet, but we only occasionally dine at Mo's, Capital Grille, Elements, etc. We've always been more into ethnic joints which, for the most part, are inexpensive. We've only noticed a couple of slight increases at our regular spots, mainly in alcohol prices.

James said...

We have four vehicles between the two of us, and we really don't drive that much. Having said that , we think the constant media reminders simply hype the inflation concerns.

If I'm paying $40 more per week for gas, it may make me mad, but I refuse to let that $2100 per year affect my lifestyle. I'll just work harder...

carrie said...

Pretty much things have stayed the same in our family. But an awareness has been brought to WHO we're buying from. Keeping hard earned money a little closer to home has brought us a lot of joy. (restaurants closer to home, farm fresh delivery, combining errands, etc.)

Anonymous said...

With all the talk of people eating out less, it still seems like restaurants are busy. Driving by and looking at the parking lots of the casual chains, they seem to be "business as normal". Now, that's not to say people aren't ordering different, using coupons, etc. Personally, I don't think it's changed our habits much. I agree with previous posters who mention eating at less expensive places and trying to combine trips if we aren't eating close to home. I think a lot of people are FINALLY considering how to save fuel, which is great.

anne said...

Carrie - I just signed up for farm fresh delivery a few weeks ago and LOVE it. The produce is fantastic, and all the extra add ons make it easy to avoid the grocery. Plus, it makes me feel good to support local agriculture as opposed to going to the grocery or wal-mart where i'm not sure where my stuff comes from!

Becca said...

What farm fresh delivery service is the best?

anne said...

Becca - i signed up for farmfreshdelivery.com. we get deliveries every other week (but you can choose weekly) and the produce is all organic and it is indicated on your order if it is local. You can swap out stuff you don't like (ie for us, i subbed local grown tomatoes for broccoli this week) and add additional items (we added two moody meat ribeyes, a dozen local organic eggs, milk and a quart of trader's point yogurt). I've priced it out and don't believe they do much (if any) mark up. the trader's point, eggs and milk are the same as i'd pay in the store and as i said, the produce is phenomenal. we live downtown so they deliver on thursdays, but they deliver all over.

Anonymous said...

I live in San Francisco, and I've recently starting taking public transit 3x/week to work. It's hugely inconvenient, but riding my bike to and from BART is great exercise.

I've curtailed the rest of my spending as well. The economy just looks so bad, I'm saving all my pennies. I now go out to eat only 1x/week.

Matt said...

My wife and I have changed our eating habits quite a bit, but we had been thinking about it before gas prices. I now have a great excuse to cook at home. The Fresh Market and the Goose are seeing increased business from me though because I am trying to not just cook, but cook better meals at home.

As for my drinking habits I still drink good beer quite often, but I am now homebrewing more as well, and I've been needing an excuse to try and get better at it, so it is all around a win for me.