park and shop

Now that the cheapest gas in the Bay Area is $4.07/gallon, we’re trying to conserve our gas as much as possible.  One way of doing that is to combine trips as much as possible.  So, when I’m out and about, I try to think to myself, “What else can I possibly get done on this trip?”  And when I’m at home planning my trip out, I try to think about what order I want to hit my stops in to make sure to get as much bang out of my trip as possible.

It reminds me of a board game I used to play when I was a kid, called “Park and Shop.”  The board was a grid of blocks of a downtown area, filled with stores and shops.  Each player was given some cards, and each card had on it one place you had to go.  The object was to finish your errands with as few moves as possible and be the first one to return home.

I feel like the price of gas has really forced shopping to be like “Park and Shop.”  Even our house hunting trips are affected by the price of gas.  We considered driving the 2+ hours last Saturday to go look at a house that had just come up on the market, but in the end we decided not to.  Part of our decision was that we couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on gas just to look at one house.  We’re planning to go house hunting again early next week, and we hoped to see that house then, but I just learned today that it’s already off the market.  Oh, well.  I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Anyway, gas is expensive, especially here in northern California, and it sounds like it’s likely to go higher before it goes lower.  So, conserving gas is something that I suspect we’re all going to get good at in the next weeks and months!