When our children were young and still at home, I remember saving all our shopping up, and once a month we all went to town to get it done. Not only was it a great outing for the family, but it saved gas money and wear and tear on the car by doing it all at once. We had a list and added things during the month that needed to be purchased on our monthly shopping trip.
Since I am now a Senior Citizen, I have been noticing more and more what the members of that group are doing with their time. One thing they do is travel a lot.
I’m not referring to long-distant types of travel, although many of them also do that, but I’m talking about their travels around town. They hop into their cars to run to the corner store for a newspaper, a candy bar, a loaf of bread or a quart of milk. In my neighborhood, I can hear one elderly couple’s garage door open and close a dozen times or more a day. (Yes, call me a nosy neighbor if you will, the the door is exceptionally loud and squeals so it would be hard not to notice.)
The other day I got to thinking of all the gas and money that would be saved, just on our street alone, if elderly people cut down on a lot of those unnecessary trips to town, and/or walked or took public transportation instead.
1. Most forms of public transportation offer discounted prices to seniors. In our town, the local bus allows seniors over 70 to travel free anywhere the buses go. (What a bargain.)
2. Three dollars a gallon for gas is pretty hard to come by for those of us who are trying to get by on fixed incomes. Even if you don’t get free bus rides, check to see whether or not your local bus district has a discount pass for seniors.
3. Riding the bus whenever possible cuts down maintenance on your automobile. If you’ve had to replace a starter button or buy a new tire recently, you know what I’m talking about. Replacement and repair prices seem to double every few months.
4. Some insurance companies put you in a lower bracket if your mileage for the year is low. Cutting out extra trips can keep that mileage low and save you money when it’s time to pay the insurance bill.
5. A well-known passenger train company offers a deal where seniors can take another person along for half price. At times, they have even let the second person travel for free. You can’t beat that. Check your local passenger train office to see what discounts are currently available.
6. When traveling, we often find parking our automobile costs more than the attraction we have come to see. My husband and I have learned to park the car at our motel and use a taxi or a bus to get to where we want to go from there.
7. Consider walking whenever possible. Not only will you be saving money on gas and car maintenance, but you’ll be improving your health at the same time. If you end up spending less time in the doctor’s office, that will mean more money in your own pocket, too.