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Hacking High Gas Prices: How People Are Changing Their Habits

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“A hack I’d like to have is car-pooling,” said Alexa Lopez. But she has not found a viable options near where she lives in Kissimmee, Fla. She has a protracted commute: 51 miles every day from her home to her job at a plumbing supply company in Melbourne. So to get monetary savings on gas, she has cut down on extracurricular driving, in addition to some more essential activities.

Ms. Lopez, 30, used to make trips to the food market without considering twice. Now, due to inflation and the high prices of getting herself to the shop, she goes only every two weeks. Previously, she said, she would buy “anything and the whole lot,” including snacks like chips for her son. But, she said, “I can’t really buy an excessive amount of of those any more.”

She added, “I’m feeling like just about the typical American immediately: struggling.”

For the primary time in years, some who had been doing relatively well are facing hard trade-offs. Because the war in Ukraine and the pandemic proceed to roil the economy, concerns are growing that the U.S. economy could also be on the point of a recession. Persons are moving to ease their commutes. Family visits are being minimized. Future savings are being funneled toward ballooning grocery prices. It has been a tough jolt.

Elizabeth Hjelvik, 26, a graduate student in materials science on the University of Colorado at Boulder, watches her budget closely. She recently began riding her bike to campus. She has also began working from home more often, using her parents’ Kroger fuel points to replenish the tank of her 2005 Honda and cutting back on spontaneous weekend trips.

Ms. Hjelvik recalled saying, as she and her partner were recently driving back from a visit to Fort Collins, Colo., about 50 miles away, “This drive is so beautiful, nevertheless it may be something we are able to’t do in the long run.” Her family lives in Latest Mexico, inside driving distance of Boulder. “Ideally we’d find a way to go see them more often, nevertheless it’s a number of gas,” she said.

Kaitlyn Thomas, 25, a medical resident living in Horseheads, N.Y., said she sometimes Googles gas prices in nearby Pennsylvania. She also has a running note on her phone where she tracks what’s advertised on the stations she passes on her commute. Next week, she is moving to Sayre, Pa., to live inside walking distance of labor.

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