Summer schedules tend to be busy and fast-paced, yet gas prices don’t show signs of slowing down. Paying upwards of $60 for a tank of gas can turn a lake trip or a pool party into a major bummer. You can’t possibly cancel all of your plans and shrink your responsibilities, so what are you supposed to do?
While you likely won’t be able to eliminate driving entirely, there are some errands you can cut out of your route. By tackling these tasks from home, you can use your gas money to get to the places you really want to go. To take care of life’s necessities without breaking the bank, here are five errands you need to modify ASAP:
1. Doctor’s Visits
No one longs for a doctor’s visit, but every once in a while an appointment with one will need to be booked. Doctor’s offices are notorious for having long wait times, and the best doctors always seem to be located far away. You can get around both of these dilemmas by looking at online healthcare solutions.
For minor healthcare needs, you can often get by with a virtual doctor’s visit. This branch of telehealth allows you to speak with a healthcare professional without leaving the house. This can be an easy solution for scheduling a quick follow-up or asking for advice on treating a child’s cold symptoms.
Telehealth also encompasses the world of medications. Instead of making an in-person doctor’s visit, you can order refills for your prescriptions online or over the phone. You may still need to pick up an online prescription at your local pharmacy, but you’ll have avoided one trip out of two.
2. Grocery Shopping
Food will always be a necessity. Luckily, you can mostly skip the lines at the grocery store by getting food delivered straight to you. Many people have used delivery companies to have meals from restaurants delivered, but you can order everyday groceries as well.
At participating stores, you can get everything from fresh produce to cleaning supplies packaged up and delivered to your home. If you’re missing an ingredient for a recipe you’re trying, you can forgo the drive and have the item delivered instead. You also won’t have to round up your children and hope they behave during the drive and at the store.
There are other benefits to online grocery shopping besides eliminating driving time. You can take the time to compare prices before buying to save additional money. You’re also less likely to be tempted by the snacks stacked next to the register, saving you from some impulse purchases.
3. Vehicle Maintenance
While most people will take their car into a shop for repairs and maintenance, a growing number of mechanics will come to your home. There they can perform minor maintenance tasks such as oil changes, interior detailing, and windshield replacements. Major issues will likely require a trip to the shop, but otherwise you can leave your vehicle in the driveway to be dealt with.
With a visiting mechanic, you don’t have to worry about long wait times. Nor do you have to ask someone to pick you up from the shop while your car is being serviced. You can get an oil change while sitting in the comfort of your own home.
You might well be trying to avoid driving your car due to high gas prices. That doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of your vehicle, though. Having your car serviced at home will ensure that it’s safe and reliable next time you take it on the road.
4. Delivering Packages
Got a package to deliver to a friend or for your business? Get someone to do it for you. Even with high gas prices, you can find people online who are willing to help with simple errands for the right price.
At first glance, hiring an errand runner might seem a bit pricey. What you need to do is factor in everything that comes with that cost. The errand runner will be using their own gas and their own time. Consider how much you value your time.
Errand-running websites have workers for plenty of other tasks as well. You can have someone help you move a heavy table, mount a TV, or even do some minor plumbing. This won’t necessarily save you on gas, but the right helper can come in handy for a host of situations.
5. Regular Upkeep
There are certain areas of your home that will need regular upkeep. If you’re not prepared for that, you might end up at the hardware store more than is necessary. Instead, plan your regular home maintenance in advance, and you can order everything you require by the time it’s needed.
Take your heating and cooling unit as an example. Your unit will use an air filter to make sure that the air being pushed out is mostly free of dust and debris. These filters need to be changed regularly. Your local HVAC supplier can deliver new filters to your house every month or two, leaving one less trip for you to make.
Even when gas prices fall, it will be nice to know you can accomplish a lot without hopping in the car. Keep doing these tasks from home, and you’ll continue to save both time and money for the rest of your life.