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Public Transportation & Another Frugal Friday

When I lived in France during college, I did not own a car. I either walked or took the bus, metro, or train wherever I went. It was a fun lifestyle and one that was unencumbered by gas prices, car repair, or foreign traffic.

But, life is different in much of the United States and public transportation is not the main mode of movement. However, it’s a wonderful opportunity to save a few bucks. Recently FishPapa was doing some math regarding his daily commute. Installing new tires on his truck definitely increased his gas mileage. But, last time I checked, gas is never free and I’ve not seen coupons.

He also researched the public transportation options in our area and discovered that if he bought a month’s pass, he could save $100 a month — just on gas! That doesn’t even include saving wear and tear on his truck. Simply buying a ticket at the station on the days he wants to take the train will enable him to save $5 each day. That’s not too shabby. Plus, he can read, listen to music, or talk on the phone without worrying about traffic or running out of gas. Works for me!

I’m not sure how often we’ll use public transportation, but I am encouraged that it is a doable option for our family. In a pinch, we could cut back $100 from the budget during any given month. That’s a lot of diapers!

What do YOU do to save money?

Share the permalink to your favorite money saving idea in Mr. Linky below or leave a comment. In the interests of sharing solid frugal advice, please do not post giveaways, deal posts, or affiliate links. Tell us a money saving concept that helps you stay in the black. And please, link back to Lifeasmom.com so that your readers know where to find the party.

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Comments

  1. Here on the East Coast we use public transportation a lot. I commuted to DC for 9 years by Metro. It was great especially since our company gave us money toward public transportation costs. We take the Metro downtown on weekends to visit museums, go to parades. It’s so nice not to be car-reliant!

  2. I’m often thankful that I live only about 5-10 min from most everything. My husband drives about 20 minutes to work, but here in the “country” we don’t have public transportation.
    Thanks so much for hosting!
    ~Liz

  3. I miss public transportation. But such is life in the country. I grew up using it all the time and loved the cheapness, quickness, and ease of it. I am a SAHM so we have two cars, but I try to get all my errands done on one or two days of the week. If I am heading to a play date or something like that i often carpool with a neighborhood mom who attends church with me. Saves a few bucks here and there.

  4. Thanks for hosting each week!

    Blessings

    barbara jean

  5. Service cuts and fare hikes have really closed the gap between using public transportation and driving in the Chicagoland area. Just as an example, we used to be able to get unlimited rides on the weekend for $5/person on the Metra system (from city to suburbs)…they recently raised the rate to $7.50/person. Ouch!

  6. I started hanging my laundry.

  7. Michelle Z. says:

    When I didn’t own a car and used just public transportation, there was another benefit to that lifestyle – I was forced to plan my trips carefully, and those “I’m bored, I want to get out of the house, I’ll just go to the mall and walk around” excursions were rare. If I was out of something, I couldn’t just hop in the car and run to the market for more.

    I learned many lessons in using what I had on hand and meal planning. If I was bored and wanted to get out of the house, I took a walk to the park or the library. If I did need to go to the mall, it was almost 2 hours on the bus, plus a couple transfers, and I had to REALLY want to go there. There were no buses on Sundays in my area, and I came to look forward to Sundays as a day of true rest and relaxation.

    Now that I have a car (I moved to an area w/ no public transportation) I still try to keep that mentality and ask myself, “if I didn’t have a car, would I make the effort to get this/do this/go there?”

  8. When I used to live a county over–before I was married–I took the train five days a week into NYC. It was a great opportunity to read, learn a language (I had a book called French Made Simple) or just relax. I didn’t like those days when the trains were delayed, but fortunately, that didn’t happen often. It is great that your husband has both options–it will not only save money, but stress, too!

  9. BTW, just to let you know how long ago that was (the 70s), a month’s pass was only $35! (Of course, we were all making a lot less, too.)

  10. Sometimes I wish I lived in an area with better public transportation, but then again the idea of lugging groceries on a subway doesn’t appeal to me! I do wish we had a better rail system like Europe, that would be fun to travel on!

  11. What a great idea! I’m getting ready to make some homemade laundry soap on Monday with a friend to try it out. I already had the washing soda and borax and wanted to find someway to use it up and not waste it, so that’s my frugal thing to do coming up. :) Have a good weekend!

  12. I’ve never posted a Frugal Friday but I’ve read these great tips for years. I am brand new to blogging and was thrilled to participate!

  13. That’s one change I have not made. I don’t know if I could either. We don’t have public transportation this far west of Milwaukee.

  14. Public transportation or even “hoofing it” are not options in my part of Texas. But I do consolidate trips and plan my route/stops to maximize my efforts while minimizing my mileage/gas usage.

  15. two words…CLOTH DIAPERS, we are on child #2 and have spent probably a grand total of $400 dollars on all the cloth we will need. We have used a bare minimum on disposable, for trips and the like.
    Personally our best decision ever! and when we are done with kids we can resell them for a portion of the cost…sure, it a couple extra loads of laundry a week, but what’s 2 more when you are already doing half a dozen anyway!

  16. What a great idea! I found you through Friday Follow. I linked up how to save money on planning a wedding, but I still use some of the tips to save money on stationary, etc. I’ve made it a weekly mini series after having it requested by one of our readers. I’ll definitely be adding your blog to those I frequent. Take care!
    -Heather @ http://www.savingmoneylivinglife.com

  17. What a great idea! I found you through Friday Follow. I linked up how to save money on planning a wedding, but I still use some of the tips to save money on stationary, etc. I’ve made it a weekly mini series after having it requested by one of our readers. I’ll definitely be adding your blog to those I frequent.

  18. Thanks for highlighting the benefits of public transport–it just doesn’t get enough attention in our society! DH and I would love to be a car-free (or at least a one-car) family but unfortunately live in a city where that’s not possible. Our biggest gas saver has been choosing to live in the city (instead of the suburbs)–we still have to drive everywhere, but at least the distances we cover to the grocery store, restaurants, work, etc. are much smaller. We also carpool and consolidate trips whenever we can.

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