After looking into our moderately fattened savings account (thank you tax refund checks and willpower) we decided to bite the bullet and purchase our heating oil for this upcoming winter. We thought about it for awhile, wondering if the cost was going to come down any more, and actually held off another month until we bought it last week. Out final decision was made when we realized that even if the price does drop a little more, the savings would not be substantial enough to balance out the stress of waiting. Besides, it’s never going to be priced anywhere close to last season and we’re pretty sure it will only start to go up again as summer comes to a close and autumn starts creeping in. Besides, getting it out of the way now leaves us feeling more secure and allows us to focus on other expenses.
As seen in my earlier entries, last winter was survived rather comfortably on less than 100 gallons of fuel oil, supplemented with occasional uses of a small electric space heater. So, with 100 gallons being the minimum purchase for delivery, we bought just that again this year. And you know the really sad part? Despite the fact that we purchased exactly the same amount as last year, it cost us almost $200 more than last year! That’s right, last year was something like $265 for 100 gallons and this year was $460. It was after writing the check that all the headlines of “Food or Fuel” this winter finally hit me. For families that get a couple of tank fill-ups a year, that’s over $1000 every delivery if they have a typical 250 gallon tank! I couldn’t imagine doing that. On a side note, my little sister just moved into an apartment where she’s going to have to pay for her own heat (oil) and she a) never has had to pay a bill other than rent b) constantly got into trouble in high school for cranking our thermostat past 75 c) is more than likely still in the habit of making her place tropical and d) is moderately irresponsible when it comes to anything money and energy related.
We had a related surprise Monday afternoon when we returned home after a weekend visit to Maine. Our landlord was here fixing what he could of our rotted out door frame- which was like that all winter, leaving us with a breezy situation. What a relief! AND he had bought us a new heavy duty storm door! It closes and seals tighter than our actual door, and I can see this being a beautiful thing come winter. If only he would replace all of our 50 year old windows that have gaps large enough to squeeze your pinky finger in! But I have to say, even one improvement is a blessing. Oh, and he took a brush hog to that jungle of weeds behind the apartment. Although I was starting to like all the flowers, it looks so much better, will cut down on the bugs around here, and is a huge help in preparing it for our garden next spring.