Wednesday, June 11, 2008


The other day hubby-Eric mentioned that he needed some bonus math questions for his classes. I suggested a real life math problem that might affect his students in the near future: figuring out how much they spend in fuel on a car trip. We gave them the choice of a few cars, using the mileage given at Fuel, and the choice of a few destinations. We also gave them the current price of gasoline in the Seattle area (it was $4.17 the day we wrote the problems). The problems apparently went over ok.

Today I figured out that Eric's car (which he hasn't been driving because he's been walking to work) gets a low of 19 miles per gallon. My car gets 22 miles per gallon. Then I popped open the Gmaps Pedometer and started working out the mileage of common destinations.

At the current prices ($4.28 a gallon), it costs me about $4 to drive to work and back. It's about $1.50 for a visit to the comic shop. It's around $3.50 to go to the pool and then get home. It's almost exactly 22 miles to my parents' house, one way. Visiting them costs over 8 and a half bucks. Is it any wonder that Eric and I have pretty much stopped driving unless we have to, and combine trips whenever possible?

We can't afford a new car (we can't even afford a Wii, much less a car!) but here's a handy chart showing the best and worst fuel efficient cars. I'm actually pretty happy with my Cavalier... for a 1997 car it just isn't bad at all (and, frankly, the fact that some of my blog readers helped me buy it makes it more valuable to me as well).

But this is the kind of math we're all going to be doing more of in the near future. Prices are going up for everything, since it now costs much more to transport stuff from one area to another. Some of us just aren't going to travel much anymore (not that I ever did anyway). So, can you do the math?