Silver lining in higher gas prices?

Published 12:23 pm Wednesday, April 9, 2008

By Staff
Are high gas prices keeping more of us at home - and keeping us in local stores? That's the going theory among city officials who saw sales tax receipts increase 6 percent in February, the last month for which figures are available.
If that's the case, it's at least one silver lining in a difficult economy. We all know that shopping out of town is a habit for many Brewton area residents. Some say they like the variety of items they can find elsewhere; some might simply like to get out of town for a day.
But the fact is that you can find plenty of variety in local retail and grocery stores, and that may be what many people are discovering as they curb their out-of-town trips to save gas money.
We've all felt the crunch of higher gas prices - in tandem with the rising costs of groceries and other necessities. Finding ways to keep more money in our wallets is a top priority for many families.
Shopping at home is a good way to do that. If you consider that most passenger cars get an average of 22 miles per gallon - more than the SUVs that are more prevalent on the roads - a trip to Pensacola to shop can cost $9 at today's gas prices - and that's just one way. You still have to get back home. Saving that $20 to shop local grocery stores, clothing boutiques and gift shops makes a lot more sense.
And here's where we all benefit: That shopping at home keeps our tax dollars here in Brewton and East Brewton. That money pays for the services we need, which can help keep other costs, such as garbage pickup, down for each household.
It's a cycle that works for all of us - saving money for families and making money for the city.
We'd sure like to see gas prices go back down - or at least keep from going up - but even if that happens, maybe more people have realized that it pays to shop at home, no matter what.

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