End of the month marks 9 years since I last had a car registered in my name. I'm single and live by myself. The shortest errand I can run in 5.5 miles, each way, to go to the library so I can get online. Most of the time a grocery run in 28-30 miles round trip. I ride year round here in hilly New Hampshire. It's totally doable. You need to get in shape so you don't think much about the mileage anymore. Last year I rode a small paltry 8200 miles. That's down from 10,000 the year before and 16,000 the year before that. The prior two years to that(2014/2015) were each over 20,000 miles. When you don't care how many miles you ride you don't really care about much of anything else either, you just ride. If it takes 30 miles to get groceries, so be it, it 30 extra miles for the year. That was my thought process several years back. I would take off and ride to the sea coast(200 miles round trip) for the heck of it and not think a thing about. Now if I don't have a reason for going some place...I don't.
The key secret to going car free go car free. Don't give yourself any method of going back. Make it so you have to do it or else.
For me the big savings started with the car and has continued ever since. Each of the past two years I have spent less than $4000, all expenses included. MY average since the start of 2010 has been around $5600/year.
Right now I'm looking at taking several things together into one and cutting back even more. I stumbled into the crazy idea of sprouting, now up to urine sprouting. This got me to take a look back here on the forums again. I saw Paul's age old article about cutting his heating bill by 87%. I also saw the idea about show us your bike(a couple weeks back). Both of those got me to a totally new idea I'm trying to form up in my mind right now while waiting for the weather to warm up a bit. I have been trying to cutting the heating bill out entirely but had never figured out the sweetest method yet. Thanks to Paul and the show us your bike posts it got into thinking about a hammock trailer for bike touring. That led to the idea of taking the hammock trailer inside, been sleeping on a hammock for a dozen years now at home, and shrinking down the amount of room I'm heating even further, currently only heat 32 sq ft, err roughly 224 cubic ft. Next winter the target is 100% off the heating bill, body heat or stray electronic(laptop/light) heat only, nothing else, no doggie pads , heated keyboards/mouse heaters allowed. Paul has shown he has forgotten one major concept in the whole reducing the heat expense scenario.
It all started by doing one thing, giving up the car. I've ridden over 100,000 miles since the start of 2011, plus another 2-3,000 in 2010. Get out there and do it. Let the mind go nutso and come up with all kinds of ideas on how to do it. I even rode 501 miles, on the open road, with my leg in a cast...if an amputee can ride a bike, dang it...so can I.
You just have to make it happen. Don't give yourself a way of backing out or you will.