Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cut your gas spending!

Here is an article listing 6 ways to reduce gas prices. Naturally, it puts all the blame and hard work on the government and other organizations. Bah! Here's some of my tips to reduce your gas consumption, which will inevitably leave you with a lower monthly gas bill.

  • Drive with a lighter foot. Stop speeding, start out from a stop sign/light at a slow pace and take your time making turns, etc. Keep light on the gas pedal and you can save a lot of gas. Up to 15% or more, it is estimated.
  • Use AC on the freeway, not around town. Once you get above 40mph or so, the wind negates any savings you have by turning off the air conditioning. However when you are running around a parking lot, or around a neighborhood, turn it off and crack open a window. This results in negligible savings but it will add up over time.
  • Combine trips. A little thought goes a long way to saving gas. Make any pit stops one the way home or to work, and once you are home make an effort to stay there. Make a list of things you need and combine them into one trip one or two days of the week, instead of running out whenever you need something.
  • Shop for gas. Grocery stores will often give you discounts on gas, especially if you shop a certain amount there. You already need groceries, so after your grocery shopping stop by the attached gas station to fill up - even if you don't need it. If they offer a good discount, it pays off. Also, find a station close to you, preferably on your regular routes, that generally sells cheap gas. Make that your station; it doesn't pay to drive around looking for something a few cents cheaper.
  • Check your tire pressure weekly. Your tire pressure changes over time. As the season changes, the air in your tires will expand with heat. No need to drive to the gas station, buy a cheap pressure gauge and do it yourself in your garage just before heading off to work. Poorly inflated tires can suck 10-20% of your mileage.
  • Buy an economic vehicle. This may not be feasible if you just bought a new truck last month, but think about that 5 year old SUV. I know there are those who tell you the cost of the vehicle is not worth the savings but consider this: Saving gas is a lifestyle change. Get used to a smaller, more economical car. Do it now. Buying a car is a long term investment, up to 5-10 years if you take care of it, and so you should look at your gas savings in the long term. Not only will you save gas over the life of the vehicle, but after adjusting to a smaller car you will be more at ease purchasing another...and another. The lifetime savings of making the decision now and ditching that gas guzzler will be enormous.

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