I have been pleased to see that gas prices in my area have fallen to just under the $4 mark finally, but I can still remember when $0.79 was a high price to pay for gas. So, we take every step that we can to get the most out of the gallons of gas that we purchase at these inflated prices.
1. This sounds simple, but pay attention to the gas prices in your area. The station closest to our home is one of the lowest priced around, but the one just down the street (same chain) is almost always about $0.20 per gallon more. By driving 3 blocks (about a mile), you could save $2 per 10 gallons, which can add up over time.
2. Get regular oil changes and tune ups. When you keep up with the maintenance on your car, you will get the most out of the miles you drive, plus your car will last longer. Also make sure your tires are properly inflated, not too worn, and rotated as needed.
3. Cruise control when travelling. We had to get a new car recently after the Honda broke down (well out of warranty), and the repairs cost more than what the Honda was worth. We purchased a Ford Focus, and drove it to Tennessee in December when visiting family. It has a feature that will keep up with your gas mileage for you on the dashboard, and it averaged 38 MPG on the highway when we used the cruise control. It was SO NICE having a more fuel efficient vehicle!
4. Plan ahead when running errands. Making a list of the places you need to go (and the items you need to get while you are there) will allow you to make sure that you don’t forget anything and have to make additional trips, and will assist you in planning your most fuel and time efficient route. I keep a cooler in my car in case I need to get any items that must stay refrigerated so I don’t have to worry about things getting ruined on warm or hot days.
5. Carpool when you can. I don’t work outside the home any longer, but when I did, I carpooled with co-workers. Since I worked in a downtown metropolitan area about 20 miles from home, this allowed us both to not only save on fuel, but also on monthly parking fees, which were about $50 per month. She drove one week, I drove the next, and we split the $50 fee so we each had to pay only $25.