I live in an area where the price of gas spikes as much as .80 cents in 24 hours. One of the reasons gas stations do this is because there is no reliable public transportation. Gas becomes a major part of our budget. Here are some tips for beating gas prices.
· Use public transit if you have it. (We don’t, but you might.)
· Combine trips. One day is for my shopping, dry cleaning and post office trips. I drive in a linear fashion to save mileage.
· Carpool when you can. This can just be family members too.
· Walk when you can or even ride your bike.
· I used to drive in to work with my daughter, but because we left at different times. I would walk the two miles home, saved gas and got exercise at the same time.
· Work at home one day a week if possible.
· Car tune-up- little things influence your fuel efficiency.
· Use Lucas Oil Treatment. It is available at Auto Zone. My mechanic believes using this once a month improves mileage. I have proof to back up his claims.
· Fill up your tank every time to prevent condensation forming in the gas tank.
· When you drive, be a gentle driver. Don’t stomp on the gas pedal and slam on the brakes at stops. This cuts into MPG besides irritating other drivers.
· Speeding. Anything above 60 decreases efficiency because of the energy it takes to propel your car forward. If the speed limit is 70, and everyone around you is going 80, you might want to pick it up for safety. Speeding costs you a quarter for every mile you go over the car’s maximum efficient speed, which is between 50-60 miles depending on the model.
· Drive the car that gets the best gas mileage the most. (This depends on if there are two or more cars in your household.)
· Try to fill your car up between Monday and Wednesday. Most prices spike for the weekend and holidays.
· Try to fill up in the mornings, before they raise the prices for the day.
· Use Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas in your area. Remember driving ten miles out of your way to get five cents off a gallon is not a savings.
· Unload your trunk because carrying around the kids sporting equipment cuts into your gas mileage.
· MapQuest unfamiliar destinations. Often MapQuest will offer three different routes allowing you to pick the best one. Keep in mind, your GPS isn’t always looking for the shortest route or even the easiest one. It is better to review it first.
· Going on vacation, keep in mind, whatever you strap to the roof will reduce your gas mileage. You can drive just as fast, but your engine has to work more.
· Use grocery loyalty points to save money off gas.
· Prepaid gas cards often save you $5 per card purchase
· Pay in cash. Often credit card purchases are more
· Driving with the air conditioning cranked up to full blast can gobble up gas. Keep it low if possible.
· Do not allow the car to idle more than a minute. At a long train crossing or wreck, turn off the car.
· Use cruise control
· Use overdrive gears
· Buy cars known for good gas mileage as opposed to reading the MPG stickers. Most manufacturers use creative math coming up with these figures. Read reviews before purchasing.
Try the above suggestions before resorting to taking out the back seat to make the car lighter or removing the side mirror to have less drag. The days of aimless Sunday drives are over forever, but there is always the Sunday walk.