How to Save on Gas. . . more tips!
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  1. #1
    Registered User SHOPGIRL's Avatar
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    Default How to Save on Gas. . . more tips!

    With gas prices so high...
    what's a frugal family to do?

    Saving Money on Gas
    Copyright ©by Michelle Jones, editor of

    Here's some great gas saving tips from our editor to help you save more at the pump, including how to figure your car's average mpg (miles per gallon):

    Doing whatever we can to save on gas is not only important for saving money in today's economy, but it's also good to conserve our resources. Being frugal is just good stewardship!

    * Save on other areas of your household budget so you can afford the gas needed to get to and from work each week, we've got thousands of money saving tips here at to help you!

    * Find the lowest gas prices online! A great site for tracking the lowest gas prices in your area is target=_blank> Just search the (U.S. or Canada) map for your state and click to see if prices are available for your city! target=_blank> is also a great resource, and my husband also likes, though my computer always warns me of a blocked intrusion whenever I visit the site.

    * Combine daily errands into one weekly trip, including getting gas if necessary. If you usually have to make quick trips to the store for bread or milk, buy enough to get you through the week.

    * If you run out of milk often consider switching to powdered milk, or at least keep some on hand so you don't have to make an extra trip to the store. (And you'll also save money on milk!)

    * Stretch weekly trips to the grocery store to every 10 days or more, you'll not only save money on gas, but you'll also save on groceries!

    * Keep a running list of items you need on the fridge (groceries and non-groceries) so you don't forget anything when you do finally make your trip to the store!

    * If you're on a fixed income spend less on groceries than you normally do so you can better afford to pay for the gas you do need. Visit our grocery savings site target=_blank> to read more of our editor's free grocery tips.

    * Carpool with a friend or neighbor whenever possible.

    * Walk or ride a bike instead of driving your car to school, work, or nearby destinations, if you're able to.

    * If you do have to drive your car to school or work, pick up groceries or other items you need on the way home--instead of making a special trip later at night or on the weekends.

    * Try to get the best price on gasoline, but don't drive all the way across town to do it!!!

    * If your tank is more than half full but you see gas for a really good price go ahead and top your tank off, but, ONLY if you can't save more money by doing something else with the extra time it's going to take... like clipping a few target=_blank>grocery coupons. Better yet, do both! (We also give away up to $100 worth of free grocery coupons each month to our Tip Rewards winners, which are featured in our free monthly ezine!)

    * Try to buy your gas during the week if you can, our local stations have always tended to raise their prices on the weekends, and especially on holiday weekends. So wait to fill up until they come back down a bit, maybe on Tuesday or Wednesdays.

    * Make sure you remember to put your gas cap back on securely after filling up. (This can be hard to do when you see how much it just cost to fill up your tank!)

    * Take the highway to avoid stop-and-go traffic in the city if you can, but don't drive over 65 mph!Anything over that will eat up gas faster.

    * Don't let your engine idle for very long, if it's going to be more than a few minutes just turn the car off. (This is one we're really having to work on!)

    * Don't run the A/C if you don't really need it. About ten years ago when my husband and I both had cars without A/C we used to joke about how great it was to have FREE air conditioning, also known as 2-65.

    * No matter how frustrated you get, avoid gunning the engine when ticked off at bad drivers. They'll have the last laugh at the pump for sure!

    * Park ‘n Ride. If you live in a city that has public transportation you can park your car at the nearest stop on the bus line and then ride the bus the rest of the way to and from work, for a fraction of what it might cost to fill your tank up every week.

    * In some large cities (Seattle-WA, Portland-OR, Washington DC, Los Angeles & San Diego-CA and Chicago-IL) you can even ride public transportation and then join target=_blank>Flexcar, which lets you borrow a car by the hour, while you’re at work. The company is founded by Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, and is quite a cool idea.

    * A few of the schools in our area are considering a 4-day school week to save money on the rising costs of gas, as I’m sure some businesses may be thinking about as well. I know even the idea may sound a bit shocking, but if they increase the hours on the first four days maybe it could work.

    * And if you have children who ride the bus to school make sure they are ready on time in the morning so they don't miss their free ride! I told mine this morning if they missed the bus again they'll have to do the dishes for an entire week--it seemed to work!;o)

    * If your children forget their homework or lunch at home and the school is quite a drive... well, I'll leave that one up to you. On Monday, my youngest son forgot his weekly report which was pretty important, so I drove it up to the school and ran a few extra errands while I was out. The very next day my youngest daughter forgot her lunch money on the kitchen table, but I knew the school would let her charge it to her lunch account and we could send the extra money in the following day, so I left it on the table and talked to her about it when she got home. (Packing their school backpacks at night does help, but with 4 children we're notorious for forgetting things from time to time... thankfully our schools are close to home!)

    * Movie tickets are already pretty high, but now we’ve got to consider the added cost of traveling there and back. Now is a great time to join target=new>Netflix if you haven’t already, it won't cost you a penny in gas!

    * If your family has two or more cars you might want to consider sizing down, as long as the extra trips won't end up costing you even more than maintaining the additional cars.

    * If you’re a double-income working couple and are commuting to work in two separate cars, have the one who’s job is the furthest away drive whichever car gets better gas mileage.

    * If you’re not sure what your car’s gas mileage is… you can calculate that by writing down the odometer reading when you fill up your tank or resetting the trip meter to zero. Then, the next time you get gas, make a note of the mileage and how many gallons it takes to fill the tank back up. Take the difference in mileage (which is how many miles you drove on the trip meter), and divide it by how many gallons of gas it takes to fill up. For example, if you drove 100 miles and it takes 5 gallons of gas to fill your tank back up, you're getting 20 mpg.

    * Your gas mileage may also vary just a bit with each fill up depending on traffic and how you're driving, but you'll have a good idea of what your average is by continuing to keep track of your mileage over several weeks or months (a small notebook would be handy). Once you have at least several weeks of figures to use, add the mpg averages together and divide them by how many there are. For example, if you've got averages of 20, 21, 19, 22, and 25, your total would be 107 and you would divide that figure by 5, bringing your average to 21.4 mpg.

    * If your car gets less than 20 mpg you might consider trading it in for one that's more efficient. SUVs may be great cars, but I'm still very glad we don't have one!

    * Consider getting a Hybrid vehicle. Our local news featured a gentleman this week who has a Honda Hybrid, he was laughing all the way home (as he was in the interview) I'm sure... his electric car gets 77 MPG on the highway! Yes, you read that correctly, 77! He also said that they are not as difficult to recharge as people think, it automatically recharges every time you step on the brakes. I believe there was also a $2,000 tax break last year for people who purchased hybrid cars:

    "Under the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004, the deduction amount is limited to $2,000 for cars first put into use in 2004 and 2005. The deduction will be limited to $500 for vehicles placed in service in 2006, and no deduction will be allowed after that year..." target=_blank>,00.html

    * Keep your car in good working condition, this includes tire pressure, oil and air filters, and even the engine. Getting a tune up might also help, check your owner's manual for recommended service dates.

    * When driving on the highway use your cruise control if you have it. This will also help you avoid those nasty traffic tickets that would eat up all of your hard earned gas savings!

    * If you’re still using premium gas instead of regular unleaded check your owner’s manual to make sure this is necessary. Most vehicles are made to operate just fine on regular!

    * Shop online whenever you can to avoid extra trips all together, we have a special list set up for clearance sales and special offers (including free shipping at many online stores) in our target=_blank>Super Savers department. Don't buy anything unless you really need it though, every dollar you save can help pay for the rising costs of gas, food and housing.

    * For many years I have recommend local sight seeing (traveling by car) as a frugal family fun outing--it's one of our favorite things to do--but with the price of gas now being double what it used to be, you may just need to choose areas that are closer to home. Considering the even higher costs of hotels and airfares, it's still a frugal way to have fun!

  2. #2

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    Thanks for posting- I've found your gas-saving posts quite helpful.

    Still not knowing what-if any-effect Rita is going to have on gas prices, it behooves us all to save as much as we can. And environmentally speaking, we should try to save, anyway.

  3. #3
    Registered User SHOPGIRL's Avatar
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    Yes, even if gas ever comes back down to $2 and less, knowing how to reduce our gas costs will help. Plus, if a lot of people continue to use less gas, there will be a surplus that will naturally drive gas prices back down.

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    That's a helpful list. Thanks.

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