Some people are just too lazy. They drive even though where they are going is just a couple of blocks away. Walk and enjoy the surroundings. You might enjoy the experience and it might provide opportunities you would not expect.
The price of gas is enough to send people into a frenzy. The average American cannot afford to keep up with the fluctuation if they are relying on a fixed income. Those that are gainfully employed rely on their vehicles to get them to work. Those that are unemployed or underemployed often have just enough in their bank accounts to get by for the week.
With all of that in mind, there are a few ways to lessen the blow at the gas pump. In fact, very few of our suggestions take any effort at all. Here’s how you can save money on gas in today’s fickle economy:
- Find the cheapest gas in town with GasBuddy (http://www.gasbuddy.com). This website is easy-to-use and gives you a list of gas stations and their prices based on your zipcode. You don’t have to travel far to know who has the best deal in town. In fact, there is an iPhone app that you can download so you can look up this information on the go.
- Consolidate your trips. Stop making dozens of trips each week. Opt instead to set aside time to run errands and grocery shop all at once. Plot your course in advance so you know which direction you are headed. That makes it easy to add tasks to your list.
- Track mileage with My Mile Marker (http://mymilemarker.com). Record your miles, view your reports, and decide whether you car is fuel efficient after all. You can even use the mobile version of the site so you can add information when its convenient for you.
- Carpool with others. Solo commuters waste money traveling alone. Ask if a few people in your office or workplace are interested in carpooling and then designate who drives and when. Pitch in a couple of dollars each week and request that others do the same when it’s your turn to drive. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s also better for your bank account!
- Make sure your gas cap is on securely. According to Advance Auto Parts, “Improperly seated gas caps allow 147 million gallons of fuel to vaporize every year in the U.S.” Believe it or not, something as small as checking to make it is secure can contribute to large savings over the duration of a lifetime.
Experts say that fuel costs can top $5 a gallon by summer. What are you planning to do to cushion this blow? Are you considering public transportation or a bicycle as an option? What about buying a more fuel efficient car? Do you think your boss will allow you to work from home a few days a week.
You don’t have to stay home in order to save. You do, however, need to rethink the way you drove in the past. By consciously planning trips, monitoring gas prices in your community, and tracking mileage, you have a better idea as to how much it’s going to cost you to fill up your tank each week.
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- May 2011|GenerationXFinance
Filed Under: saving money
About the Author: Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer with a love for thrift. She contributes to many different personal finance blogs.
Sorry, but this article is missing the most important method. Drive less aggressively. For most people, slowing down sooner before a stop and accelerating more moderately after a stop is the single thing they can do to save money. (That's why the cruise control method posted by another commenter is effective.)
That's way more effective than tracking your mileage on some web site. The web site doesn't save you a damn thing and doesn't belong in the article (unless you mean to change the title). It just lets you watch how fast or slow the money is draining away.
Here's another tip: use your cruise control all the time. I get about 10% increase in my mpg by doing this.