Gas has been on my mind lately. (And no, this has nothing to do with a digestive product sale at Rite Aid.)
We’ve all seen the prices go up, so it seemed timely for me to do a post. After chatting with my husband and doing a lil’ online research, I’ve come up with a list of 10 simple ways to save on gas.
1. GasBuddy. This website helps you find the cheapest gas in your area before you head out the door. They also have a handy app for your phone.
2. Shop Fred Meyer. Did you know that when you make purchases at Fred Meyer, you earn “points” which you can then use to save $0.10 per gallon at the pump? You can redeem these points at Fred Meyer fuel stations or Shell! Head to their website for more information.
3. Costco. Costco often has competitive prices. I would just make sure that the price discount offsets any membership cost you’d have to pay.
4. Take the bus. If you commute to work, take a good look at what other options you may have, including taking the bus. Some employers may offer free bus passes or incentives for carpooling. If yours doesn’t, ask if it’s something they could consider doing.
5. Drive the speed limit. My husband shared this with me yesterday, and I’d never heard it before. Did you know that for every 5 mph over 60 mph you drive, it’s actually like paying $0.24 more per gallon? Apparently once you hit speeds over 60 mph, you lose fuel efficiency. Not only that, driving safely and within stated speed limits means no tickets, right?
6. Remove unecessary items. If you’ve been hauling around bricks for that brick path you want to build at your brother Bob’s house when you get a chance, you might want to think again. Carrying extra weight can negatively impact your mileage per gallon, too! Consider this a good excuse to get some spring cleaning done.
7. Keep your tires properly inflated. Have you ever tried riding a bike with partially deflated tires? How about bouncing a ball that’s not quite full of air? It requires more work, doesn’t it? Same goes for your car. Some recommend you check your tires for air every time you fill up with gas.
8. Don’t idle. If you must sit in your car and chat on the phone, don’t just let it idle. Try to minimize the time you car is sitting there, burning up precious gas money.
9. Keep your car’s maintenance up to date. Keeping your car running well through regular oil and air filter changes will help its fuel efficiency.
10. Ditch the car. There’s another reason I wrote this post. For about the last month now, my husband and I were down a car. While we ended up deciding we really did need a second car, those weeks made me really take a hard look at the trips I normally make.
If I just want to get out of the house because I’m feeling cooped up with the kids, could we not take a walk instead of a drive?
Do we really need to get milkshakes at Dairy Queen, or could I make smoothies at home instead?
Does the errand at the post office have to be done now, or could I wait until I have the doctor’s appointment tomorrow to go?
Do I really need to get a “free” toothbrush at Walgreens today?
I think what I realized was many of the trips I make I could be consolidating better, or eliminating.
A word on hybrid cars. Admittedly, I am no car expert. I’m just a gal that likes to save a buck. But it would seem remiss if I didn’t at least touch on hybrid cars. Do they save you money on gas? Probably, yes. But buying a hybrid car (even with tax incentives), or heck, any car that gets better gas mileage just so you can save on gas may not make math sense (doing it for your own personal convictions is another thing though. I get that). Consider carefully what you are spending on gas each year, the cost associated in buying a new vehicle (purchase price, taxes, insurance) and weigh if it’s worth saving some bucks at the pump.
What are you doing to save on gas? Cutting back on your trips out? Trying to improve fuel efficiency? Or something else?
Photo credit Dimitri Castrique