Save Money by Using Less Gas

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Save Money by Using Less Gas

Save Money by Using Less Gas

We’ve all seen gas prices soar this year and while they’re now on the down-slope, driving – especially in areas where commuting by car is a necessity – can mean a huge hit to our household budgets each month. Every time I fill up, I am shocked by the total that comes up even though I drive a small, fuel-efficient sedan, so I’ve been making an effort to lengthen the time between trips to the pump by using less gas.

Here are a few tips to lessen your gas usage – and the hit to your wallet:

Carpool. Find out if any of your co-workers live nearby and hitch a ride! Switch up who drives every other day or week. You’ll cut the amount of gas you use to get to work in half. But work isn’t the only place you can carpool to. Anytime you are going to a location with many friends, like a party or the bar, find out if your home is on the route of someone else attending, and be prepared to return the favor.

Combine trips. Instead of going to the supermarket on Friday and heading back to that side of town on Saturday to pick up prescriptions, keep a list during the week and take care of everything at once. This will also help you reign in impulse buys if you learn to just stick to the list!

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Skip the drive-through. Go inside and order instead. When you’re sitting in line at the drive-through, you’re wasting the gas your car is using to idle.

Save A/C for the highway. Opening the windows when you’re moving fast can cause drag and reduce fuel efficiency, but of course, A/C uses fuel too. At low speeds, you’re better off keeping your windows open.

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Don’t search for the best parking spot. Driving around the lot, especially since you are likely to have a lot of stop and start, will waste fuel. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to get a little exercise and walk a little further to get to the store.

Go for regular oil changes. A car that runs well gets better gas mileage. Also, while the mechanic is changing your oil, he may notice other issues that may be causing your car to run at less than optimal capacity. For instance, a clogged air filter can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 10 percent.

Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Invest in a tire gauge and check it once a month and before long trips. This will help keep you safe and also can improve gas mileage by as much as 3 percent.

Keep your trunk empty. Do you have extra items in your trunk you don’t even remember are there? It can pay to clean them out. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk can reduce fuel efficiency by 1 or 2 percent. A loaded roof rack is even worse, cutting efficiency by as much as 5 percent due to drag.

Walk. Cut the amount of gas you use to go to the store or a local restaurant to zero by putting your legs to work. An added benefit? If you do enough walking, you’ll get fit, saving on gym fees and future medical expenses.

Use public transit. Too far to walk? Leave your car at home and hop on the bus, train, or subway.

Use cruise control. Keeping a consistent speed helps make better use of gas. You can do this yourself manually, of course, but if your car has this feature, it can help keep you from speeding up and slowing down unnecessarily.

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Looking for ways to save money the next time you need to head to the pump? Check out these 3 ways to save money on gas.

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