Scarborough 20 ways To Save Money On Gas
By Leo Babauta,
With the astronomical prices of fuel these days, many people have had to tighten their budgets to make room for more spending on gas. However, with the application of some gas-saving tips, you can keep your spending to within a reasonable range, and help save the environment at the same time.
- Maintain your vehicle. A vehicle that runs smoothly uses less gas than one that is poorly maintained. Regular oil changes, air filter and other recommended maintenance will all help to give you a fuel-efficient vehicle.
- Keep your tires inflated. Actually, studies have shown that the savings on gas isn't huge, but it does make a small difference to keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressure. And more importantly, this is also safer and makes your tires last longer.
- Don't drive during rush hour. Go to work, and come home from work, either earlier or later if possible, to avoid the rush hour. Getting stuck in a traffic jam, and stop-and-go driving, is one of the worst ways to waste gas.
- Telecommute. Working from home can save tons in gas, not to mention giving you more time, productivity, and happiness. If you can telecommute even one or two days a week, this can be a substantial savings.
- Remove weight. Driving with more people, and more stuff in your car, drags the car and requires more fuel. Lighten your load by removing excess cargo.
- Minimize idling. One of the worst offenders in lowering your gas mileage, idling gets you zero miles per gallon. If you are going to idle for a minute or less, leave your car on, but if it's going to be much longer than a minute, you should turn off your car.
- Drive slower. Driving the speed limit is more fuel efficient than speeding.
- Accelerate and brake easier. Driving too agressively, especially starting fast and braking fast, is bad for fuel economy. Accelerate gently, and try to minimize use of your brakes, if possible.
- Use higher gears. Driving fast in low gears is bad for fuel economy as well. Drive in as high a gear as possible, unless you're down-shifting in order to slow down or control speed.
- Buy a fuel-efficient car. Actually, this is the most important tip on this list. A heavier car wastes gas. Get a lighter car, especially one with a fuel-efficient engine and design. See the federal government's article on choosing a more efficient vehicle.
- Roll up windows on highway. While many people think they're saving money by turning off the air-conditioner, it actually creates a strong drag if you are driving fast with the windows down, and is worse for your fuel economy. If you are driving slow, around town, turn off the air-conditioner and roll down the windows. Roll them up on the highway.
- Don't top off. Topping off while you are filling up your tank is a waste of gas, as any gas that you top off will spill or otherwise be wasted.
- Park in shade. A hot car evaporates gas. If it's a hot day, park in the shade, and use your garage.
- Walk. Driving less is a great way to save gas. If you have to make a trip of only a few blocks, try walking instead. You will burn fat instead of gas.
- Cycle. Many people live close enough to work that they can commute by bike. It's not hard, and you get exercise while saving money.
- Live closer to work. Of course, you probably won't be able to implement this tip today, but the next time you're considering where to live, try to find a place close to your workplace, or try to find a job closer to your house. It will save a lot of driving.
- Group errands. Instead of doing one or two errands a day, try to group them all on one day, and plan an efficient route to cut back on driving.
- Carpool. It's not usually hard to find friends, family, or neighbors who live in your area and work near you. Take turns driving each other to save gas for all of you.
- Use cruise control. This method has actually been proven to save a lot of gas, as it reduces heavy acceleration and heavy use of the brake. A steady driving speed will improve fuel economy.
- Don't buy hot gas. Buy gas during the morning or evening hours, when it's cool, or you will be buying gas at a time when it's expanded (and thus getting less).