Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Saving Money on Gasoline

My daughter and I both saw a noticeable decrease in our gas expenditures this summer due to the fact that we stayed home more this year than in previous summers. 

With less income we have less money to spend and that keeps us at home more than it normally would. And this simple fact has proven to me that one of the best ways to save money on gas is to stay home as much as possible. 

One reason my gas expenditure dropped a great deal during the summer months was because we were not driving back and forth to school/work every day. 

There are many ways to save money on gasoline. Some of those include: making sure your tires are properly inflated, taking advantage of grocery store gas programs, filling the car up with regular gas instead of premium, making sure the car is tuned up properly and using the right type of motor oil, and driving at constant speeds. All of these ideas will help save money on gas. 

Saving money on gas is not as easy as it sounds since we have no control over the price we pay at the pump. The only thing we can do to minimize our use of gas is to use less. And we can do that by walking to our destinations when possible, staying home instead of going out shopping for recreation or entertainment, among other things.

These are some ways that I save money on gasoline and make it go farther: 

Tune Up Car. A tune up allows your car to run more efficiently, which results in more miles to the gallon.  I had my car tuned up in February of this year and immediately noticed a one mile increase in my gasoline consumption.

Drive Slower. The slower you drive your car, the less gas your car will burn. Driving at 55 miles per hour will save you two miles per gallon over driving 65 miles per hour.

Begin driving as soon as the engine is started. Modern engines don't require as much time to warm up. The engine actually warms up more quickly once the car is operating.

Reconsider Air Conditioning. Running your air conditioner will use up more gasoline than simply using the air vent, but I have to say I doubt we could go without air because we live where it stays humid from March through November.

Combine Errands. This one practically goes without saying. Combine all of your errands into one trip and take the most efficient route to complete them. We drive 30 miles round trip to make a trip to town, so when I combine errands I am saving myself a great deal of money.

Maintain speed limits - Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour. For every five miles per hour you drive over 60 miles per hour you will be paying more for your gasoline. 

Use cruise control to maintain your speed on the highway, which will improve your fuel economy. 

Pay Attention While You’re Driving - minimize braking by anticipating traffic conditions. Be alert for drivers in front of you who are slowing down and for red lights. Letting up on the gas can help minimize the need for braking.

Keep Tires Properly Inflated - It's important to have a proper tier gauge in order to check your tires unless you have one of the modern cars that tell you the tire pressure.

Without a tire gauge, the only way to check the tire pressure here would be to pay $1.50 to one of those machines at a gas station and hope that it works.  I've been to more than one that does not work.

There are no full service gasoline stations and our Sears Auto Center, where I bought my tires and could get a free tire pressure check, closed down last spring, so having my own tire gauge is the best solution.

Avoid Jackrabbit Starts and Stops - Avoiding these will help save on gas and also prolong the life of your brakes.

Remove excess weight from the trunk. An extra one hundred pounds in your trunk can reduce you fuel economy by up to two percent.
Avoid packing items on top of your car. A loaded roof rack or carrier creates wind resistance and can decrease fuel economy by five percent.
Avoid unnecessary idling - I know in the hot summertime it’s easy to want to leave your car running while you need to wait on something, but that will cost you more in gas money. It not only wastes fuel and costs you money, but it also adds pollution to the air. Turn your engine off it you anticipate having to wait any length of time. 

Don't buy Premium Gasoline. Len Penzo conducted an experiment where he bought premium gasoline for his automobile for 30 days. Turns out he averaged one mile per gallon less than when he used lower octane gasoline. You can read about Len's experiment here.

Buy 100% Gas. I keep records of my purchases of gasoline and have found consistently that when I can find and purchase 100% gasoline that I can get more miles to the gallon on a tank of gas. Sometimes 100% gasoline is hard to find and sometimes it costs more. In our area it costs about 10 cents more per gallon over 85% ethanol, but the increase in price is worth it to me because I can get more miles out of a tank of gas.

Use Reward Perks. Does your grocery store offer fuel reward perks?  The Food City and Kroger grocery stores here offer fuel reward perks for customers. I have written about them before here if you want to read about this program.  Your savings per gallon depends on how much you spend in grocery money, but every little bit helps. I know I personally have saved as much as 25¢ per gallon by using this program. 

What are some of the ways you save on gas?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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14 comments :

  1. Good post. I tend to stay home most days. If I leave, I do all my errands on the same day, and have my route planned. I use my perks from Kroger to save a few cents per gallon. It all helps.

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    1. That's a great way to save on gas, Cheryl. :)

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  2. Hi Belinda,
    Your list is very complete. Thank you for this!

    On the use A/C vs. open windows, I've always heard that if you're driving below 45 MPH, then open windows is more fuel efficient than A/C. If your driving above 45 MPH, open windows create enough drag to cost more in gas use than A/C. Of course, just using the vents will beat either option. But I use this info for when the vents don't provide enough cooling. The other thing I do to boost my Kroger fuel rewards -- when our Kroger affiliate has a 4X fuel reward points on gift cards, I buy gift cards to use to make other purchases (like Home Depot cards). Buying 1 $25 Home Depot card will give me 10 additional cents off per gallon.

    Your list is very good and practical for implementation!

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    1. Thank you, Lili. And thank you for the tips you gave us as well.

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  3. When I have a lot of Kroger fuel points I fill up all my gas cans since there is a 35 gallon limit. I just fill my car from the cans.

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  4. These are very good tips Belinda.
    I never thought of buying 100% gas. I should look into that. Thank you. 😊
    The biggest factor for me is living closer to work. I can use just one tank worth of gas for a month, if I don’t have out of town trips. Though I have a habit of filling up when it’s halfway empty.

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    1. Thank you, Nil. Living close to work is a great tip. It's so good that your tank will last a while month that way. I love that.

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  5. Don't drive a gas sacking tank. Get a small fuel efficient car. Better yet a hybrid

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  6. $2.39 for reguar gas today, 10/11/19. I am old enough to recall paying 19-cents during a "gas war. Don't we wish?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we definitely wish gas were 19 cents a gallon. Anytime we talk about the price of gas being low my Dad will say it could be lower. lol

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  7. It's amazing that amount of difference in the price of gas in different states or even different areas of our state. This past weekend we paid $2.10 a gallon in the hills of KY and then came back to pay $2.65 a gallon here in our part of Michigan.

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    Replies
    1. You're right, Vickie. It's about $2.19 here but farther south up to $2.45.

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