Monday, September 10, 2012

Saving on Gasoline

(Image Credit)

News from AAA this morning is that gas prices have stabilized this week once it was determined there would be little impact in the gulf from Hurricane Isaac. In our area we saw a ten cent spike in the price of gas as Hurricane Issac was getting ready to make landfall, but thankfully saw the price come back down about a week later.
Here is an interactive website where you can go and click on various parts on a car and find gas saving tips for that section of the car. For example, if you click on the driver's seat, you will learn about carpooling, walking, and combining errands.
(Image Credit)
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 more 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.
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.
Keep Tires Properly Inflated - I am really bad about this one, but in my defense 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 I'm on my own with this one. The only way to check my tire pressure is to pay 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. I'm open to any and all solutions here. :)
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 Bi-Lo 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.  

Yesterday, I read an article about a man whose car got 35  miles to the gallon but he had started coasting down some hills when he drove and was now seeing 39 miles to the gallon. I have heard about that experiment before, but have not tried that yet.

What about you? How does your family deal with and save on gasoline?

© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2012.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”


  1. Hi Belinda,
    I had the same experience with the tune-up. Immediately saw better fuel economy.

    Here's something from the UPS guys -- plan your errand route to only make right-hand turns, so that you spend less time at left turn light's idling. According to UPS, this saves them a ton of money on gas. On a small scale, I've been stuck at a light idling for a while before, and just watched my "miles remaining" number tick downward rapidly. Very discouraging.

    So I do most of my shopping to and from my daughters' school. On the way south I stop in at places on the west side of the street, and on the way north I hit the stores on the east side. I rarely deviate from this. It's just easier too.

    1. Oh wow, watching your miles remaining tick downward while you are idling would be very discouraging, Lili. :( You have a great plan mapped out to shop while picking up your daughter from school. I love the stoplight in the town where my daughter's school is. It will turn in seconds when you approach it from either way. I wish they were all like that! :)


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