Only a few months ago I paid $1.75 a gallon for gas in Thornton, Colo. That’s nearly a dollar cheaper than I paid this past week at the same location—$2.72 per gallon! What’s going on?
AAA blames the increase partially on a drop in fuel supply from oil refineries. As a reulst, experts say prices are likely to keep climbing this summer, so drivers will have to be strategic to manage their fuel costs.
To save a gallon of gas, you need to cut about 22 miles of driving from your week. Here are 10 easy ways to do that:
1. Hop on the bus, Gus
Even if you think this is not an option for you, consider public transportation. You may be surprised by all the options that you have never considered. Or carpool. Leaving the car at home and sharing your commute occasionally can help you reach your gallon-goal quickly. Sharing the ride—and expense—with another person regularly can cut your gas costs in half. Check out your carpooling opportunities at the eRide Share app, eRideShare.com.
2. Take it easy
The faster you drive, the more gas you use. If your average commute includes 20 miles of highway time and you drive it at 60 mph instead of 70 mph, it will take you only three minutes longer to get there, and you’ll save approximately 1.3 gallons of gas in a five-day workweek.
Need to pick up a prescription, mail a package and go to the bank? Instead of spreading these tasks out over a few trips, chain them together by doing all of them at one time. Park in a central spot and walk from place to place.
4. Shop online
Save the trips to the store, and consider other online services to minimize errands such as banking, buying stamps and paying bills.
5. Drive a sipper, not a guzzler
If you own vehicles of differing size, take the smaller, more fuel-efficient one on any long trips that you can. Check with GasBuddy.com for the lowest price in your area.
6. Take a hike (or ride a bike)
Instead of driving everywhere, lace up your sneakers and get some exercise while you save gas. A bicycle can help you rack up car-free miles even faster.
7. Work in your sweats
If you have a job for which working from home is possible, ask the boss if you and your coworkers can telecommute one day a week to save gas. If you are the boss, consider making it a company-wide initiative.
8. Drive as if gas is being rationed
The time may come that you will be allowed only a set number of gallons per week no matter the cost, no matter your needs. Drive now as if you are on a 10-gallons-per-week limit. The practice will do you good.
9. Get cool with school
Instead of picking up your kids from school every day, ask a neighbor with kids in the same school to help. You can each take turns picking up the tykes. Ditto for church and sports activities.
10. Lighten up
The heavier the load your car has to carry, the more gas it guzzles. Don’t use your trunk for long-term storage.