Here’s How to Go Further for a Lot Less...
It’s here. The highest gas prices in history, courtesy a mad man in Russia. But you don’t have to be a victim, you can be smart about the situation.
You can tweak your driving behavior and come away spending even less to get to the same place. Here’s 8 ways how…
1. Accelerating slower saves gas.
We’ve all seen the guy at the stoplight who just can’t wait for the light to turn green. He slams on the pedal to burst ahead in traffic like he’s in a NASCAR race or something.
Well, first off the guy probably needs some female attention, and secondly: it’s a major waste of money. That’s because the faster a car accelerates, the more gas it uses.
A light foot on the gas pedal can save hundreds of dollars alone. This is a great example of “spending small, living large” — I can drive to my same favorite spot, and by accelerating slowly I’ll keep more gas in my tank and more money in my wallet for when I get there.
2. Coast longer to stops.
Another wasteful driving habit is waiting until the last second to stop at stop signs and red lights. Not only does this wear down your brake pads faster, it uses more fuel as you could’ve coasted, slowing down for a gentle stop.
I try to look ahead, and if I see a stop sign coming, I coast to it using the gas I already burned instead of burning more and then coming to a stop. I try not to overdo it, so the person behind me has time to adjust as I slow down. Stopping more gradually than fast-breaking also makes my break pads last longer (more money that didn’t leave my wallet).
3. Do errands in batches.
One way I’ve cut back on car and gas expenses is by doing a few errands in the same trip. Sometimes I’ll even wait a day or two until there are multiple errands to do. For instance, if the post office is near the supermarket, and that’s near the cafe, then I can do three things in one trip. Sure beats taking three separate trips, thus more cha-ching.
4. Drive a little slower, enjoy the ride.
In the 1970’s the federal government wanted everyone to drive 55 miles an hour. What many may not remember is that it was as much about saving gas as safety. The 1970’s saw a surge in energy prices much like the early 21st century is experiencing. However there’s never been gas prices this high…
The fact is that most studies show that driving around 55 to 60 miles an hour on a highway saves more fuel than going 65 miles an hour and higher. The EPA says driving the speed limit can save anywhere from 7 to 23 percent in fuel.
What’s also interesting is that, according to the EPA, driving slower doesn’t always mean better fuel efficiency. The EPA estimates cars reach their best fuel economy around 50 mph.
Anyway, I don’t mind driving in the slow lane on the highway, because I’m paid back in extra fuel. Let’s cruise!
5. Do most your banking and business online.
This is a pretty obvious one after the pandemic, but worth mentioning. The Internet offer some of the best ways to save money in everyday life. Imagine how many barrels of oil and forests have been saved by email alone.
6. Buy more at a time to make fewer trips.
Earlier I discussed stocking up on items that are on sale, but there is a another benefit to buy essentials in bulk (even if there may not be a sale): less trips. And more time! These tips are all about enhancing our life, while saving hard-earned cash.
7. Make sure your gas cap is tightened
It’s amazing how much fuel can be lost from a loose gas cap. I tighten the cap properly to ensure I’m not filling the air with fumes and draining my wallet.
8. Use cruise control on the highway.
Keeping a steady speed on the highway with cruise control saves gas over using just my foot and the pedal. Again the key is to never depress the gas pedal excessively: the closer the pedal is to the metal, the more gas I’m using at any given moment (unless of course I have to speed away from some truck coming full speed at me as I come off a ramp, lol).