People are beginning to panic as they see gas prices spiraling upward in what seems to be a daily event. Because their wages are not following suit, and in some cases work hours are even being reduced, it is a matter of survival to find ways to stretch the dollars budgeted for fueling the family vehicles. Thankfully, this is not as difficult as some might think. The following ideas should help consumers reduce their consumption of fossil fuel products and keep more of their hard earned cash in their own pockets:
Fuel-Efficient Driving Practices
Changing some bad driving habits may be necessary to help increase the miles that you get from each gallon of fuel. While these changes may take time and patience, they will not only save you money, but they may also keep you and your family safer. Experts give all of the following suggestions for getting the most out of each gasoline fill-up:
• Never drive around looking for the service station with the best price; instead, use an online comparison site to get the lowest fuel prices in your area.
• Drive at speeds under 55 MPH to get the best mileage.
• Keep several car lengths between your vehicle and others in front of you so that you can limit quick starts and stops. One suggestion is to drive as if you have an egg under the accelerator and the brake.
• Dress in lighter garments during the heat of the summer so that you only use the air conditioner infrequently.
• Keep the car free of extraneous equipment or heavy loads of any kind.
• Only partially fill the gas tank at each fueling session to prevent hauling the extra weight caused by a full tank.
• Use your cruise control to keep an even speed, especially when traveling in sparse traffic.
• Share your vehicle with another rider going in the same direction, or team up with other neighborhood moms to take the kids to school or make a trip to the park.
• Never ride when you can walk, bike, or find public transportation.
• Plan each trip with fuel economy in mind and do as many errands as possible along the same route.
Conscientious Car Care
Taking good care of your vehicle always pays off in the long run. The following maintenance items can greatly affect the car’s performance and the amount of fuel that it uses:
• The proper amount of air in the tires
• Appropriate cleaning of air filters
• The right weight of oil
• Routine rotation of the tires
• Routine tune-ups for the engine
If fuel prices continue to rise, even these tips may leave people struggling to find money in the budget to get them where they need to go; but, in the meantime, these money-saving habits can cut the cost of driving and help consumers make the most of the dollars they currently spend on fuel.
Jane Simpson uses the above tips to try to get more miles out of each gallon of gas. She writes for a website that has a useful auto finance calculator to help determine the true cost of borrowing money to purchase a vehicle.