High Gas Prices – What Can We Really Do About It?

With the price of oil soaring through the roof, several friends recently asked me what we can do about the high price of gasoline. Unfortunately, we may not be able to do much about high gas prices, but we can all change a few little habits that, when added together, save us a significant amount on gas.

First of all, I’m not going to talk about doing things like buying a hybrid vehicle because I don’t think most of us have an extra $ 17,000 to $ 23,000 in cash waiting for us to invest in a new one. , more fuel efficient vehicle. So here are some practical, low-cost or no-cost things you can do to save money on gas and make your trips to the pump less and less frequent, regardless of the type of vehicle you drive:

1. Pay for gas with a credit card that will pay you back in cash. Chase, Discover, and American Express have cards that cash back your gas purchases (and you can earn up to 5% cash back depending on the card you use). Other cards like Citi give you cash back on every purchase, but you’ll get a lower percentage.

2. Use synthetic motor oil. This can save you up to 5% on gas.

3. Keep your vehicle’s tires properly inflated. Check the tire pressure every time you refuel. Doing so is safer and gives you better control of your vehicle, saves wear and tear on your tires so they last longer, and saves you about 3% on gas. Keep in mind that even the best tubeless tires on the market today lose 2% to 5% of their air pressure each month due to air naturally migrating through the rubber.

4. Find an inexpensive gas station on or near your commute route and fill up there. Where I live in Phoenix, Arizona, prices vary by up to 5% between discount gas stations and brand name stations. Better yet, buy gas at stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. Typically this will save you 2-3% on gas compared to discount stations.

5. Remove items that you do not need to have with you from your vehicle. Carrying that extra weight costs more gas.

6. Drive more moderately – Reduce rapid acceleration and braking. This will also prevent wear and tear on the brakes, so they will last longer and you won’t have to replace your brake pads and shoes as often.

7. Whenever possible, drive during off-peak hours when there is less traffic. You’ll save money on gas, and your commute will take less time, too.

8. If your job allows it, telecommute to work one day a week or more. More and more companies allow teleworking, and teleworkers tend to be more productive than office workers. Telecommuting costs less for employers and when work is done from home, managers judge effort by the bottom line and not by how the work was done or how it was perceived to be done (have you ever had co-workers who They seemed busy but weren’t (really that productive?). Here’s an informative article on telecommuting as a true workplace alternative. Telecommuting just one day a week could save you 20% on gas.

9. Tune up your car if necessary. A tuned engine uses less gasoline.

10. Whenever possible, plan your driving to be efficient and run multiple errands at once.

11. Avoid drive-thrus and wasting gas while your car is idling. Park your car outside and walk for transactions at the bank, fast food restaurants, etc. An added benefit is the exercise you’ll get (assuming, of course, no cats and dogs are raining and you don’t have to walk through 3-foot mounds of snow to do this).

12. Walk, bike or carpool whenever you can, or use public transportation. If you have public transportation available to you, taking the local bus is not only inexpensive, but less stressful because you don’t have to navigate through rush hour traffic. During the trip, you can hang out and relax and listen to music on your MP3 player, call or text anyone very safely, read a newspaper or book, or turn on your laptop and work on the go.

In short, what can we do about high gas prices? We can be frugal and smart about how much gas we use, change some of our habits, and make sure we get the most out of our hard-earned money. The average American uses 500 gallons of gasoline each year. Follow the tips in this article and you can save between 16% and 36% on what you spend on gas. At $ 3.50 per gallon, that’s an annual savings of at least $ 280 and up to $ 630!

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