Six or Eight months ago, when talking to almost anyone, you heard plenty of whining. Mostly about gas prices. Even though the whiner would act like he or she was the only person in the world who drove a car, everyone was in the same boat. We were all paying way too much for something that almost all of us need for day to day travel. So what did we all do? Most of us whined, expecting someone to come along and stop the madness, doing little or nothing ourselves to be proactive.
Since then, it seems that we have all but forgotten those horrible days of spending $4.00 or more at the pump.
Because the “crisis” was so short lived, I started to fear that nobody learned a lesson about saving at the pump and how to maximize mileage. During the peak times, articles were easy to come by with tips on how to get better fuel mileage or find the best prices at the pump. Since then though, those pieces are buried in archives or never to be seen again. Gone are the days of a constant reminder of misery, instead, here are the days of forgetful bliss.
Gas Price History (18 Months)
Graph Courtesy of Gasbuddy
Keeping optimal tire pressure will give you more miles per gallon, and can be done for free with a bicycle pump at home or for about $.50 at the gas station. Look in your car’s manual for tire pressure recommendations.
Changing your oil will keep your car healthy better than anything else that you can do for it. What’s $15-20 bucks every few months for assurance that your car will last years longer? Every time you (or someone else) changes your oil, check the air filter as well. It does not need to be changed as often as the oil, but make sure that it is clean. It will also increase your gas mileage.
Although this tip seems blatantly obvious, we all do a lot of unnecessary driving. Do we really need to take 3 trips to the grocery store in 5 days, or could we plan better and get more done in one trip? I am not saying that you just should not drive, just think more before you do.
If you are one of those jerks constantly switching lanes, accelerating and braking just to get 2 cars ahead of me, I feel badly for you. You could easily save some money by simply slowing down and taking it a little easier on your car.
Most of us were doing this a few months ago, but have since stopped. There are still many resources you can use to find the best prices in your area. See: Gas Buddy, Mapquest, Gas Price Watch, or MSN. These are just a few of the sites available to find good prices on gas. Upon searching, you may find that there is a site specific to your city or town.
Since these are biggest savers and they are the easiest to accomplish, I am going to leave it here. It is counterproductive for me to start mentioning all of the little things that may save a few cents per week or month.
For more ideas on how to save at the pump, check these out:
(Most of them include those methods that will save you a little bit less.)
Wiki How-How to save money on gas.
Open travel info-How to save money on gas.
Knightopia-25 ways to save at the pump.
GasSavers.org-An entire site devoted to saving money on gas.