The best way to save on petrol/gasoline (tips and advice)

Finding ways to save money on gasoline is important to most people these days. Companies that make larger vehicles that use more gas are scrambling to limit production on them so they can build smaller vehicles that get better fuel economy. The airline industry is cutting flights, employees, and amenities customers expected on flights just to afford fuel for more popular flights. Truckers are parking their vehicles in protest, and the average worker is trying to decide between necessities and gas to get to work.

Although the government claims it's all a matter of demand exceeding the available supply of fuel, some of our public servants are trying to ease the burden by introducing bills aimed at lowering or waiving the taxes we pay on gas. But that's not likely to happen, and even if it does, it will do little to ease the situation most of us find ourselves in.

We can each do little things to use less gasoline. This won't solve the problem in the long run, but it might help our pocketbooks in the immediate future.

Carpooling is one popular solution for people who have to travel a long way to work. If there are people who live near you that work at or near the same place you do, you can take turns driving. It's cheaper to drive to work once or twice a week than five or six times. Work out the details in advance so you don't have problems when the ride sharing begins.

If you live near your place of employment, walking or riding a bicycle are popular options. You will be paying zero dollars for gasoline and you'll get health benefits as well as financial ones. Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan recently publicized this option by riding her bike to work. Of course, she didn't have far to ride and she didn't have to worry about safety since her security force was accompanying her, but she proved it is possible for those who work near home if the neighborhood is safe.

Many people who have a long commute found jobs closer to home or even in their own home. Internet, sales, phone, clerical, consulting, and tutoring are just a few of the jobs that can be done in your own home.

Some companies addressed their employees' concerns by shortening the work week. Instead of working eight hours per day for five days, employees reported to work four days for ten hours per day. This saved gasoline for one day of the week, which can be considerable if you have a long commute.

If none of these options makes sense for you, keep in mind that every penny counts. If you have a long commute, you probably pass several gas stations on your way to work. Buy gas where it's cheapest. Don't drive miles out of your way to pay a few pennies less--even though that makes a statement, it doesn't save you money.

Keep your car in good running condition. Change the oil regularly, keep the proper amount of air in your tires, and make sure your vehicle has a tune-up when needed. Use your air conditioner only when absolutely necessary, but keep in mind that expressway driving with your windows down can suck down as much or more gas as your air conditioner. Don't let your car idle while you run back inside for something. Keep your speed down. The slower you drive, the less fuel you'll burn.

Run errands on your way to and from work if possible. Share rides whenever possible with neighbors or family members. Avoid using your car on any occasion you could walk instead, and try to fill every seat in your vehicle when you do have to use it.

Use public transportation if it's available. Comparing the costs of taking the bus to those of owning, maintaining, fueling, and insuring your own vehicle, the bus is a lot cheaper.

At home, keep your thermostat turned down in the winter and up in the summer. Wash laundry in cold water and lower the temperature on your hot water heater. Every penny you don't have to spend on gasoline is money that goes into your pocket, and you deserve profits as much as the gas companies do.

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zcat8 8 years ago

All this advice is good; if people follow it then their gas bill should be lower. The problem is long term and we need to adapt with lifestyle changes. Shortening the work week is a wise suggestion since it saves 20% without changing your vehicle or lifestyle. It is a good idea to remind people that your windows down at highway speeds uses more gas than air conditioning does.

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