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Updated on July 20, 2008

Stressed much?


America is facing economic crisis and hardships from every angle it seems. Jobs are being cut, wages are stagnate and Oil companies are hysterically laughing all the way to the bank. While gas is hovering just under 5.00 a gallon, car insurance on the rise and groceries dramatically increasing, the stimulus package has come and gone without making an eventful dent. Then there's that sinking feeling we've all grown accustomed to when we watch the evening news.

Things aren't looking good, and it doesn't seem to be in the short term either. Tough times are calling for even tougher measures. We can begin to take action into our own hands and at least salvage our sanity in the meanwhile. A driving overhaul of our fuel-budget seems to be in urgent order and a mighty good place to start.

Here are some tips to get the ball rolling, or dare I say, the savings.

  1. Car and Weight ~ Get rid of all the unnecessary junk you have stored in your cars. So many people seem to treat their cars like moving trash compacters or additional closet space, it's time for a reality check. Less weight equals less needed gas.

  2. A full Tank ~ Keeping an eye on the gas level can be very important during these trying times. Gas will be less likely to break down and evaporate, if your tank is always at least half-full at all times, thereby leading to better fuel efficiency and driving performance.

  3. Pump Early or Very Late ~ Filling up in the wee hours of the morning or just before sunset can have a dramatic impact on the density and quality of your gas, which translates into more gas for your buck.

  4. Mindful Driving ~ Focusing on the moment and driving with awareness will cause you to be less likely to make sharp and erratic turns. Also staying focused will alleviate stress and up your courtesy level to other drivers. This has an accumulative impact on gas mileage and should be heeded no matter where our economy happens to be.

  5. Here Then There ~ Combine errands and or any other essential trips. With a little planning and organization on your part, the savings will begin to add up very fast. Make grocery lists a necessity, in order to keep shopping a once a week event.

  6. Cruise Control ~ This feature cannot be ignored during these trying times. Experts say that you can save at least 7% of your gas when this little gadget is in use. You'll also insure you're always driving the speed limit which can also squash waste and dreaded traffic tickets.

  7. Going My Way ~ Carpooling isn't only smart nowadays but also time efficient. If you and your neighbors can share driving errands and school demands, the savings will accumulate quickly and the environment will happily thank you.

  8. Maintenance Anyone? ~ Staying on top of oil changes, tire levels, spark plugs and air filters will not only insure peak performance of your vehicle but also help avoid costly problems in the future.

  9. What's Your Hurry? ~ Organize your life. Stop rushing around. Set those alarm clocks and always allow enough time for set appointments. Tardiness, is a sure-fire way to waste gas with excessive speeding. Not to mention, dangerous and preposterous (I just wanted to use this word).

  10. Go West My Son ~ It might seem extreme, but moving might not be such a bad idea. If your place of work is becoming a time-consuming and expensive trek, you might want to consider the financial benefits of living much closer. Think of how much money you'd save if you lived within walking distance. Not only would you substantially increase your savings, you might be able to eliminate your credit card debt and fit into those jeans you haven't worn in years.


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