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How to Save Money at the Pump
Saving at the Pump
Recently, gasoline prices have climbed above $3.00 a gallon with the national average at $3.30 as of January 3, 2014. Today's sustained prices in this range make it tough for us to keep our gasoline budget under wraps as unpredictable gas prices and steadily rising prices add up quickly. The purpose of this hub is to help lower the monthly gas bill to give you more room in your budget for other expenses. I realize that not all of these tips will be implemented by one single driver, but I wanted to offer a number of gas saving tips that are maybe a little different than what you've normally seen in an article about saving money at the pump. I aim to give you some resources to explore and even develop your own saving tips if you so desire. This hub is sort of a spin off of my original hubs, How to Effectively Save Money and More Ways to Effectively Save Money, because of the numerous questions I received from hubbers about saving money on higher fuel costs. Let's begin!
Twelve Tips for Saving Money on Gasoline
1. Record every fill up immediately after getting gas.This sounds simple but it is vitally important that a log is established to track your mpg, total gallons consumed, cost per gallon of gas, and total cost per month. A log of this type allows you to compare past consumption levels and gauge your progress in implementing new gas saving techniques.
2. Make it a personal goal to use less total gallons each month. You might think this would eventually become impossible because you would virtually be consuming no gas at some point, however a mindset like this will push you to implement better and improved gas saving strategies. This logic follows a similar approach in business called kaizen improvement. As with #1, log your total gallons used each month in a separate column to track your improvement.
3. Become a member of an online community that will help you stay motivated to drive efficiently and seek out new ways to save when the going gets tough. I challenge you to explore ecomodder.com and register your vehicle in the community garage. Ecomodder created the term "hypermiling", or squeezing every possible mile out of a drop of gasoline. They provide hundreds of useful tips from practical to extreme for getting better gas mileage and ultimately increased savings at the pump.
4. When driving, think of yourself as a bicyclist. Think of yourself on a bike. By bike, it is impossible to travel at the same speed up a steep hill as it is to go down that hill. Likewise, a bicyclist simply coasts down a hill without peddling. In the same way, drivers should not apply the accelerator generously uphill because this uses much more gas. Also, the driver can coast down a hill while maintaining speed, and there is no need to increase speed further by applying the accelerator.
5. Clear your vehicle of any weight that is unnecessary for traveling to your current destination. This one sounds simple and not helpful in saving gas money, but it works! According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 6 cents per gallon of gas just for removing things like golf clubs and other items out of your trunk. That's around $1 of savings for each 15 gallon fill up at the station.
6. Attempt to find a neighbor or co-worker that would agree to carpool with you at least once per week. Many fuel savings sites recommended to carpool five days a week, but I realize carpooling can be very inconvenient especially if you have never done it before. Carpooling involves the coordination of at least two busy schedules rather than just one. However, I do think it is very possible to seek out a carpool partner for at least one day per week. This act alone can save multiple gallons of gas depending how far your daily commute is. Still unable to find a carpool partner? Visit eRideShare for thousands of carpool routes across the nation.
7. Find the station with the lowest gas price near you. Finding the lowest priced station closest to your current location is way to get instant savings on your gasoline purchase. GasBuddy is a consumer created website and smartphone application that does just that. GasBuddy gives you current prices for gas at stations all over the country. I strongly encourage you to visit the provided link and see for yourself how useful this website is. Personally, I find it especially useful on trips when I am unfamiliar with the cheapest stations in the area.
8. Fill up your tank during off-peak times at the station to save time and money. It is proven that gas prices generally rise on the weekends especially holiday weekends, and the stations are much busier on weekends anyway. The best days to get gas are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as this will get you the lowest price and least amount of wait time. This leads me to my next tip of a gas saver's worst nightmare: an idling car.
9. Turn off the car whenever you will be idling for over a minute. Idling hurts gas mileage more than anything else. And the reason is simple: when you're idling your vehicle is getting zero miles per gallon because it isn't moving. Therefore, it is always beneficial to turn your vehicle off at stoplights that you will be stopped at for more than a couple of seconds. The same holds true for drive-thru lines. Also, an adjusted commute time to a half hour just before or after rush hour can get you an additional five or six miles per gallon.
10. Inflate your tires to the max recommended psi. Many times, a car's tires will have pressure that is close to half the max psi as recommended on the sidewall of the tire. Simply adding air up to the recommended psi amount can amount to up 10 cents of savings per gallon.
11. Store fuel in bulk fuel tanks on your home property. Storing fuel in bulk is the ultimate way to save at the pump because you bring the pump your home turf! This allows you to buy in bulk at specific prices and then use your personal tanks to fill up when the price at the pump is high. See this article for the specifics of buying fuel in bulk and the regulations that go along with it: http://www.frugal-living-freedom.com/save-on-gas.html.
12. Use a Scan Gauge to monitor your driving habits and fuel consumption in real-time. Many fuel saving fanatics believe the Scan Gauge is the best tool on the market for achieving maximum fuel savings because it provides instantaneous feedback of fuel consumption based on how you drive at any given time.
Have you or will you ever implement these gas saving techniques to your daily life?
Fuel Economy Devices For Your Vehicle
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