Friday, June 6, 2008

Gas Saving Tips

We have had to change our driving habits drastically. It costs $12 a day just for my husband to go to work, so the small motorcycle that we bought last year as a weekend sanity saver for him, has actually become a big saver (only $4.50 a day). Only downfall is that he gets really hot in his armored jacket, and I only feel safe if he doesn't take the highway. His afternoon commute home is not very fun, and I'm a little concerned that he will melt away before he reaches our house. We only run errands twice a week and it's consolidated. Church is most expensive at $7, but that is worth every penny :) There are no good solutions except lower gas prices and since nobody is making that happen, here are some strategies that might help.

-Find the cheapest gas stations near you:
-Check out hypermiling here:
You can google the term and find even more details. Easiest savers: don't speed up and slow down, don't acclerate, stay below 55 mph (I used to laugh at this and now I'm considering it.)
-This AAA site was reccommended for long trips, but I found it rather limited:
-Fill up during the cool part of the day and don't fill up when a fuel truck is refilling the underground tanks. Don't carry around extra weight and don't fill the gas tank up all the way. Here are some other tips with explanations:

-A more accurate method that I use to figure out if a trip to the mall is too expensive to make it worthwhile: First determine your gas mileage. To do this, the next time you fill up reset your trip mileage or write down the mileage you're at. At your next fill-up, write down how many miles you have gone and how many gallons you put in. Take a calculator and divide the mileage you've gone by the gallons you put in (like 320 miles divided by 17.8 gallons = 18 miles to the gallon) Okay, now you know your exact gas mileage. Now look at what you paid for one gallon of gas, and divide that number by your gas mileage number ($3.75 divided by 18 = $.20). So in this example, you're paying $.20 per mile. That means it costs a dollar to go five miles. Now what I do is, I go to and I put in the library or mall or Wal Mart or whatever with the street and city. You can usually find the location you're looking for with that much information. Once you find the destination, click on get directions and put in your home address. This will tell you the exact mileage if you take that route. At that point you can add a stop to see how far away it is or whatever, but remember you always have to add in the trip home as well. Once you now the exact mileage to go to the bank, library and grocery store all at once, then you just multiply it by your per mile ($.20 in this example) and you now know how much it costs to run your errands. This works well for figuring out the best route, whether it's worth it to drive by Big Lots as well, whether you should bother trekking down to IKEA, etc. This is what made me realize that it would cost $4 in gas to get photos for Child #3 (which I was using a $5.99 coupon for). So I decided to reschedule for a day that we could do a whole bunch of other things on the same side of town.

I try to stay away from anything even remotely political on here, but I am getting absolutely disgusted with our Congress. Do they really have no idea how bad our economy is just from gas prices? Food prices keep rising, companies are laying people off, etc. and what do they do? They sit around debating global warming, and they think the solution is to tax someone? Seriously, anytime somebody wants a bond, that money has to come from somewhere, and anytime Congress wants to tax a corporation, the corporation will just raise their prices to cover it. So I figure supply and demand, just provide more supply. We've got it in Colorado and ANWR and off the Florida coast, just open it up. And build more refineries, for goodness sake. Sign a petition here: if you agree.


Anonymous said...

I might have read it wrong but I think I saw the word small next to motorcycle. I would hope that you husband did not see that. I heard you got a great deal on that SMALL piece of finely crafted Japanese engineering. I almost purchased one myself and the sales pamplet said MEDIUM motorcycle. It goes to show that this is a great blog about savings and not buying motorcraft. Mabye you should of suggested that your husband purchace a rather LARGE motorcycle instead. Then you would not have printed the word SMALL at all.

Anonymous said...

I found you blog rather interesing. But I saw that you had listed you husbands motorcycle as small. This probably was a misprint by you. I have been looking a motorcycles and that fine piece of v-twin excitement is listed as a MEDIUM bike. If you had thought it was small mabye you should have informed him he should purchace a LARGE bike. You have a lot of good info on savings but not on motorcycles.

Ali said...

Okay, okay. You are absolutely right. I did not describe his beautiful bike properly. I meant small in price, but it is a beautiful, classic, gleaming, roaring, powerful piece of modern machinery. It is unpararelled in quality and performance. Again, the bike was small in price, not in size. There is absolutely no reason to consider a larger bike, don't even think about it.