How to Save Gas When It’s No Longer an Option

Written by admin on December 7th, 2010

The honeymoon is over. The days of freewheeling down the highway without a care in the world are history.

In the US, gas prices have finally made the jump over a gallon to stay. Prices are even higher in Europe and the UK. Logically, drivers have been scrambling to save themselves from economic disaster due to the price surge. There is no sign of the trend reversing anytime soon. In fact, at the current rates of production and consumption, most industry experts foresee the price of gas going up as high as .00 per gallon by 2010.

Surviving outrageous gas prices and saving money can be relatively painless. Simply find and exploit ways to reduce your fuel consumption. The less gasoline you use, the more money you save. Easier said than done right? Here are simple common-sense ways you can start right now to save on fuel costs:

1. Stop buying premium gas – if you are still buying premium or high-octane gas because your owner’s manual tells you to, stop now. Really. Your Lexus will run just fine on regular gas. You’ve been duped. In fact, the oil companies got in trouble for misrepresenting the benefits of using premium gas vs. regular gas a few years ago with the FTC. That’s why you don’t see so much advertising for it anymore. Yet, thanks to a sweetheart deal they have with the automakers, particularly high-end and luxury vehicle automakers, they still dupe car owners into thinking that their cars NEED premium gas. With the cost of premium gas being anywhere from 20-40% higher than regular, it’s time to start ignoring your owner’s manual when it comes to this matter. The joke is over.

2. Get a scooter for fair-weather, near-home commutes and errands – Thanks to soaring gas prices, this has become a cost-effective no-brainer for most people. You can buy a used one on Ebay for as little as 0 or new for around 00. Do the math. These things will pay for themselves in a matter of months, and then really watch your savings take off. They’re perfect for heading to the store for a quart of milk and some cold-cuts, to the post office, and other typical errands that don’t demand a full-size car. Live fairly close to work? Ride your scooter to work, and watch your paycheck go a lot farther each month.

Steve Forrest, a CPA in Baltimore, rides his Honda scooter every day for the 20-minute commute to his office in downtown Baltimore whenever the weather permits. His fuel costs have dwindled to less than 30% of what he paid before buying the scooter. “My 0 scooter paid for itself in four months,” he says. “Better yet, I’ve used the money I’ve saved on gas since then to fully pay for my upcoming diving vacation in Fiji”.

3. Look into mileage extension modifications – There are a few of them out there. The most popular one being a simple setup that allows your car to run on a gas and water mix that can improve your gas mileage significantly with no reduction in power. Water fuel cells are all the rage right now. With usually less than in hardware, you can see your car’s mileage go up to as high as 50 to 60 miles per gallon. Best of all, they’re pretty inexpensive. Needless to say, that modifying your car for the cost of a nice dinner night out is a no-brainer if it’s going to cut your gas bill in half. The oil companies may not want you to know about this technology, but be assured that it’s out there and it works.

4. Walk or bike more – Do you really need to drive to the corner drugstore to get your latest issue of Popular Mechanics or Vogue, or to hang out at your local Starbucks? The answer is no, you don’t. In some places like New York, walking is a necessity. Yet in other places, walking is still scorned or deemed not practical. Get over it, and hoof or pedal it those few blocks.

5. Use Mass Transit – That’s right, the “M”-word. Believe it or not, mass transit in most urban and suburban areas is practical for work commutes, and definitely cost-effective. Some commuters swear by using Mass Transit. Judy S., a divorced mother of two, and a researcher at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, uses the local Metro Rapid transit to get to work everyday. Because these modern natural gas-burning buses have only a few major stops, and have dedicated lanes for them on streets and highways, the trip is fast, comfortable, and cheap. “I spend less than a week on gas for my car now, even at these prices” she says proudly, “and the trip to work costs me about .00 each way with my annual pass. I’d be crazy not to do it”.

6. Car Pools – It’s amazing that more co-workers and schoolkid-doting parents haven’t figured this one out yet. Carpooling is a simple, logical solution. What’s more, it will instantly save everyone involved big time gas and money. It’s easy to organize, and will cut your daily commuting costs to a fraction. Do it.

These are just a few practical ways to save money on gas without a dent in your lifestyle. Drastic times demand drastic measures. But let’s face it, making these easy changes and adjustments to your daily life isn’t all that drastic. Make the effort, implement them, and at the end of the day they will result in real savings. Less gas used. More money in your pocket. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.


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