Gas prices are soaring and are predicted to go as high as $4 per gallon before the end of the year. That’s more than a 30% increase for most of us. How do we make ends meet when we’re lucky if our wages go up 3% a year? I have a few thoughts on the matter. There are the typical things we all know about when gas prices soar. Let’s face it. This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time that oil companies raid our wallets. Let’s review just the same.
Car pooling is a great idea. Maybe you don’t know anyone who can car pool with you to work every day but what about for church on Sunday or to take the kids to soccer or baseball l practice? If you attend some sort of weekly club, share a ride with another member and take turns so that neither of you is absorbing all the cost.
Ride the Bus
If school buses are available for your children in your area but you haven’t been using them, take advantage now. Public transportation may be a great option for you too. Some communities have bus services that will pick you up and take you to your college class each week for a nominal fee.
Consolidate Your Trips
Errands are a necessary evil in our lives. Planning your day and your errands can save you some gas money. If your son passes the dry cleaners on the way home from school, have him pick up the clothes. Your husband works near the pharmacy so he can pick up your prescription and a gallon of milk if need me. When you go out, make sure to plan your errands accordingly. I attend a weekly meeting at the mall with some friends. I stop at the post office, the video store and the bank on my way there when I have to and I pick up groceries afterward. One trip and most of my errands are covered.
Buy a Hybrid
If you can afford it, now is a good time to buy an energy-efficient hybrid vehicle. The Toyota Prius, Honda Civic or Honda Accord use hybrid systems or gas alternatives to get better gas mileage, which can save you a bundle, particularly if you do a lot of driving.
Keep Your Existing Vehicle in Good Repair
Under-inflated tires can cost you fuel efficiency, as much as 2% per pound below the recommended inflation level.
Accelerating quickly, last minute braking and tail-gating can also have a negative impact on your fuel efficiency. Adding something to the exterior can cut your fuel efficiency by creating wind resistance. So think carefully before loading up your roof rack or tying a mattress to the roof of your car.
And one final tip. Check gasbuudy.com and other sites like it to find the cheapest prices for gasoline in your area.